Interview // Litany
We caught up with Jake Nicolaides (production) and Beth Cornell (vocals) of Harrogate-based Litany as they work on their second EP. We discuss musical inspiration and how they reduce their use of single-use plastics on tour.
Who are Litany?
Litany have been bringing their own brand of alt-pop to the foray for the past few years. Born in the 90s and brought up on a musical diet ranging from Kate Bush and George Michael to The Strokes and Jamiroquai.
In June 2015, the duo reached Number 1 in the Hype Machine chart with 'Woman', a trans-Atlantic collaboration between friend and rapper 'Appleby'. The song gained huge traction online and soon became a cult hit.
Soon after, December saw the release of their first official single 'Work This Out'. Quickly racking up a million streams, the song was also featured on E4's 'Made in Chelsea' and MTV's 'Scream' seeing the band soar in popularity.
How did you guys meet?
"We met in school aged 13 during a Battle of the Bands style contest that we both entered. Although we lost, we became really good friends and have been ever since!"
How would you best describe your sound?
"I think we have a very nostalgic sound. We're always trying to evoke a certain vibe or emotion in every song we make and try to use as many references as possible to ensure we really capture a feeling or memory when we're writing."
What's the influence behind the new record? How has your sound evolved?
"We've been really into those classic, ear-worm dance tracks of the early 90's. Specifically, records like ‘Voodoo Ray’ by A Guy Called Gerald and ‘Good Life’ by Inner City."
"We're constantly trying to do new things with our sound - we like to cast a fairly wide net with our influences and collage things together that haven't been tried before. We like to think every one of our songs is a progression from the last one, but in a way that is cohesive and natural."
When can we get our hands/ears on it?
"We don't have any concrete release date just yet but we're aiming to get it out within the next few months. Very excited for everyone to hear what we’ve been working on!"
What are you currently listening to? Any recommendations for the Stay Sixty office playlist?
"There’s so much exciting music out right now but Jake's really been enjoying The War On Drugs new album 'A Deeper Understanding' and MGMT's 'Little Dark Age’. Beth’s been rinsing Miguel's 'War & Leisure' and also the new Charlie XCX mix-tape ‘Pop 2’, it’s filled with bangers and exciting collaborations."
What's your biggest 'pinch yourself moment' so far?
"I think it’d have to be our first headline London show. It completely sold out and every member of the audience was singing our songs back to us and dancing… it was incredible! Most definitely the highlight of our live career so far."
With the increased awareness around plastic pollution are you taking any steps to reduce your usage?
"We've both started taking Tupperware boxes and re-usable water bottles into the studio instead of buying on-the-go which not only helps us cut down on plastic, but it helps our pockets too!"
It must be hard to stay on top form whilst gigging? Is there anything you do in particular?
"We’re big believers in the ‘no alcohol before the show’ rule. It helps us feel more connected to the audience. Sushi has also become a rehearsal staple for us and our live band. It’s great brain food!"
Listen to Litany's latest track 'Bedroom' below: