Your weekly go-to new music guide brought to you by our London music journo, Peggy as she uncovers the latest ‘bands and artists to watch’ in the post-punk, new wave, jazz and indie communities. This week she discusses the difficulties of karaoke, existential crisis' and keeping on 'The Straight and Narrow' with North London alt-punk, Yaglander.
Hailing from Cardiff, Cornwall and now North London, can you pinpoint when and where you became inspired to start creating music? When I was around 15 I got my first guitar, and from then on I started making music I guess. Not sure what inspired me to get a guitar but bands like Radiohead really opened my eyes to what you could do with music. On first listen, I found myself eagerly enthused by your sumptuous blend of alt-pop melodies, layered with lo-fi, punk-rock vocals not dissimilar to Richard Hell. From which artists and genres do you feel you take influence? For this project I took influence from bands from the late 70s and early 80s, post punk and new wave music mostly. I don’t think it was totally intentional, I didn’t sit down and decide I was going to do “this kind of music”, I just fell into it. You recently released your debut three-track EP, ‘The Straight and Narrow’. What subjects and/or themes do you seek to tackle throughout the EP? Major themes would be internal issues: self doubt, confidences, the anxieties of mundane life. All the jolly stuff, basically. I’m not a doom and gloom kind of person but at the time I’d just moved back to my parents and I was making a fresh new start, and with that you definitely have those existential thoughts looming over you. Do you have a personal favourite track on the EP? Probably 'Out to Dry' – it’s the only song where it was mostly written and recorded within a day and normally when that happens, I tend to dislike the track the next day. But even to this day I still enjoy it.
The accompanying music video for ‘The Straight and Narrow’ single has an endearingly DIY feel too it (do we have a British Mac DeMarco in our midst…). How did you go about creating the video and can you let us in on any outtake moments from filming? Haha definitely not. We both liked King Krule's video ‘Hello World’ and wanted to do something similar with the editing and the bleak look it had. It was freezing cold and filming in public can be quite embarrassing. Finding footage for the karaoke scene was a lot more difficult than I expected as well, fear of copyright and all that stuff. North London is well known as a prospering hub for musicians and gig venues alike. If you could have a round of drinks with any musician(s), who and in which boozer would it be? That’s a tough one. I really like the 'Rose & Crown' in Kentish Town, it’s really small and doesn’t get much praise but I like how relaxed it is. Which musician would I go there with? Well… Brian Eno? I wouldn’t mind picking at his brain. Pandemic willing, what can we look forward to next on your agenda for 2020? Hopefully gig when it’s safe to do so, I’ve yet to play a Yag show. In the meantime, write and record and maybe release a single or EP before the years over.