Belleruche are the Tru Thoughts three-piece with a knack for sweet sounding soul music that’s got an abundance of electronic undercurrents. In preemption of their upcoming album Rollerchain which is out on the 7th May, they’ve released the single Stormbird in all of its game-changing glory. You can’t take the soulful turntable funk that they’re renowned for out of what they do, but they’ve developed it and changed it and turned it into something gratifyingly and eccentrically contemporary. I caught up with Belleruche to chat about their new direction, and music and the like.
We’re currently all based in Hackney/Clapton in East London, which is handy for Turkish food, expensive coffee and bad driving.
Listening to your first albums, it sounds like the kind of music you’d love to find in a dingy, smoke filled bar in New Orleans, red-eyed and warm drunk off of whiskey. The new single Stormbird is different, like sipping a beer at a red-lit, underground venue in Brooklyn, where’s the change in direction come from?
I think we’ve been gradually changing what we do over time, there’s certainly no plan behind it all, but we all like lots of different music and listening to new stuff always informs what you make. Not in a direct way, like ‘let’s make it sound like this’, it’s more of a drip feed of sound and styles. I think this is the most ‘modern’ sounding record we’ve made, and I’ve been listening to older and older music whilst we made it… so I don’t know what that means – some sort of inverse relationship between the two. The more ancient blues and pre war American folk you listen too, the more digital drum distortion you like…
Does this persist throughout the album?
Yes, I think Stormbird is fairly representative of the way we put the record together… not that the other tracks sound like it, but there are more instruments than on the last album, and more sequenced noises. There’s lots of different styles of song on the thing, but I think it’s quite cohesive as a record, which we’re proud of. It sounds like an album I think.
What’s the creative process been like?
Having our own studio with 24 hour access for the recording of this record has been amazing, previously we’ve been fitting in recording around touring, working and other stuff, and to have the time to actually get the sounds to where we wanted them to be was very satisfying. I don’t recommend doing 20hr days in a windowless studio to everyone, as it’s an acquired taste… but I like it…
When and what have you got planned for the record’s release?
We’ll be touring for all of May and some of June, so if you are in the UK, Germany, France or Switzerland, then come along and see how the album works live.
In an ideal world what would you be doing off the back of it?
It would be good to get more shows and see what happens at them, it’s looking like we’ve got some festivals to do over the summer, and as for after that, we’ll just have to wait and see. Probably start building a new studio though, I miss the old one already…
You’ve been all around the globe playing music, which have been the most interesting places to play?
Getting to go to SXSW in Texas last year was a weird and strange experience, so much music and so much beer. Getting to go to the USA on the previous tour too, and play shows and buy records whilst being there… that was fun, shame about weight restrictions on the way back though.
You supported Fat Freddy’s Drop a while back, now that’s got to have been a fun collection of shows?
Yes, they have an amazing and very loyal fan base of Kiwis, when we played with them at the Hammersmith Apollo it was like being in Auckland…
Did you take anything from them influentially… or physically?
Influentially, maybe their way of mixing their live sound on stage, it’s an interesting way of doing things.
I’ve read a lot about your week of iTunes fame with Anything You Want claiming the Single of the Week. Was that an exciting seven days?
It was good to get the support, from what I remember we were dragging ourselves around France on tour that week though, so we were probably too tired and hungover to appreciate the glory of success… or something like that.
If you want to check them out, which you do, they are playing at the Scala on the 31st of May, of which you can buy tickets here http://www.soundcrashmusic.com/belleruche-live/. If you want to hear Stormbird, which you do, you can here http://www.belleruche.com/. But in all seriousness, if you want to listen to some turntable trip hop soul blues and move in ways you never thought possible, which you do (who wouldn’t?)… Go listen to Belleruche’s music because they sound just great.