“Our music is for us”.
No end/start of year lists at TheZineUK. Our ongoing story proves it’s tips. Still though, we suggest that you get rock alternators, Couples, on your a.s.a.p. must hear/see bucket list!
It’s no secret how there is a noticeable adoration for this London five piece from quite a few of TheZineUK crew. Stand alone musicality emitting grunge strewn, post-“Post-Punk” engagement. Washes of ambience, waves of groove, tangos of tempo from musical and vocal instruments orchestrating a blissfully addictive presence. Therapeutic primal live show release.
Organically woven into the Fertile Environment.
In Feb. 2017, The Velvet Hands played a support slot at Camden Monarch for Mark Beaumont (NME, The Guardian). Couples‘ singer, Conor, is down the front in our video clip, Newer Wave vibrations, man….
December 2019, swapped places at The Music People Party with The Velvet Hands down the front for fellow Cornwall rockers, The Rezner, and headliners, Couples. These multi layered and faceted groups are all part of a genuine NOW happening.
The Velvet Hands tipped us off about Couples, and the clincher was in Feb. 2018: Simon Williams of our allies, Benumu, jumped on a megabus to Cardiff with Dizzy and Caffy (for The Blinders – we met up with Bill from God Is In The TV, there). What better way to chat exciting new bands than on a punked safari! Two days later, we were down the front, “Instantly smitten” with catching Couples at Benumu live.
The threads of this tapestry weave and achieve. Music fans working as artist allies, firm up the interdependent circuit, industry and media. Seeds are starting to bloom.
Couples articulate the times. High of relevance, ‘Rip ‘Em Out’, is a dynamically youthquake dynamite anthem of Resistance.
Monefa caught an interview with guitarist, Tamsin, at the end of 2019 and started by asking;
“You’ve been moving fast throughout the music scene? What are the next plans for 2020?”
“Well, in 2020, we all graduate university, so we’re hoping to really step things up from that point. We just signed to management at End Of The Trail Creative, which we’re all excited about and we’re confident that will bring some great opportunities our way.
Other than that, we’re still very aware that we have a single and an EP that we’ve been teasing for a while, so to get some releases out will be our main goal.”
This is all good news, plus more of our allies and fave artists finding each other is a bonus! Small music venues are where to be.
“Do you find at times, that some of the biggest irritations in the industry, also help to drive you in creating music?”
“Yeah, for sure. When we first started we hit a lot of brick walls which was quite frustrating but I think as we get a bit older and our music gets better we don’t really think about the ‘industry’.
We have some great people around us that have always been really supportive, so as long as that stays constant then we don’t really see the point in worrying about whether the music industry machine will accept us or not. Our music is for us.”
It sometimes feels like outsiders of the machine are growing on kismet and compulsion. Musicals, like Couples, have freshened ways of working together. On a different topic to music…
“Any films you’ve really been into this year?”
‘Parasite’, ‘The Irishman’, ‘Marriage Story’, ‘Knives Out’ – to name a few ! We also really want to see ‘JoJo Rabbit’ when it comes out.”
“…and which bands are you currently enjoying?”
“We’re listening to a lot of YOWL at the moment. Their EP is a complete cracker – really great songs. They’re a band that Conor and me (Tamsin) have been watching for a really long time, so it’s nice to see them getting the recognition they deserve. As well as that, we’ve been listening to Swans, Tropical Fuck Storm, Black Country New Road, Sports Team, Protomartyr… There are five of us, so we collectively listen to a lot of different music.”
Gotta say that tropical fuck storm would also make a great description one band genre for Couples.
A collective amalgamate of sounds, simultaneously tearing and soldering gave Couples their busiest year so far including being part of the sold out CroCroLand moment (picking up many new fans, including John Kennedy of Radio X, who played ‘Rip ‘Em Out’ on his show).
Plus The Brighton Mix Up (3 Day Festival at The Black Lion) and Live Circuit’s sold out Halloween All Dayer.
Throughout the year they also played various Benumu shows including UK dates on their War Child / Orange Amps tour. Mancunion reported “Couples are undoubtedly on the cusp of a whirlwind pilgrimage into the depths of the alternative industry.” Spot on.
2019 ended with The Blinders (For The Many tour) then headlining The Music People Party. Couples are out choice to kick the next decade’s arse and their stunning set was really something to witness, laying the foundations of resistant, furious fun. So…
“Any new music coming from Couples?”
“YES! We’ll get our shit together in the new year and release a single, then an EP after that.”
“If you had one goal to achieve in 2020, what would it be?
“Releasing an EP is something we really want to get done, just so we can tour it and play live with more of a narrative behind us. At the moment they’re just songs and we’d quite like to contextualise that, even if only in our own heads. Book-ending what we’ve written and moving on to write more.”
Described as “a revelation” by Little Indie Blogs, this is one of the bands that our team dig, deeply and excitedly. Our allies, also. Look out for a filmed interview which Louise Schofield TV did at The Music People Party with these personable musicians. Watch this space.
On 23rd January, Couples are one of Modern Age Music’s Ones To Watch 2020 (at The Social, Central London). Grab tickets to the start of their next chapters, here.
Thank you so so much for the interviews and exhilarating live show, seeya again soon.
Multi-talent Monefa is Caffy’s assistant PR Princess at ArtBeat and a piano playing star. A regular contributor to The Zine UK both online and at our socials.