THE stunning duo Anavae…
introduce their new E.P., Are You Dreaming? It mixes emotions, sounds and suggestions into a stunning quintet of songs. I ask Jamie and Becca which track from the E.P. they favour most; some of the ideas they channel /9in Are You Dreaming?) – and what the reaction has been like so far.
They tell me how they came together and the artists that have motivated/inspired them to this point; the new acts they recommend we check out; where we can catch them play before the end of this year – and what their treasured memories of 2017 have been…
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Hey! Not too bad, thanks.
Our weeks are always so varied - which keeps things interesting.
For those new to your work; can you introduce yourself, please?
We're a Sout East London dark Pop/Rock two-piece. We like fusing synths with guitar sounds to create a sort of... hybrid?
Hopefully, people think it's cool.
Are You Dreaming? is your new E.P. What has the reception been like so far? What kind of themes inspired the songwriting?
Becca: We're just so glad to, finally, be able to unleash it upon the Internet - after so long of sitting on it. It's, obviously, been such a pleasant relief to see people comment and message us saying that it's been ‘worth the wait’.
Jamie: Yeah, seeing the words ‘worth the wait’ choked me up for days. It's actually been really amazing...beyond anything I expected, anyway. I was a little nervous on release-day as people have been waiting (very patiently) for so long.
But people seem to really like it - which feels great.
Is there a favourite song on the E.P. from each of you? Which one stands out above the rest?
Jamie: Forever Dancing is my favourite at the moment; mainly because not many people around us thought it worked when we first pushed the demo to them.
I feel like we've sufficiently proved them wrong.
Becca: Lose Your Love.
Putting the lyrical content to one side: this is the song where I really found a new layer of my voice. Pete, our producer for this, really helped me find a different place - and one I think I'd been looking for, for a while (“Get weirder with it...Even weirder...Get weirder”).
I am interested in your titles. Is there a story behind the E.P. name? How about the band-name, ‘Anavae’?
The E.P.-title is taken from a book on Lucid Dreaming (by the same title).
During the writing-cycle, I was feeling particularly motivated to learn how and would read as much as I could whilst on the underground. I remember having this particularly surreal out-of-body-experience whilst contemplating what it means to dream and to be awake - what's to be considered real and does any of it matter anyway?!
I realised that if you treat life as a waking dream then you're free to live without fear.
I suppose, for me, the E.P. represents that hyper-depersonalised state where you're stuck within yourself; accompanied by your tangled thoughts. Be that good or bad: I suppose it depends on the day.
As for 'Anavae' ... if anyone really wants to find out I'm sure they can find it hiding in a nook onlin...SOMEWHERE.
Tell me how you got together at the beginning? How did Anavae start life?
Jamie: My friend auditioned for a rubbish bedroom band with a girl singer and hated it. He told me I’d love it though - that's how I met Becca.
Becca: You fu*king love telling that story. We eventually broke away and formed Anavae (flash-cut).
Who are the artists you look up to and idolise?
Mutemath never fail to amaze us with everything they do.
This year, you have played shows in London and Canada. Are there particular shows that stand in the memory?
Jamie: Our first headline show was something really special. It was the first time we'd played with our new minimal line-up - and we brought along a bunch of toys that we'd been playing with in our caves for months leading up to it…as well as it being the first show we had played in almost a year...
I'll never forget the reception we got from everybody there.
IN THIS PHOTO: Youth Killed It/PHOTO CREDIT: Rebecca Need-Menear
Which new artists do you recommend we check out?
Becca: I'm not so sure what 'new' means either but, in terms of underrated, you must check out From Indian Lakes. Vibe central.
IN THIS PHOTO: Half Moon Run/PHOTO CREDIT: Yani Clarke
Are there any tour dates coming up?
No tours lined up but we're playing two shows with Area 11 on 11th and 12th of December at Boston Music Rooms, London.
I think one of the dates has already sold out - so it should be a good'un.
Is the stage somewhere you feel comfortable and secure? Do you prefer the studio or the stage, would you say?
Jamie: I prefer studio by far. I'd rather spend a day getting a guitar/synth part sounding just right than thirty minutes on stage struggling to hear what sounds you're making...haha.
Becca: I crave being on the stage but, once I'm there - and once it's over - I'm left feeling like I didn't make the most of being there. I'd compare it to being invited to a party you've been looking forward to for weeks but, once you're there, you black-out and internalise. Wait…that's just like most events in my life…
I'd say we definitely thrive most in a studio setting. We like locking ourselves away. But, then; when we lock ourselves away, we crave adventure (and vice versa) - and so on and so forth.
If you each had to select the album that means the most to you; which would they be and why?
Jamie: The Verge - There for Tomorrow
After hearing that album for the first time, I knew I wanted to be in a band like Anavae.
Becca: Woven Materials - Evaline
Just listen. It's a cinematic experience.
What advice would you give to artists coming through right now?
Jamie: Enjoy every fun moment you have - you don't know how long it's going to last.
Becca: Know that patience won't kill you: it'll almost kill you...but it won't.
Christmas is not too far away. Do you both have plans already - or will you be busy working?
Jamie: I usually look forward to Christmas as a time to write, to be honest. It's too cold to go outside - everyone is away with their families. So, I like to put on lots of layers and make sounds in my room...
Becca: Holiday-season means long train journeys and long spouts of uninterrupted thinking – which, hopefully, results in pages of fresh writing.
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
Jamie: Youth Killed It - Islands
Becca: Lights - Skydiving
(It has all of the ingredients for the (most) perfect Pop song)