We're now less than a week removed from the first big party of 2014. The Erics, the official wrap party for the entertainment.ie annual awards, will take over the Button Factory next Thursday evening with live sets from Le Galaxie, O Emperor, Gavin James and Cave Ghosts - the latter of whom we've been particularly enamoured with since first hearing their brand of 1960's inspired melodic pop.
But who are they, exactly? John Balfe found out more from one half of Cave Ghosts' vocal duo Jen Connell...
We're thrilled to have Cave Ghosts on the bill for The Erics. For the uninitiated, can you tell us a little about your sound and how Cave Ghosts came to be?
Thank you! We are very excited! Well, Cave Ghosts came about in a completely different way to any other bands that we had been in. I posted an ad on Thumped looking for someone who was into the same weird stuff that I was, and Aoife did pretty much the same thing. We both sought someone who loved 60s reverb-laden pop songs and wanted to have some fun. We answered each others' ads and BOOM Cave Ghosts were born!
Trying to describe our sound is always difficult, put simply, we make sad pop songs inspired by summer and lost love. We try to mix the naiveté of stargazing 60s girl group pop with dark and dreamy melancholic lyrics.
When you first got together was there a creative spark apparent from the outset?
We had both been in similar positions with previous bands where we weren’t the main songwriter, so as you can imagine, were quite daunted by the prospect of *shudder* baring our emotions on stage. Once we got over the embarrassing first step of playing our songs to each other, the creative process moved along quite quickly. The songs came together easily and we had plenty of fun in the process.
Personally, I feel so lucky to have met Aoife. It’s so rare that you find someone who not only wants to make the same kind of music that you do, but is also consistently supportive of every song or idea you share. She is also one of the few people who gets how abstract I can be, like when I say: "I really wanted the intro to this song to be more Disney-esque, think- Sleeping Beauty in the forest scene", and she completely gets it.. and gets all excited too! No one else would indulge my weirdness.
How long did it take for songs like 'La Concha', 'Hideaway' and 'When You Go Away' to come together?
The first couple of months were mostly spent wasting time, eating pizza and pouring over 60s French magazines. We finally decided we needed to knuckle down and record something. In the space of a couple of weeks we finished three songs and recorded them in The Ghost Cave (our previous practice space) and put them online with accompanying animated cat artwork. We were completely overwhelmed by the reaction we received. To be honest, we were a little intimidated by the Dublin music scene, even though the majority of our friends are in great bands, it’s still pretty terrifying to put yourself out there. In the first few months we were lucky enough to play some amazing gigs and release the three tracks that we had originally considered demos on a Popical Island split EP with No Monster Club, Ginnels and Grand Pocket Orchestra. We feel very lucky.
Photo: Andrea Lambe
Are Cave Ghosts working towards a full-length release? Is that the ultimate goal at this point?
After The Erics gig, we are going to take a break from gigging for a month or two so we can focus on finishing new songs and recording. We have a mountain of songs that have accumulated in the last year, but with our busy schedules and the amount of gigs we've played, we haven't had a chance to finish them off!
We would love to record a full length album, we’re not on any label as of yet so we will continue to do everything ourselves. Realistically, we will probably rope in friends and call in favours anywhere we can in order to get a record out, but that’s all part of the adventure. We learned a lot from our early recording experiences, so we now have a better idea of what sound we want and we’re excited about making it happen.
Do you have any other big plans for 2014?
The focus will be on writing new songs, recording and playing lots of gigs. We hope to venture abroad for a gig or two, perhaps a mini-tour, who knows? We’re excited about this year, anything could happen!
Thanks! See you on the 30th!