Showcase: Grass House
Published on August 10th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
In a recent round-up of the weeks’s best singles, we described “And Now for the Wild” by Grass House in the following terms…
Sounds like a wandering cowboy who consumed some hallucinogens by accident and now goes around casting proclamations of doom, thrusting a crudely fashioned sceptre up to the heavens as the clouds darken and rumble. Er…good stuff, this.
Curious? You bloody well should be. We were too, so we sent our trusty messenger pigeon off in search of Grass House dwellers Liam Palmer and Steven Dove…
How would you describe your music, if pushed?
LP: We like to think the music works on various levels. We want to create atmospheric almost cinematic soundscapes which act as a bed for the vocal to sit on and so as a whole they both complement each other.
Where are you based, and what do you use to record with?
SD: We are all based in London so it’s relatively easy to communicate with each other and fairly quick to meet up and run through various ideas. Generally speaking we record using our laptops, simple mic setup etc; this way it’s much quicker to get ideas down and send them over.
We’ll usually fill these ideas with more ideas, until it becomes messy. It’s then a case of starting again with what will then be the actual demo!
Are you signed to a label? If so, how did you come to their attention?
LP: We’re on Marshall Teller records. We were really happy when they showed an interest as we’ve long admired their ethic and approach to releasing music, they get the personality of it and understand the effort that goes into making something and reflect that in the way they put it out.
We played gigs with a few bands that had released on the label and became friends as a result. They were one of the first we showed the album to, so it was great that they wanted to put it out.
Is there a full album in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it? (Feel free to be as abstract as you like…)
LP: The album is now complete and will be coming out in October this year. It’s been a long process pulling it together and recording it as we wanted to create something quite special to us without rushing it.
SD: We’ve had the privilege of recording it in two amazing studios – Monnow Valley in Wales and The Pool, London – and the whole thing has been such good fun. On top of that we had the opportunity to bring in some really talented musicians to add the extra nuances to the tracks.
Where can we hear your music online?
LP: If you go to soundcloud.com/grasshouse you can hear all the previous singles, you can also look up numerous videos we’ve done on YouTube.
SD: Google it.
Which have been your most exciting gigs and/or overall moments so far?
LP: The two single launches (“The Boredom Rose” and “And Now for the Wild”) have been real highlights as they had a great atmosphere and the crowd really seemed to get into what we were doing.
Aside from this the show we played at Beacons festival 2012 stands out as the first time we really produced a the kind of show we had been trying to create since we started. It was at that point we really began to understand the subtleties of the live sound and how it can build and enthrall an audience.
Got any more coming up? (Gigs, that is…)
SD: We’ve just played East End Live which was real fun, exciting to see so many people there mid-afternoon, then we have Green Man in a couple of weeks and our single launch at The Lexington is the big one on September 5th.
Oh and we’re doing a show for Huw Stephens at the Social on August 13th.
We’re enjoying the live shows so much more these days, I really feel like we’ve found our stride. We like to play them differently to record, keep things fresh.
Are there any obscure and/or up-and-coming acts that you’d like to recommend or give a shout-out to?
LP: Currently we’re really into Great Ytene, they play really encapsulating music. Mac Demarco, though slightly more established now, is a hell of a talent too.
SD: Jacco Gardner, Martin Rev, Ducktails, Eno, Silver Apples have all been good to me recently. Just come round to the new Deerhunter record too which I wasn’t so sure about at first, love it now though!
Finally, if you were forced to spend the rest of your days in solitary confinement, but were allowed to bring the entire works of five different artists along to tide you over, whose would you choose?
SD: The Velvet Underground, Lee Hazlewood, Brian Eno, Scott Walker, The Beatles. Was trying to think of something more obscure but I guess the truth is that I’m a sucker for a solid pop song.
Grass House, thank you.