If you don’t know Manchester’s indie rockers Larkins, nows the time to listen up.
Named in the NME ‘100 for 2020’ at the start of the year, Larkins’ arena-scale blend of anthemic, synth-laden alt-pop reverberates with a growing number of fans with each subsequent release.
Following their previous offering for 2019, the “TV Dream” EP, and single ‘Not Enough Love’ which amassed 5 million alone, they’re back for 2020 with their latest synth-infused pop-rock track ‘Are We Having Any Fun Yet?’.
Drawing some similarities to The 1975 with its anthemic, thudding bassline and hyper-personal lyricism from frontman Josh Noble, there is truly something about it that’s just that signature Larkins vibe and we are here for it – so much so we thought we’d sit down with the guitar-poppers.
Hey guys, thanks for chatting to Forte! First up, can you give our readers a little introduction to the band – who are you and what are you about?
Heya! We are Larkins from Manchester, England. We just wanna make music that you can sing back to us at the top of your lungs.
Congrats on the release of your ‘Are We Having Any Fun Yet’. We understand this is lifted from your 2019 live album, recorded at the Albert Hall in Manchester. What was the decision-making process behind taking this particular song into the studio?
We actually had half the song recorded at that point which is why the ending is different on the live version. This track kinda marks a completely fresh vibe for us, it’s the first time we’ve ever released a track like this and it goes off so much when we play it live, people really latched onto it way before there was a recording out, it’s been a staple in our live set for the last year and a half so we’ve been so psyched that people of reacted so well to the studio recording.
We are really digging the synth-infused pop-rock vibes on the track. Who are some of your main influences?
We just have so many influences. I think at the time of recording AWHAFY we were listening to alot of Bon Iver, especially ‘22, A Million’. Then we’ve kinda always loved how The Killers put together their songs, very warm sounding with the vocal front and center, I think that was a big influence. I think we’re really striving to create this weird amalgamation of that LA sound but with big British crunchy guitars and lots and lots of bass.
You worked with some well-respected names in the music industry in pulling this track together, including Dan Nigro (Conan Gray, Sky Ferreira) and Andrew Dawson (Kanye West, Childish Gambino). What did they both bring to your experience?
We’ve been working with Andrew for a while now, he’s mixed quite a few of our tracks and he’s unbelievable, we’ve never met him but he just sends our tracks back sounding unreal. It’s so mad that someone who worked on ‘graduation’ has worked with us. Dan has been instrumental to our last couple of releases, we spent a bit of time out in LA with him to finish recording ‘Flood’, ‘Make You Better’ and ‘AWHAFY?’ which was a great experience. We got to record in Heavy Duty studios which was absolutely surreal, soooo many hits have been crafted between those walls.
You’re meant to be on tour right now, but unfortunately, you’re not (cheers COVID-19). What have you guys been doing while in isolation? Is music saving you right now?
It’s been mad, hasn’t it! I think it’d be so easy just to let everything fall apart at this time but I think everyone kinda took it in their stride. We’ve had to adjust very quickly and figure out how we can work together without seeing each other. We’ve been writing loads and getting everything in place for the next releases. As annoying as it’s been to have to cancel everything, It feels like the band as a being is taking a huge deep breath right now and it’s all gonna explode out once this is over.
Can you tell us a little bit about your clothing line Animals in Costume? Where did this idea come from?
We just kinda realised that most band merch is such bad quality and is so expensive. We also realised that one of the worst industries for the environment is the fashion industry, so much packaging and throw-away garments and we just wanted to get a conversation started and allow something to grow. We wanted to create something that we would wear ourselves and that had a very low carbon footprint as well as being sourced ethically which is surprisingly not that easy! We’re so so excited about where this brand can go and it’s becoming its own separate thing from the band, we want it to be synonymous with us but not just ‘Larkins merch’.
It’s been a few years now since you became a band. What are the biggest things that have changed in the band and live act since then (besides new material)?
It’s interesting to see how much social media has changed even in the relatively short time we’ve been in a band. When we started, Facebook and Twitter were the places to be and it’s kinda moved over to Insta now and you can see things transitioning still over to platforms like Tiktok. We’ve also kinda just refinined ourselves constantly since we started, it feels now like we know exactly what we are and where we’re going.
Lastly, what’s something we don’t know (and that we should know) about Larkins?
We’re all bezzie mates and we literally spend all of our time together (when we’re not locked down). We’re in love.
Keep up with the band via their Facebook page.