We’ve got high hopes for Brighton’s latest exports Underwater Boys.
The brother duo craft blissed out guitar-pop that combines kaleidoscopic riffs, fuzzy hooks and woozy vocals, recalling Cocteau Twins, Beach House, The Cure and Tame Impala among others.
Hazy psych-pop ditty ‘Everyone You Know’ makes for the perfect introduction to Tom and Nick Klar’s world; a dreamy opening gambit that juxtaposes poignant lyrics with an ethereal backdrop.
With the debut offering from the band out now via Cannibal Hymns (alongside the equally strong B-side ‘Bye & Bye’), we caught up with frontman Tom Klar to talk all things Underwater Boys.
‘Everyone You Know’ is hazy psych-pop perfection. How did the track come about?
“This was one of the first songs we wrote together right at the beginning. All of our songs start out as little snippets, like 30 second demos or voice-memos, and we build from there – that’s how this one started. I have Generalised Anxiety Disorder, and we started writing this song very close to when I was first diagnosed and was going onto medication, so the song is a lot about coming to terms with that, and just kind of worrying about how it would affect my life and the people around me.”
How did Underwater Boys start out?
“About a year and a half ago, Nick and I decided we wanted to start writing music together again, and we just kind of holed up in the flat Nick was living in at the time and said “We’re not leaving until we have something good.” Mostly it was just really stressful and we were just banging our heads against the wall, but eventually we had three songs, and one of them was ‘Everyone You Know’.”
What inspired your name?
“When I played our first demos to my girlfriend she said they all sounded like they were underwater, which I liked. Also we’re boys. Honestly though, it took ages to decide on the name. This was literally the only one that wasn’t awful.”
Who are the Top 5 biggest influences on your sound right now?
“We’re influenced by a lot of 80s stuff like Cocteau Twins and The Cure, just in their use of texture and space. We also love 90s videogame soundtracks, like ‘Ocarina of Time’ – I think just growing up playing those games has made us pre-disposed to certain tones and chord progressions, even without noticing. We’re also both massive fans of Crowded House, because our parents used to play it in the car when we were little. As far as current stuff goes, Tame Impala are about as close to perfect as you can get. Kevin Parker HMU xxx.”
Any other new bands that you’ve played with and would recommend?
“Our first gig was supporting Our Girl at The Lexington last month, and they’re just incredible. It’s just the perfect balance of heavy and quiet, and Soph’s voice is beautiful. Also we’re playing with Long Body in October. They’re a two-piece from Leeds who we love. It’s just drums, guitar and vocals, but it sounds massive.”
And finally, what does the remainder of 2017 hold for Underwater Boys?
“We’re going to be releasing the other side of this single very soon, called ‘Bye & Bye’. We’ll also be releasing the physical version on vinyl, which I’m super excited about, just to hold it in my hands. Apart from that. just playing lots of gigs – We’re headlining our first show on 11th October at The Sebright Arms, which is a little bit scary. If we can, we’ll try and fit in some more writing and recording time at some point before the end of the year, because we’re always anxious to make more music – but when you’ll be able to hear that, I don’t know!”