Band Of The Week // BALCONY
If hypnotic beats and entrancing vocals aren’t enough to entice you to slow down, then you need to quit lying to yourself because the new Balcony track certainly has us in the palm of their hands.
South London outfit Balcony straddle the border between a futuristic outlook in their innovative, genre-blending melodies, and the past with the timeless essence of good songwriting. Crafting infectious choruses and an ability to relate the listener to the track, there’s something novel about the club-ready R&B beats and the evocative electronics all hung over by a grand sense of melancholia.
Exploring an experience shared by many, the band’s new song Slow Down digs into the repercussions felt by both sides of a relationship when one side is rushing break-neck speed into implosion, and the weariness of the other side to try and keep up and maintain the relationship. With this comes a deep nostalgia that tugs at your heartstrings, and as the band lament ‘you don’t want to slow down’, you’ll be pressed to pause and reflect upon your own actions.
Speaking about the track, the band says:
Slow Down is a story of girl who was spinning out of control, and how difficult it was to try and keep up. Not wanting to give-up, it talks about showing how special you are together. As a reflection it’s almost melodramatic.
With the release of Slow Down, we caught up with the band to talk about the track, their fears and their dreams, and their love for older cinema.
Slow Down details a particular point in a relationship where it feels like the other person is going too fast; what advice would you have for someone in that situation?
Jamie: Don’t lose yourself. You can be blinded when you’re in love, and suddenly forget about your own well-being.
Jack: Runaway or enjoy the ride. As long as you learn from the ride the time’s never wasted.
Dave: Believe in that person, and their ability to come around, but always respect yourself and know when you can’t help them anymore or recognise when they don’t want to be helped. You can’t save everyone, and you’ll self-destruct trying to.
What do you think is something people should always slow down for?
Dave: It’s easy to live life with superficial connections with people, conversations are an art! They form strong human interactions and that’s a powerful thing, I see that art being lost.
Johno: Appreciating the little things in life is also important.
There seems to be a leaning towards a vintage visual aesthetic – how did this come about? How does it tie in with your music, if at all?
Jamie: We’re kind of obsessed with the screen-tests that Andy Warhol created in 1964, especially of Edie Sedgwick. Along with that, we sometimes write in a sort of Nostalgic tone, plus we also love the colour palette that Nostalgia creates. Both those ideas seemed to invoke a more vintage aesthetic. It’s an aesthetic we’ll always love.
Jack: The screen tests we have been creating stem from Warhol’s films of his Superstars, which in turn was born from his obsession with photo booths and wanting to capture the moments in between the frames. A true, naked, no holes barred portrait of people’s souls. We’re all intoxicated by older cinema in general, and teen American movies by the likes of John Hughes, undoubtedly influence our songs.
What’s a motto you live by?
Jack: The Time Of Your Life – by William Saroyan is my roadmap to life.
If your sound had a colour, what colour would it be and why?
Jamie: Right now, I’d say a dark grainy red, almost like an old London exposed brick wall.
Dave: Every track emotes a different colour for me, I can’t assign a single shade to our overall sound, and that’s what’s so great about writing, we don’t feel constrained to fulfil a genre, we’re free to create whatever colour we feel that day.
If you could set Slow Down to a movie, which movie would it be the soundtrack to and why?
Jamie: Not sure about a movie, but if it was TV show, I’d have to say The OC. It’d definitely be something that reflected how Ryan saw/thought of Marissa.
Name one thing you’re scared of.
Jack: The technological singularity. Societal reliance on technology in general terrifies me. A chip in my arm to pay for tube tickets etc is far too dystopic and my idea of hell.
What’s your ultimate dream?
Jamie: Playing the O2, and everyone is singing back to you.
Johno: To play arena tours for sure.
Dave: I had a dream, where a statue sucked all the colour out of my dream, right into its mouth, when all the colour was gone the statues eyes opened and I woke up. Read into that one real quick.
Jack: To marry Dave.
And a cliché question, what does music mean to you?
Jack and Johno: To begin with.. everything. Shamelessly quoting ‘Almost Famous’ with a cliché answer.