Saturday, 14 April 2012

Indietracks interview #5: The Rosie Taylor Project

The Rosie Taylor Project originally hail from Leeds and have now relocated to London. They were signed after just a handful of gigs and released their debut album 'This City Draws Maps' on Bad Sneakers Records in 2008. Live shows followed with Camera Obscura, Midlake, Jens Lekman and Jeffrey Lewis, as well as an Indietracks 2008 appearance and several live sessions for Marc Riley on BBC 6Music.

The band recently returned to the studio to record their second album 'Twin Beds' (Odd Box Records). The album includes the single 'Sleep', which picked up radio play on BBC Radio 1, 2 and 6. Produced by Richard Formby (Wild Beasts, Herman Dune) and with a guest vocal appearance from Wild Beasts’ singer Tom Fleming, the album has picked up rave reviews. Sam from the Rosie Taylor Project joined us for a quick chat.

Your first album came out in 2008. Why the gap between then and your new album?

We started recording Twin Beds in 2009 and figured by 2010 it'd be released but then there were health issues, personnel swaps and our original label folded. To reach a point where we could release and promote the album took some time but it has allowed us to grow with the songs. We're really happy with the results and that we've once again put it out through a great independent label.

When we last interviewed you in 2008 you were a Leeds band. Now you're mostly London. What was behind the switch?

Leeds is special place and we loved our time there. It almost makes you believe Tom Courtenay's character in the Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner when he claims 'There's other places besides London you know?', but he's not quite right. What he perhaps came to learn is that 'for three years or so there's other places besides London, but after that you'll probably be thinking about London'.

Please tell us a bit about the new album 'Twin Beds'. You've described your new record as a product of the new 'depression era'?

The depression era comment simply refers to the fact that the lyrical content transpired to be a record of smaller observations rather than a record of grand plans, something which a recession tends to reel in. There's a lot of loss in Twin Beds, loss of love, loss through death, loss simply by losing routine, like in 'For Esme', should his cherished boats not return one summer. These occasions will tend to bring a renewed appreciation of the smaller things.

The album has received great reviews, and you've been compared with Jens Lekman, Fanfarlo, Elliot Smith and Low, among others. Which comparisons are you most comfortable or happiest with?

We would be most happy with beyond comparison but those are all great artists so that can only be welcomed. Though it's an odd feeling when you repeatedly get compared to someone you've never really listened to, and this may come as a surprise, a band like Belle & Sebastian.

Jonny and Shakey directed the video to Sleep. How did you find that experience? How important are videos to the band?

It's very liberating to be in control of any content you create and filming 'Sleep' was just beautiful. Most of it we shot in St Ives last spring; essentially we were on holiday. I think if every time we make a video we are required to go on holiday then I would say, certainly, they are extraordinarily important to this band.

What's next for the band? Will there be any more releases in 2012 to follow up the album?

The single 'Every Morning (and For The Rest of our Lives)' is our next release through Odd Box Records. Shakey has made another video for it that we're on the brink of sharing with you. More shows, they're fun to do, and all the time we'll be working on the follow up to Twin Beds.

What are your favourite memories from Indietracks 2008 and what are you most looking forward to this year?

The sunshine driving the somewhat pale (but none the less beautiful) crowd to hide underneath train carriages in search of shade was a personal highlight. Indiepop fans and blazing sunshine are not natural bed fellows

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