Words: Lloyd Bolton | Photo: Holly Whitaker
Honeyglaze typify the current state of a certain form of music making. Their work takes the idiosyncrasy and introspection that defined the bedroom production explosion and shoots it through with the verve of the time-honoured band format of bass, drums and guitar. They also possess a suitably modern awareness of what it means to be a band in the industry right now. In the midst of a busy summer festival schedule, and with a debut album already under their belt, we caught up with the band on where they are at now and where they might be headed.
The group formed out of lyricist Anouska Sokolow’s aversion to working as a solo act, and their music is testament to what bassist Tim Curtis and drummer Yuri Shibuichi brought to the framework. Where much bedroom indie guitar music can fall prey to meandering navel-gazing, Honeyglaze songs possess a momentum and a dynamic shape that show an attention to creating music as entertaining as it is expressive. The 11 tracks that form their eponymous debut balance a softness that gives appropriate room to the delicate confessional songs like ‘Burglar’ and ‘Young Looking’, while generating electric moments that elevate ear-catching pop tunes like ‘Shadows’ and ‘Female Lead’ to brilliant and dramatic self-deprecation.
‘Honeyglaze’ the album is an impressive feat, consistent and singular in spite of what we might expect of a piece completed relatively early in a band’s career. Sokolow captures their intent describing an, “urgency to record the songs as soon as possible”, which came to be indulged by their signing to Speedy Wunderground. Having previously set out to record an EP in Shibuichi’s bedroom, they found themselves newly unrestrained by practical limits with space to express themselves more completely, encouraged by producer and label boss Dan Carey. For a band whose appeal lies in their translation of bedroom pop rumination into impactful ensemble pieces, there was no better producer for a first album.
With an album behind them that was defined by Sokolow as, “keeping everything as simple and as true to the songwriting as possible”, the group are looking to the possibility of experimenting and composing together, noting that, “we’re all quite excited to push our abilities and the recording process”. She is relishing a new impetus for her songwriting, for which there is now a definite audience. “It’s really exciting and gives me motivation to push myself as a songwriter and lyricist”, she says, comparing the present situation to writing what became the trio’s self-titled album ‘Honeyglaze’, “never [having] any intention of anyone hearing most of the songs.”
Curtis adds that as a group, they have not moved to writing “to please an audience” they now know is there, but instead continue to make music they will “enjoy playing”. We might expect the unexpected from Honeyglaze going forward, Sokolow asserting that, “we don’t want to make the same record twice.”
The group express a commanding self-awareness concerning the privilege of their present position as well as the challenges the next few years may throw at them. Having been fast-tracked into the touring of a debut album on a highly-regarded indie label, they were exposed to a rush of insight into the machinery of the industry, even opening for the meteoric ubiquitous Wet Leg. Curtis explains that they take nothing for granted. “A music career is not something you can predict and has basically nothing to do with the actual process of writing and performing.” We should count ourselves lucky that they currently have the platform and the resources to execute their next move in ideal circumstances.
Catch a glimpse of what they’ve been working on this summer, either at their remaining festival dates at Green Man, Deershed and Manchester Psych Fest or at their most ambitious London headline show to date at the Jazz Café in autumn.