PHOTO CREDIT: Fraser Taylor
THEY are relatively new to my ears…
but there is no denying there is ample allure and class in the ranks of PLYA. I have been speaking with the trio about their new track, Feast My Eye, and what the story behind it is. They tell me about their early days and how their music has built; if there is more material coming along soon – the guys select an album that means a lot to them.
I was keen to know if there were gigs approaching; what they hope to achieve in the remainder of the year; how their live sound differs to that we witness in the studio; if there is advice they’d give to new artists emerging – they let me into the wonderful and always-inspiring PLYA camp.
Hi, PLYA. How are you? How has your week been?
Absolutely brilliant! We’re in Los Angeles this week, so can’t complain!
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
Julia: Hey. I’m Julia and I play synths and lead vocals in PLYA. We make dark Electronic Pop that blends dreamy electronic textures, driving guitars and anthemic melodies!
Will: Sup. I’m will and I play drums and percussion in the band…
Kris: Hello. I’m Kris and I play the guitar!
Feast My Eye is your new track. Is there a story behind it?
Julia: Our new song, Feast My Eye, encapsulates that dark, satisfying moment of relishing in the downfall and misfortune of somebody who has treated you badly in the past. But; it's the guilt of enjoying it that lingers in your mind.
It was surprisingly easy to write!
I like the pace and energy of the video. What was it like filming it? Do you like shooting videos?
Will: We love shooting music videos! We’re always imaging how our music would look as a visual piece - It’s quite funny when we’re writing. If there is a cool lyric or vibe then we’re often shouting things out like, “Ash; imagine if we shot a video where *this* or *that* happens”, before we’ve even finished recording the song! Hah.
Julia: We all believe that the music videos are the most important way of portraying the visual aesthetic of the band or the song in question. So; we’re always striving to film something that's not just like a band performance but also something that offers insight or even adds a deeper meaning beyond lyrics.
PHOTO CREDIT: Roberto Vivancos
Feast My Eye is your third single. Do you think you have grown since your earliest moments?
Yeah. We actually wrote this song pretty early on and it’s we all loved it so I guess it set a benchmark and definitely pushed harder to improve our songwriting and shaped how we writing our newer songs. I love the fact that it has a relatable story, a big melodic chorus as well as a cool atmospheric texture beneath it all to create some space.
What can we expect in terms of future material? Are you working on stuff?
Kris: Indeed, we are! We’ve finished an E.P. that we hope to release towards the end of the year.
Right now, we’re releasing a series of singles to help build some momentum and get the PLYA name out there a bit. We’re in Los Angeles at the moment recording with lots of talented producers, so yeah; we’re hoping to get a few new tracks up our sleeve by the end of the month!
If you each had to select the one album that means the most to you; which would they be and why?
Kris. For Emma, Forever Ago - Bon Iver
An absolutely beautiful album that you have to listen to from start to finish.
Will: David Bowie - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust
I listened to this when I was a kid then, when I got older; I remember having the epiphany of realising the whole concept and narrative surrounding the album. I still also love the idea of an artist completely reinventing themselves or taking on a different persona.
Julia: Eminem - The Slim Shady EP
When I was younger; I used to listen to this on-repeat in my bedroom. It opened my eyes to a whole new genre of other artists.
Do you guys have any gigs lined up? Where can we see you play?
Will: In London, we’re playing Birthdays in Dalton on 19th May with Alvarez Kings, who are our mates from Sheffield. It’s one of our favourite venues in London: it’s got great sound, burgers and beer!
Kris: We’re also heading to Spain to play O Son Do Camiño festival in June! Seeing our band name on the same poster as The Killers and Two Door Cinema Club is awesome; so we’re looking forward to that!
How much does your ‘stage sound’ differ to what we hear in your studio cuts?
Julia: I’d say that, on stage, our sound is definitely grittier and less polished than the recordings. Having Will playing live acoustic drums as well as electronic samples really opens things up a bit, sonically.
PHOTO CREDIT: Ellie Mitchell Photography
What do you hope to achieve in 2018?
Will: I guess to just play as many gigs as possible and try and make new fans and friends everywhere we can. I’d love to play some gigs in Europe! It will be really nice for the E.P. to be out so we can present a whole body of work and be like, ‘This is us’!
Have you each got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
For me, it was when we sold-out our first headline show in London. Hands down, this felt like such an accomplishment seeing that our new music resonated enough with people to come and check us out live.
We only had one song out at the time, so the rush of playing eight songs that no one’s heard before was very nerve-racking but so exciting! We partied pretty hard after it too!
Kris: We filmed this awesome 360° video in Sphere Studios for our track, Adrenaline. We wanted to make a video that gave our fans a unique insight into the song. We highlighted the instrumentations of the song in a V.R. world where three of each of us is better than one. We love that everyone’s journey path watching the video is different: you can't watch the video twice in the same way.
Julia: Yeah. I think being in Sphere Studios was a highlight too. It’s so beautiful in there; it deserves to be seen in its full 360° glory! I got to play on Adele’s piano, which you don't get to do every day!
IN THIS PHOTO: Lara Harvey Photography
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
I mean, we’re still relatively new to the game, but I’d say whilst concentrating on writing and composing decent tracks I think that you’ve also got to put yourself out there - and meet and network with as many people as you can; integrate yourself into the local scene. If there is a band you want to support or collaborate with, then go to their gig and meet them.
Every cool opportunity we’ve been offered all links back to meeting someone face-to-face: it’s always more successful than a blanket email.
Will: Totally! Events like Great Escape, BBC Amplify and PRS talks are great opportunities for this.
IN THIS PHOTO: Fickle Friends
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
Julia: Absolutely! The music scene in London at the moment is unbelievably good at the moment. Fickle Friends have released their debut album, which is full of Pop bangers.
Kris: I’ve been listening to Superorganism loads!
Will: Tom Misch is my current South London hero. South of the River is such a tune!
IN THIS PHOTO: Superorganism
Do you all get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Kris: I travel whenever I can. If we haven't got any gigs on, I like to go down camping in Cornwall or somewhere on the coast to unwind and be away from technology!
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
For sure. We actually update our Spotify playlist every month with all the new tracks that we’ve been listening to! You can subscribe here
PHOTO CREDIT: Fraser Taylor