Bristol based trio Elder Island is premiering their new music video for their latest single ‘Welcome State’. They worked with artist Aurelia Lange to create this enchanting illustrated video.
Aurelia Lange: “Welcome State had been a collaboration between Aurelia Lange and Elder Island focusing on Katy Sargent’s lyrical influences drawn from memories of family holidays at a time in your life ( I imagine at the age of 8-10 ) where ideally you have the freedom from responsibilities and can exist in the care of the world around you.”
We caught up with Elder Island to talk about their music and upcoming festivals.
How did Elder Island come together?
We started playing music together whilst at university studying a range of creative subjects. Dave and Luke had known each other since they were boys and had grown musically together playing in bands. Firstly experimenting as a duo in Bristol there was a slight teasing abduction of Katy after hearing her hiding away re-learning the cello. Some loose folky ‘avant-garde’ recordings ensued under differing names, but it wasn’t until we had a collection of songs we were mildly pleased with that Elder Island was truly formed.
Where does the name Elder Island come from?
As a collective we have a slight fondness for botany. Whilst also having a small hobby in cartography. We played a relatively long running game of word snap and up came Elder Island. Later we found out it was a real place situated in the Northern Canadian Artic. We quite liked this and more importantly, we really needed a name.
Where does the composing process usually begin from when writing a new song?
The composing process usually begins with long recorded hours of us noodling around. Often we will listen back, have a little edit or cut around then go again playing it out. The time we spend in these first primal recordings allow Ideas to be thrown out and to bounce off each other. Sometimes it harvests strong outcomes that lead way to naturally occurring arrangements but others with dead ends or often short bursts of inspiration amongst hours of dirge which is difficultly but rightfully discarded. Its always the diamonds in the ruff that are the hardest to deal with as you never feel anything can close up to what you have but when finally expanded into a full piece can be the most rewarding.
Your latest single ‘Welcome State’ is fantastic, where did the inspiration for that song come from?
From the beginning I remember listening to a piece of music Dave had been playing with that had decidedly strong beach vibes going on. I suppose I drifted on from that whilst we worked on the track. It gravitated into what now is a slight nostalgic remembrance of being young and spending summers with my family. I think Aurelia who worked on the video with us was able to capture it better in words and imagery than I ever could. She said it evoked those ideas of environments that hold you as much as a person could. About youthful obliviousness and the mystery and love that can surround you as a child. I think she got it spot on.
How did the connection with Aurelia Lange come about, and were you guys involved heavily in the creative process for the music video?
We met Aurelia years ago high on top of a wet and windy hill at Glastonbury back when Aurelia was living in Bristol, we soon became friends and discovered that she was a brilliant artist and illustrator. We’ve been fans of her work for a long time but with ‘Welcome State’ it felt like the right time to collaborate with her. Her style matched what we saw visually for the song and in this way we could sit tight and trust that what she came back with was something that would work well and that we would love. She recognised the themes and feel of the track straight away so in terms of the creative process all we provided was the lyrics, premise, a few old photographs from Katy’s childhood holidays and the song itself. She worked the magic.
Touring with Glass Animals must have been amazing, how was that for you guys?
A big eye opener. We all loved every second. It was our first tour of any kind and was a huge thing to jump into without much time to prepare so we brought home a lot from it. There were minimal sleep downs and stunning scenery ups. We were playing in some of Europe’s most incredible venues and had some really stunning shows, even performances that felt like they’d not quite gone to plan were met with an incredible response from everyone after. We met some great people along the journey all receptive and welcoming and the Glass Animals crowd were pioneers to this, we owe them a very good time.
You also have a lot of festivals coming up this Summer, which one’s are you most excited for?
Looking forward to them all to be honest. Just got back from playing ‘Samphire’ this weekend which was a really enjoyable festival. Farmfest is up there though as we have a really big crew going so the energy levels will be high.
There’s a lot of focus on your live sets, how did you guys put that together?
Lots of time, experimenting and much practice. We perform in a similar way to how we create music which gives our electronic approach a very live feel. Building layers and parts using live looping and sequencers. It’s a hard balance between keeping the set fluid, the songs sounding as they did in the days we created them whilst also trying to keep true to the recorded track as much as possible.
Any words for aspiring up and coming musicians?
Stick at it and don’t let yourself feel swayed into anything you don’t want to do, it will always show through. Educate yourself as much as possible business wise and keep your finger on the pulse because, the whole industry is changing and developing fast, hopefully for the better, catching up in this digital age to be more profitable for musicians. Mainly though just enjoy what you’re doing as there’s not much point in doing it otherwise ay.