London outfit Artificial Pleasure are like a classic cocktail of your favourite bands: a unique blend containing a double dash of David Bowie, a twist of Talking Heads and a shot of LCD Soundsystem, topped up with Orange Juice.
Having released their dazzling, decade-straddling debut album in 2018, the now-trio are back with new music and their latest offering ‘Into the Unknown (Pt. Two)’ arrives jam-packed with swaggering 80s synths, driving punk-funk bass and a searing energy.
Before the Londoners bring their effervescent live show to Hidden Herd Presents at The Finsbury on Friday (17th January), we spoke to frontman Phil McDonnell about their influences, new music tips and more.
How would you describe Artificial Pleasure to a stranger?
“Sweaty pop. Music to put you on edge and dance at the same time.”
Who are the biggest influences on your sound and why?
“Bowie – no reason required.
Dexy’s Midnight Runners – I developed my singing style by trying to imitate Kevin Rowland. The emotion he puts into his vocal delivery changed my idea of what a vocalist could be.
Talking Heads – basically everything a great band should be. Brave and exciting, fun and wild, just everything.
D.A.F. – simple and industrial, brutal and beautiful. A band that make you want to speak another language. First time I heard Kebabträume I nearly shit myself it was so good.”
What was the best gig you’ve played so far?
“Klub B90 in Gdansk. Best venue I’ve ever seen.”
You’re based in London – what’s your local music scene like?
“Awful… just awful. (It’s full of so many great artists from every genre. It’s constantly surprising and inspiring and makes us a better band. And there’s genuinely a lot of love between bands).”
Who are the THREE other new artists we should listen to right now and why?
“Jylda – THAT VOICE! Oh my god!. She should be talked about by everyone.
Pelicandy – I’m a sucker for frontmen who do headstands on stage.
Career – guitar music so angular you’ll need to wear a helmet.”
And finally, what does 2020 hold for Artificial Pleasure?
“There’s loads of new music to come and we’re going to release it pretty constantly from next month. We’ve also been selected as an INES#talent for 2020, so hopefully we’ll be in Europe quite a bit this year. Oh, and hopefully our new song ‘Into the Unknown (Pt. Two)’ will confuse parents and get played at a lot of kids birthday parties.