A quartet from London, Pynch have always been a band to do things their own way. Having previously released a single via Speedy Wunderground, the band formed their own label, Chillburn Recordings, went on a European tour in a Skoda and turned home recordings into international acclaim. For their debut album, Howling at a Concrete Moon, they brought in Stereolab’s Andy Ramsay to co-produce and spent ten days in Bermondsey with the tongue-in-cheek mantra of “any old shit will do”, trying to throw as much as they could at the album to see what worked and what didn’t. The results, or at least the bits of it that worked, will see the light of day this Friday.
At the heart of Pynch’s appeal is the world view of lyricist Spencer Enock, reflections on being young in Britain, delivered with a blend of cynicism and sincerity, humour and sometimes brutal, crushing honesty. This is never more evident than on London, a song of financial crises, generational inequality and being young in the age of austerity, nodding to the low-key ennui of Tugboat Captain. Elsewhere Tin Foil blurs the line between conspiracy theories and the overwhelming pace of modern living and sets it to a soundtrack of twitchy keyboards and The Rakes-like vocal swagger, while 2009 deals with, “being a casualty of 00s pop culture“, while sounding like the middle ground of The Mystery Jets and Suede. Elsewhere on an eclectic record, The City Part 2 sounds like Alex Turner covering Billy Bragg, while Karaoke could be The Cribs having an existential crisis. Pynch’s story has always been one of following their instincts, and on Howling at a Concrete Moon it continues to serve them well, a record about being young, adrift in a world of endless choice and fading opportunity, that might just connect with a generation in need of a thrilling soundtrack.
FTR: For those who don’t know who are Pynch?
Pynch: We are Spencer (Vocals/Guitar), Scott (Bass), James (Keyboards) and Julianna (Drums) and we’ve been playing together in various forms since 2017. Spencer had been recording demos at home during university before meeting Julianna and James in Chillburn and forming the band. We make sort of lo-fi indie to soundtrack the end of the world!
Scott: I started off as the roadie, got promoted to manager, demoted to photographer and then learnt the bass over lockdown and joined my brother’s band. Nepotism at its finest.
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
Spencer: It was at an open mic night at the North London Tavern (In Chillburn) and we’re currently arguing over which songs we played. I think it was in May 2018.
James: it was actually quite busy to be fair!
Julianna: James even got people clapping along during one of the songs
James: We played three songs that have now been safely filed away into the back catalogue.
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
Julianna: We do make other art forms!
Spencer: Scott and James are both into their pottery! We shoot the videos ourselves on super 8 and I’ve designed a lot of our artwork, posters and merch as well. I guess I like how relatively accessible songwriting is as a form of expression. It’s sort of like a puzzle to try and effectively capture a feeling or an idea in a few minutes of music.
James: Everything else we make is kind of rubbish but people seem to like the music so we’re sticking with that!
Julianna: We love making music together and we always have so much fun on tour!
Spencer: There’s not many things better than making music with your best friends!
FTR: What can people expect from the Pynch live show?
Spencer: There are usually disco lights, a bit of karaoke and a few microwaves
Scott: You can definitely expect some block-rocking beats from Julianna, bleeps and bloops from James, some heartfelt wailing from spencer, and some waviness from me the bass.
James: With a dabble of laser beams, smoke machines and mostly in-sync arpeggios
FTR: What’s next for Pynch?
Scott: Our Debut album Howling at a Concrete Moon is coming out on April 14th!
Julianna: Then we’re heading on our biggest tour to date around the UK and Europe to celebrate the launch of the album which we’re all really excited for!
Spencer: We’ve been working so hard on these songs for the last few years so it’s so exciting and such a relief to finally be able to release these songs and start thinking about album two!
They Listen To…
Night Works – Nathaniel
James: I just love the catchy synth-vibes and melody. It’s been on constant rotation in the passion wagon (the tour bus) since I bought the album (signed).
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – French Press
Scott: I like the wordplay around the meaning of French press. And I love French press coffee.
Laurent Garnier & The Liminanas – Je rentrais par le bois … BB
Julianna: I’ve been listening to a lot of Laurent Garnier’s album with The Liminanas recently. I love their sound and the build-up of the instrumentations. I’ve been writing in French a lot recently and this song has been very inspiring to me.
Sufjan Stevens – The Only Thing
Spencer: Sufjan is the goat and this is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard
Headie One and Skepta – Back to Basics (Floating Points Remix)
Spencer: If I’m ever scared with the aux cable in a party situation, this is the song I’m putting on
Howling at a Concrete Moon is out April 14th via Chillburn Recordings. For more information on Pynch visit https://linktr.ee/Pynchband
Pynch Tour Date:
Thurs 20th April – Where Else, Margate
Fri 21st April – Moth Club, London
Sat 22nd April – Hope and Ruin, Brighton
Sun 23rd April – Heartbreakers, Southampton
Weds 26th April – The Adelphi, Hull
Thurs 27th April – The Castle Hotel, Manchester
Fri 28th April – The Crofters Rights, Bristol
Sat 6th May – L’International, Paris
Fri 12th May – V11, Rotterdam