[Band Of The Week] Southern

The indie music scene is infested with two-piece bands trying to make their mark and Belfast-born duo ‘Southern’ are no different. What makes them even more interesting though is that they have an added bonus, another weapon in their arsenal; they’re siblings.
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Not only do Thom and Lucy Southern share blood but they also share a good ear for decent music. The siblings chemistry oozes out of their poppy folk riffs and overlapping vocals. The bouncy, raucous debut single, ‘Shout It’, earned themselves a spot on the latest Kitsune ‘New Faces’ album, and trust me, soon enough they’ll be faces you won’t be forgetting quickly. Latest single, ‘Where The Wild Are’ is another catchy track which will make you want to dance all night. The track features on their forthcoming EP, also called ‘Where The Wild Are’, which will be released April 14th on Marathon Artists. The EP shows a more tender side to the pair too, through the track ‘Oh Won’t You Go’. The gentle guitar is accompanied by Lucy’s wavering vocals which are reminiscent of Wolf Alice. It won’t be long until we see them too packing out festival stages across the country.
I caught up with Thom who spoke about festivals, busking and why going solo wouldn’t be an option…

Hi Thom! What’s new with Southern?

We’ve recorded bits of our album which is exciting and been touring recently for the first time.  We played some shows on a beach in Cornwall which was fun.

As brother and sister, what different elements do each of you bring to writing music? Has writing music together always been an ambition of yours from a young age?

With the more bluesy rock and roll style songs I write the music and then we both write the vocal melodies/lyrics together.  Lucy writes a lot of shoe-gazey softer folk songs too which will feature a lot on our debut record.  Generally we write everything together which we enjoy doing as we bring more to the songs that way.  I started singing and writing my own songs when I was 16/17 and I busked on the streets of Belfast a lot.  Eventually we realised Lucy could do really beautiful harmonies and our voices blended well so it really just went from playing together in the house to busking together and before we knew it we were playing concerts when we weren’t in school!  Once we both finished school it became a thing we both really strived to make a career.  

If you weren’t in Southern with one another which other artists would you like to collaborate with?

I think we’d maybe try going solo but we’re enjoying this too much so that’s a difficult question.  

I first heard you guys on Phil Taggart and Alice Levine’s Radio 1 show and ‘shazamed’ it straight away. How do you feel you’ve come on as a band since then?

I think since the first time Phil and Alice played we’ve come on a lot.  Our style has changed and the way we write our song has definitely improved.   We’ve worked with more producers so we’ve learnt a lot from all our studio sessions.  We’re also a lot more happy with our live performance as well so we’re excited about this year and can’t wait to get out there and a tour a lot.

The new EP ‘Where The Wild Are’ is due for release next month. How do you think it weighs up compared to your previous EP?

I think it shows development with our songwriting and shows more depth of style.  Lucy’s also got a song on the EP that she wrote and sings solo.  Where the Wild Are EP was recorded a couple of months ago and the next EP after shows more development as well.  I think we’re really starting to understand what our sound is now though.

What are your plans for the rest of summer? Have you got any shows your particularly looking forward to?

We’re playing a bunch of festivals this summer which will also give us a chance to see a load of bands that we like as well.  We’re really looking forward to playing ‘This is not a love song festival’ in Nimes, South of France.  We’re playing the same day as The Brian Jonestown Massacre who we love.  

Finally, can you give us a band you’ve seen live recently who we really ought to give a listen?

We’re all going to watch a band called ‘Pond’ (half of Tame Impala) in Manchester soon.  Check them out! 

//FACEBOOK

//SOUNDCLOUD

By Josh Shreeve (@JJShreeve)

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