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Lunacre reflect on the making of their new single “Red Sky”

“You look tired like you’ve heard this all before,” frontman Ben de Vries sings on the pre-chorus of Lunacre’s new single “Red Sky.” It’s an almost ironic sentiment when put into context, because the sound of London four-piece Lunacre is far from familiar.

Whether it be the slow and dreamy previous single “Love Being Lost,” or the dark and brooding lyricism on their EP Schtum, this band have always excelled at creating unique and self-reflective music with an edge. On “Red Sky” they take things a step further. Boasting an array of fast paced drums and sharp guitar licks, the song builds and builds before letting loose in the last third, allowing a layer of synths and vocals that had been nestled in the background to soar to the front, rounding off the track with a satisfying wall of sound.

It’s subtle, but this track proves Lunacre to be a band who are looking to push both themselves and their music, making the next EP Pearl Tabloid an absolute must listen.

Can you talk a little about the conception of a song like this? There’s so much going on both lyrically and instrumentally, does that come out of sessions or does someone come to the table with a fully formed idea of how the song’s going to work?

Ben de Vries: This particular song “Red Sky” came out of a writing session with me and Scott our guitarist. Our starting point was actually sampling the drums from “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift. We looped them and used it as an upbeat springboard into the keyboard part which starts the track. In that session we got the basic verse chorus progressions down, and we fine-tuned it by jamming and doing drum sessions with JP, where he brought his own take on our initial drum sample to the table. The music and a few snippets of lyric came easily and quickly, but I spent a lot of time with the instrumental, playing it on a lot of different instruments before I finally felt I was writing from the right place for the track. Compared to a lot of our songs it felt very direct musically, and I wanted the lyrics to match that.

Your lyrics have always felt very introspective—is it easy to put those thoughts out there, or is there ever any desire to hold things back?

It feels empowering putting those thoughts out there. It’s exciting being able to write about whatever’s going on, with varying degrees of obscurity depending on the subject matter, and air it in public. I really enjoy hearing peoples interpretations of the lyrics too, especially when they take something widely different from it. I’d like to think I’m always moving forward and getting more direct with the lyrics, but it’s a journey. I find there is always a fear of putting yourself out there completely honestly and being hurt or rejected when in a vulnerable place. Varying degrees of veiled meaning can help cushion you from that.

In a recent interview you said that some tracks on the new EP have been around since the band formed, and others were created in the last few months. What makes this the right time to hear the older tracks, and which side of the fence does “Red Sky” fall?

“Red Sky” is one of the newer ones. I was writing the lyrics around the time that Hurricane Ophelia made the sky in the UK orange this year, which is where the title came from. So the title doesn’t really relate to the lyrics of the song, it’s more of a date stamp. The B-side for the single “Whimsey Indigo Lobo” has been around since 2014 though. The first iteration of it was called “Lunarcrete,” (a typo of which gave us our band name), and was a track which I made and repeatedly borrowed sounds from for other tracks (most recently for “Red Sky”) until we decided for this EP it would be nice to include it. The EP will also include a song called “April Fool”, which has been the closing track for the majority of our gigs since we started in 2014. I’m very excited for that to see the light of day as we feel this version captures the energy of our live show in a way which previous scrapped studio versions hadn’t.

Music is often a way to take a break from the real world. Now it’s part of the job does it remain that way, or have you ever found yourself having to take a break from music?

It’s definitely important to take a break from music, I find that when I don’t, everything I make starts to sound sluggish. Like most things I find music most rewarding when it’s part of a balanced diet. Though there are times when it calls for you be to completely consumed for a while, and when the time is right that can lead to great results. 

So the new single’s finally out, is there any kind of celebration or are you keeping things low key? Big night out? Few drinks in? Cheeky Nandos? 

No huge celebration just yet. Very excited to have put three of the seven EP tracks out, but currently we’re putting our live show under a microscope and getting ready to play more gigs. We have a few things which we’ve wanted to be a part of the live show for a while, and we’re exploring that at the moment. The big celebration will be releasing the next single and full EP early next year. We will probably put on a launch party for that.

LUNACRE headlines our showcase at DIY London Sunday Oct 28. Details here.

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