Style & Then Some

Creative listening: 5 minutes with Alpines

We have all  been there.  Your ears prick up to the sound of a new song and it takes you months to track down its source. 

This happened to me circa London Fashion Week SS11 (last September to be exact), where I was treated to a visual and audio delight.  Right before the Hannah Marshall show, a video was played (created by Rankin no less) and which was accompanied by  the haunting melodies of  ‘Drive’ – to be honest I only found out the title 6 months later… 

Having found out through Marshall herself that an unsigned band dubbed Alpines were responsible for my new infatuation, it proved somewhat difficult to track them down, until recently.  Now firmly on the gig and festival scene, this boy/girl duo from South West London have firmly cemented their place on my heart, and even more so since they agreed to an interview with Style and then Some:

Me: I first came across Alpines when the song ‘Drive’ featured on the video shown before Hannah Marshall’s SS11 show. How did this come about exactly?

Catherine – That video was made by Rankin and both him and Hannah were looking for a song to soundtrack the film in the build up to fashion week last year. My friend, who I was at art college with, was working in Rankin’s studio and overheard that they were looking for music and put our band name forward. The rest is history!

Me: You are clearly passionate about the arts and the design industry…who are your top inspirations at the moment? Is there anyone, in your opinion, that we should be looking to?

Catherine- I have always loved art and design. For me, they have always gone hand in hand with making music. I am particularly drawn to fashion designers and photographers for inspiration, but also look to art as well. At the moment I am helping to style the video for our next single ‘Cocoon’. The inspiration for this has come from Italian films by Federico Fellini and Italian fashion photographers such as Paolo Roversi. There are a few up and coming people in the British fashion design world who I think are particularly awesome: Phoebe English, Charlie Casely-Hayford and Jenny Postle are the three that spring to mind. They all have a very different approach to fashion design but are all very exciting in their own right. The Alpines blog documents all the things that I am inspired by.

Me: My favourite thing about you is that you cannot be pigeonholed genre-wise, and are successfully weaving together different creative elements into your music…but what I would love to know is what artists do you listen to? e.g. what’s on your ipod!

Catherine – We went record shopping yesterday and bought a few amazing albums which I am very excited to listen through to: Lykke Li, Wild Beasts and Friendly Fires new albums as well as Tom Vek’s debut record and some Brand New.  I love all kinds of music but pop, folk and soul are the genres I am most drawn to.

B – Thank you. At the moment I love spacious/ambient music like Talk Talk’s Spirit of Eden and Brian Eno, but I have always had a love of a great pop song. We try to mix all those elements, and make pop music that is intriguing and has depth.

Me: Where do you go in London to get inspired…

Catherine – If I am looking for inspiration to write music or do anything artistic, I will go to gigs or art galleries. The V&A is one of my all time favourite museums, even if I am not going to one of the current exhibitions, the permanent collections are so beautiful and worth exploring. I am also lucky to know many musicians and producers in London and I love seeing them play live. I always find this gives me a new lease of life when it comes to writing my own music.

B – I love going to Richmond Park, which is near where I live in Kingston. It’s nice to be in an open space and a relative wilderness compared to central London.

Me: What does the forthcoming year have in store for you? When can we expect an album?

C atherine- Over the next few months Alpines will be focusing on playing shows and festivals. We have quite a few lined up to play over the summer. Our next single ‘Cocoon’ will be released in July and after that we’ll start thinking about our album – there’s no definite release date yet. In the meantime we will be writing lots of material and perfecting our live set.

B – Hopefully we’ll also be doing some interesting collaborations, and just seeing the reaction as we release more music will be great.

For more info on Alpines you can find them on their myspace, facebook, or twitter.


About Helen Coakley

One comment on “Creative listening: 5 minutes with Alpines

  1. blondekatie
    July 17, 2011

    That song is really good, a bit like the Knife, who I love. And I remember the Hannah Marshall film from LFW, it was beautiful.

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This entry was posted on July 15, 2011 by in And Then Some and tagged , , , , , , , .
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