The Bristol-based duo of Gina Leonard and Ryan Rogers, Mumble Tide, formed out of a mutual frustration, both had previously been involved in different projects, which left them feeling, “restricted” and tired of their ideas being rejected. Embracing a, “no rules, no questions”, approach to writing and recording the pair were able to fall back in love with making music. Now signed to Nothing Fancy, Mumble Tide are building up to the November release of their debut EP, Love Thing.
The band have so far shared four of the Love Thing’s six tracks, the most recent of which is the record’s title track. Love Thing is a reflection on both the anxieties and excitement of a new relationship set to the sounds of a hazy slice of dream-pop, reminiscent of Lomelda or early Beach House. Elsewhere, the excellent Orbit is a more noisy affair, with perfectly squalling electronics contrasting lush vocal harmonies, while debut single, Sleepy Heads is a reminder to not be hard on yourself set to the sounds of bedroom pop perfection, that’s a must for fans of Soccer Mommy or Frankie Cosmos. On the evidence so far, Love Thing is a beautifully free record, a celebration of creativity, hope and rediscovering the joy that making music can bring, the future for Mumble Tide looks very bright.
FTR: For those who don’t know who are Mumble Tide?
Mumble Tide are a bedroom pop duo consisting of me Gina and my boyfriend/bezzie Ryan. We got together through music and when the main long-term project we were in became a pain in the arse/brain, we decided to create something ourselves. We just wanted to get back to making music for ourselves and get away from the pressure/conflict that was sucking out the fun through a chewed up old straw. Honestly I was close to quitting and Mumble Tide helped remind me why I love making/sharing music. It’s a bit scrappy, a bit wordy, a bit poppy and yea, we just have a great time making it.
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
We were a little underprepared for our first Mtide gig and were still figuring out our sound (it was a bit more synth folk). The gig was at the Louisiana in Bristol which is one of our favourite venues. Looking back we were definitely not ready to be playing shows(!) but when the opportunity came up, we couldn’t say no. We roped in our mate John Logan who’s a guitarist and convinced him to play drums with one hand and synth with the other. We also asked him to learn ‘I’m on Fire’ by Bruce Springsteen, but when we got together the day before to rehearse, he’d actually learned ‘Fire’, a B-Side from a little known live album that was covered by The Pointer Sisters. We were a little nervous and definately made some bad jokes over the mic but overall we reckon it was a good gig?
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
In the last project we were working in, we felt quite stifled creatively and when it came to branding/visual stuff, we always had ideas but were told over and over that we weren’t qualified. Everything was outsourced to expensive 40 year old men and it all felt kinda wrong and seperate from the music. When we had a chance to start over, we wanted complete control. Soo, I guess we don’t feel that Mumble Tide is strictly just music. We make all the artwork/videos ourselves (with help from our bud Rory Moreton who once you get past his aggressive hatred of frogs is a swell guy). We’re hoping to see how far we can take it into other avenues and create a Mumble Tide world. We’re looking into more interesting merch, I’ve been thinking it’d be cool to make a little poetry book and who knows what else? (We’re open to suggestions!)
FTR: What can people expect from the Mumble Tide live show?
We’ve played a bunch of duo gigs using drum machines and synth drones but what we’re really excited about is playing with other people. We’ve been putting together an ever changing backing band (The Shrieking Buoys) and we think that’ll be a big part of capturing the sound we create on record. If anyone reading this wants to get involved, give us a shout!
I’d say in terms of the show itself, expect to dance a little, laugh a little and maybe feel a bit sad at points but in a good way? We also always bring our trusty furby along so if you’re lucky you might get to meet him after the show.
FTR: What’s next for Mumble Tide?
We’re mid campaign at the moment working up to releasing our first EP so look out for a bunch more tracks that’ll be coming out over the next month or so. We’re also considering making a christmas EP…Mumble Tidings?
They Listen To…
Better Oblivion Community Centre – Chesapeake
This song is just so good. The melodies are so strong and we’re both huge fans of Connor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers. Better Oblivion were one of the first bands we bonded over and we listened to this album a tonne when we first started Mumble Tide.
The National – Fireproof
Gina: An ex introduced me to The National. It was a pretty rubbish relationship but I will always be grateful to him for getting me into The National! Matt Berninger is one of my favourite lyricists. I think he’s a bit of a genius, the way he plays around with sayings and the unpredictable way the lines come together. There are so many great songs it’s hard to choose but Fireproof is one that I can’t seem to wear out. I love the interweaving guitar and piano, and how the lyrics effortlessly fall over the top. The opening lines ‘you keep a lot of secrets, and I keep none. Wish I could go back, and keep some’ get me.
PUP – Free At Last
Ryan: PUP are one of my favourite guitar bands, their album “Morbid Stuff” has pretty much stayed in my rotation since it came out a few years back. I love the way it pairs a sad aggression with super catchy melodies. The lyrical themes of the album are super gripping as well, their vocalist Stefan Babcock gives a real raw and honest look at his ugly sides.
Arlo Parks – Black Dog
Gina: I only discovered Arlo Parks about a month ago but can’t get enough. Black Dog is my favourite of her releases so far. I love the simplicity, for most of the song it’s just two bars of two chords on rotation which is very cool. Her voice and her lyrics sound so effortless and human. I love the chorus ‘It’s so cruel, what your mind can do for no reason’.
ELO – Twilight
Ryan: My dad is an ELO superfan, which is something I’ve inherited. Some of my earliest memories are of being sat in the front passenger seat of his car being bombarded by some of the biggest, shiniest, colourful choruses ever written. As much as I totally wouldn’t have admitted it as a teen, Jeff Lynne’s production and writing is one of my biggest influences. This one’s the opener to their 1981 album “Time” and it consistently knocks my socks off.