Dreamy rock n’ roll group, Her’s, talks about their influences and Twin Peaks.
You may not have heard of Her’s yet, but the Liverpool duo has extended an invitation to the world—an Invitation to Her’s, that is. Consisting of Stephen Fitzpatrick and Audun Laading, both of whom are just in their early twenties, Her’s has progressed from Soundcloud to South by Southwest in the span of just a few years. Over the course of 11 songs, Invitation to Her’s takes you into the band’s lush landscape of nostalgic rock n’ roll, leaving you with melodies you’ll be humming to yourself for days after.
Her’s SoundCloud describes them as “dream/jangle-pop”; it’s an apt descriptor, though the album seems to defy even that categorization. Synth melodies are layered over sharp synth drum beats, with lo-fi vocals thrown in the mix for a bit of grainy contrast. It all comes together to paint a dreamy soundscape that seems to draw both from eras long gone and ones yet to occur. Lyrically, most of their songs have to do with love, though not always of the ooey-gooey romantic sort that one might associate with their vintage pop-inspired sound. The first song on the album, “Harvey,” is named for the 1950 film of the same name about a man whose best friend is a giant invisible rabbit.
Currently, Her’s are touring prolifically all around Europe, before their brief U.S. run, including a sold out date at Baby’s All Right on November 9. Somewhere in between their busy schedule, we chatted with them over email to discuss Twin Peaks, NYC stereotypes, and the influences behind the new record, which you can purchase via bandcamp.
AdHoc: How and when did you meet? When did you start playing music together?
Her’s: We met in first year of University; Ste[phen Fitzpatrick] was studying drums and Audun [Laading] was studying bass. We ended up being a tight-as-hell rhythm section in another band, namely Brad Stank. Wasn’t until second year when a friend of ours offered us a gig in Manchester, with a week to prepare, that we managed to pull a ten-minute set together, and that was the band’s first gig.
You’ve cited one of your biggest influences as Twin Peaks many times. What episode would you recommend to someone who hasn’t watched before/what episode would you say encapsulates the kind of aesthetic you’re trying to capture?
Definitely watch the pilot first; they’ll be gripped from “The Fish in the Percolator” onwards, never to be the same. Some essential scenes that we highly recommend: Andy getting hit in the head with a plank, James serenading Donna and Maddy on the living room floor, The Giant appearing for the first time, any scene with Gordon in it and finally the unforgettable Audrey Horne meets the Norwegians.
Your influences seem decidedly American—like Twin Peaks, as well as your sort of vintage rock n roll/neo psychedelia/future funk sound. Do you have any local influences?
Locally, on your side of the pond, it’s true we romanticize a lot of scenes and pop culture! We draw a lot of inspiration from the classic stuff, like The Beach Boys, Harry Nilsson Randy Newman, and we also enjoy a lot of late ’70s, early ’80s sounds, like Martin Rev and Suicide, The Doobie Brothers, Peter Ivers and Bruce Springsteen. Finally, some modern artists that inspire us: Ariel Pink, John Maus, Drug Dealer—that kinda stuff!
Locally, for us, we are very much into old-fashioned songwriting and kitschy tunes. This mostly stems from our love for the Beatles. It’s hard to avoid them living in Liverpool, of course, but we remain big fans! Lots of great ‘80s stuff came out of Liverpool as well: Echo And The Bunnymen, Frankie Goes To Hollywood etc!
Have you played NYC before? What have you heard about Brooklyn?
Never played NYC before, no—mega excited to sample a slice of the Big Apple. We’re hoping to see pizza on every corner and steam emitting from every manhole. We’ll probably be dressing like the two bad guys from Home Alone whilst calling cabs for no reason; maybe we’ll even get drenched by one driving through a puddle.
You’re super young but have enjoyed quite a bit of success in a very short amount of time, including playing South by Southwest (SXSW) as an international band. What’s that like?
We’re really happy with what we’ve managed to achieve so far. It can be pretty surreal at times (like finding out you’re going to SXSW, etc). The band started out as a pretty casual affair, so we weren’t exactly expecting all this to happen. Saying that, we’ve still got a long way to go before we can start getting comfy!
What’s coming up next?
Up next is a big dose of touring around Europe and the US. Also, if all goes to plan we should have some new videos entering the World Wide Web soon!