London/Brighton based band, Moonlands, have recently released their debut EP, Paradise Blue. With the distinctive, sugar-coated vocals of Norfolk-born front-woman, Lucy Elliot, Moonlands create a swooning atmosphere of lethargic summer days that showcases the band’s talent for creating perfect indie-pop anthems. We caught up with the band to talk influences, gender equality and plans for the future…
For readers who have yet to be put under your spell, could you give a brief biography of Moonlands and how the outfit came together?
Joel B and Joel F have known each other since they were 3 years old and spent most of their early teenage years trying and failing to win school ‘Battle of the Bands’ competitions. Lucy and Joel F met at university where they formed a band called ‘We Spies’, who gigged a lot around Brighton. We Spies split shortly after university and Joel B left his band, The Archetypes.
After a while of not making any music, we decided to jam as a three piece and eventually found Josh on the internet.
Your debut EP, Paradise Blue, was released last year. What are the ideas and the inspirations behind the three tracks?
I guess we wanted the EP to be moody, cinematic and catchy. ‘Years’ was the first track we wrote as a band. It came about through Joel F messing around with his delay pedal. We wanted a punky sound for the verses with a big pop chorus.
Paradise Blue started with a demo Lucy made. At the demo stage it was more of a slow dream-pop song. When we transferred it to the band, we kept the spacey verses, but felt we needed a chorus with a bigger impact.
‘Prom Song’ was influenced by a number of different dance/prom scenes from coming of age films and teen horrors.
Off the back of Paradise Blue EP, are there immediate plans for another 2015 release from Moonlands?
We’ve just put out two new songs ‘Fall For Me’ and ‘Out of The Blue’. We’ve got loads more new material we’d love to record at some point.
If you could sum up the sound of the band in one phrase, what would it be?
Behind every great woman, there are three idiots.
You’ve got a lot of support from BBC Introducing Norfolk and are due to perform a session for them this summer. Would you recommend new artists to get involved with BBC Introducing?
Yes. It is a great way for unsigned bands to get their music played on the radio. There’s no conspiracy to keep good music off the air with BBC Introducing.
Lucy, with you being the front-woman of Moonlands, what are your views on gender equality in the music industry?
Although I don’t believe I’ve ever been prevented from having opportunities in music based on my gender, it’s still a novelty to see women in bands. It’s highlighted as the distinguishing feature in bios and reviews because it’s still not the norm. I think there’s a need for gender equality in all walks of life, and music could be a great platform for change in that regard. I know I’ve always been inspired by other female musicians – Debbie Harry [Blondie], Kim Deal [Pixies, The Breeders], Kim Gordon [Sonic Youth], Karen O [Yeah, Yeah Yeahs] – to play and write my own music. While there are some great women in music, there’s always room for more.
Can we expect to see you on the road any time soon?
We are hoping for a busy summer gigging and playing festivals. Be sure to look for updates on our Facebook page.
Moonlands, if you could pick one previously-released debut record to release under your own name, what would it be and why?
It’s a tough one, we realised that a lot of our favourite bands went on to make their best work later in their careers. We’ve all got our different answers to this question, but one album we all really like is The Strokes – Is This It? It may seem like an obvious choice, but it’s just a consistently brilliant album all the way through.
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer these questions!