British New Country-Pop Duo Eyes For Gertrude Produced by K.D.Lang's Long Term Collaborator Ben Mink.
Chantelle and Hannah from Eyes For Gertrude talk about their album due out in January 2015, experiences, who they'd have round for dinner, songs and encouraging responses from music pundits so far.
Please introduce yourselves to our readers?
H & C: Pleasure to meet you! We are Chantelle Pike, of Rockbourne, Hampshire and Hannah Dean, Rugby, Warwickshire, from the band Eyes For Gertrude. We met at Dartington College of Arts in Devon in 2008. Chantelle is on guitar and lead vocals, with Hannah on piano, accordion and accompanying vocals. We release our first album, Residential Bliss in January 2015.
Where was your most memorable performance and why?
H & C: Performing on BBC Radio 4’s Loose Ends Show was one of the most surreal experiences to date. We didn’t realise we’d be performing just a few meters away from Clive Anderson and his guests who included Jo Wiley and the legendary actor Paul McGann from one of our favourite films, ‘Withnail and I’. No pressure then…
Who are you listening to at the moment?
H & C: We managed to catch Stromae’s set at Glastonbury this year and have been blasting out his album on Chantelle’s car stereo ever since.
Who have you been most excited to work with?
H & C: The producer of our forthcoming album, Ben Mink. Chantelle was hugely influenced by his songwriting and production work for K.D Lang.
How was it for you?
H & C: It was phenomenal to work with such a musical genius. We just sat there and soaked up his wisdom like a couple of sponges.
What was your weirdest or funniest musical moment in your career so far?
H & C: Weirdest moment would still have to be when we had to stop in the middle of our set to announce the winners of the local meat raffle… That’s when we knew we’d made the big time.
Successes to date?
H & C: We were finalists in the 8th Musicians Benevolent Fund Songwriters Awards in 2012. Ben Mink’s response to the demo we sent and agreeing to produce our album. Playing on Radio 4’s Loose Ends for Clive Anderson, playing festivals such as Larmer Tree and Glastonbury and then being in Consequence of Sounds’ ‘top 30 moments of the festival. And of course being nominated by Tony Hardy for the Emerging Talent competition at Glastonbury.
What are your songs about?
H & C: Of course some of the songs are based on personal experiences but generally we just like to observe the madness of everyday life, from the sublime to the ridiculous. For example, Glastonbury Emerging Talent judge, Tony Hardy, commented on one of our tracks saying: “‘Rag and Bone’ takes soundings from the routines of daily life and reaches determinedly for higher ground". That's what a lot of the songs on our album try to do.
Who would you most like to meet and why?
H & C: We’d like to go out for a curry with Julia Davis and Jack Nicholson because the combination of his eyebrows and her dark wit would be pretty entertaining over a Tikka Masala.
How and why did you come up with the title of your album?
H & C: Our album title is taken from the heartfelt line ‘Residential Bliss would be the death of me’ from the track ‘Messing Around’ and we feel it encompasses the overall theme of the album.
Please tell any stories behind any of your songs.
H & C: ‘Forgiveness Killed Us’ is a bit of an anti-love song about forgiving your partner but not really forgiving them and secretly wanting to murder them. We’ve all been there…right?
What are you up to next?
H & C: We’re preparing for our two album launch gigs, which will be happening on the 24th January 2015 at The Louisiana in Bristol and on 31st January at Fordingbridge Town Hall in Hampshire.
Where can we find out more about your music?
H & C: All the usual haunts; mainly our website: eyesforgetrude.com