London’s very own Another Sky released their debut album “I Slept On the Floor” via legendary label Fiction Records, and I, Charlotte Staunton Gill, had the pleasure of chatting to Catrin about what the band have been up to and what’s in store for future shows.
Since the release of their debut single in 2018, Another Sky have flawlessly merged hard-hitting, difficult topics with unparalleled cinematic sounds, grappling with the topics of toxic relationships, childhood trauma, systematic elitism, Brexit Britain, the rise of Donald Trump and much more.
I Slept on the Floor is so unique, when listening to the album I could feel inspiration from other musicians, movies etc and seconds later I was proven wrong. It’s an album that is ever-changing and growing. Elements of the tracks where you think they sound familiar, you soon come to realise that they’re only familiar because you’ve lived what Another Sky are describing so well. There’s a euphoric hopefulness in the sounds of “I Slept On The Floor”. During our discussion, Catrin describes hope of future shows being theatrical and “movie like” and this reflects the experience of listening to her music. I am a sucker for an album with lots of details and Another Sky delivered just that. This is an extremely talented group of people, with Catrin Vincent having directed the single “I Fell In Love With The City” music video and also having editing credit with Theo Broughton.
How are you all feeling now the record is out there?
Overwhelmed. We didn’t think it would go this well. We’re trying to catch up and do interviews and try to make the most of it.
I enjoy the fact that the album is available on so many different forms of music – you have your digital streams on all major platforms, but then also cd, vinyl and cassette. How do you consume music?
For me I love long car journeys because I can put on an album and listen the whole way through. That’s how I consume music, when I have to go somewhere… or in the bath. I need to listen to a full body of work because you can lose some gems if you don’t appreciate a full album. If you put on the first track and you skip it and you don’t like it there’s going to be a song you do like in there. That’s the old way of listening to these albums.
I’ve seen from interviews that you talk about healing and growing and I personally love that and feel like that has a lot to do with nature and also with being a woman; we consciously or subconsciously have so many links to nature.
Was it a conscious decision to have nature/ elements references on the album, songs like Tree, riverbed, only rain etc?
It wasn’t conscious at all. I think especially for women lyricists who are inspired by Sylvia Plath and poetry, I think nature without us even realising does make its way into lyrics and I think women heavily use metaphors as well. I felt like when growing up I had to hide a bit more and you can hide in a natural metaphor. I realised half way through writing the album and said “Come on, you can be more blunt” and actually Phoebe Bridges with her blunt lyrics inspired me to kinda do that. Just say what I really meant.
You’re due to play Leeds Hyde Park Book Club in November. (Fun fact – that was the first place I went for a drink as I emerged when lockdown restrictions were eased – and it was a banging pint!)
A large percentage of your tour (if not all of it) are at really great indie venues, including ours truly Hyde Park Book Club. What comes to mind when you think of Leeds/ playing in Leeds?
We’re really excited to play at Hyde Park Book Club. It’s kinda a famous one. It’s a rite of passage, so we’re super excited about that one. Excited to play Birmingham Sunflower Lounge, too, as that’s sold out; and to play Earth Hackney because that’s a big one.
I remember visiting as a teenager and I really love Leeds. I don’t know what it is, it’s a feeling in the air. In comparison to London, it’s really friendly environment. I’m happy to come and explore these places you wouldn’t normally see and there’s a huge music scene there so it’s really exciting to come play.
Have you anything in store for fans that are due to see you on the road this year?
We just want to make our live shows as dramatic and theatrical as possible, especially with Coronavirus. If people aren’t allowed to cheer it’s just going to have to be like a movie. We actually found it hard and difficult to start playing festivals as a lot of our songs were quite slow. So maybe it might be really good for us to say “Sit down; don’t talk; we’re taking you on a ride”.
Another Sky has been involved in spreading awareness of the BLM movement on your socials and you’ve posted on your own insta about your stance on humanitarian crises and political topics. How do you think the music industry will change, with so many artists using their voices now?
I’ve been thinking about it all week. These questions get asked a lot. I’ve been forced to think about it. I just hope it can continue to be pushed to the forefront. It felt like there’s been a major change with this huge second wave or resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, because it felt like people were forced to be speaking out. People just couldn’t ignore it any more and I think musicians can have the most sympathy because of the way we live and how hard we have to work to get noticed by the music industry. The music industry is this very capitalist system, so if you’re at the bottom and you’re doing open mic nights you don’t get money and you don’t see money.
It’s very fractured; there’s all these different avenues: there’s SoundCloud, there’s Spotify, radio and they don’t necessarily work together, so it’s quite a difficult industry to navigate. I think musicians kind of turn to humanitarian crises because they don’t live 9-5 jobs where they don’t really have to worry about financial stuff. They do go hand in hand and everything exists in a system at the moment and that system is fighting back and using dirty tactics to discourage people when they speak out, so it’s a really difficult world, but if we keep on speaking out, hopefully there will be change.
As well as brilliant, encouraging and empowering messages on social media, I have also seen that you guys have been able to sign albums and do piano tutorials etc as run up to releasing the album, What were some of the highlights of releasing your debut so far?
I think when we got billboards it sunk in. We were like Oh! My God! This is super weird. On the first day of the album release, we got in the top ten which we didn’t expect. So many things have happened, though, that’ve made us feel this is real now. We ticked off Tiny Desk and Jools Holland, and because we’re still such a small band to be performing on those platforms. We kinda felt like omg where do we go now? There’s so much more we can do but it is weird ticking off this bucket list quite early.
You can listen to Another Sky’s brilliant debut album “I Slept On The Floor” now, and dates for their upcoming tour in November are currently on sale.
LIVE DATES 2020
11th November – EartH, London
19th November – Think Tank, Newcastle
20th November – King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow
21st November – Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds
26th November – The Bullingdon, Oxford
27th November – Star & Garter, Manchester
28th November– The Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham
3rd December – The Hope & Ruin, Brighton
4th December – Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff
5th December – The Louisiana, Bristol
Images by Parri Thomas provided by Chuff Media.