Our Girl tell Atwood Magazine about their connection with water, their inspirations, and how their self-titled single brought the band together.
Listening to an Our Girl song is like falling in love slowly, taking it one day at a time but gradually finding more things you love and admire in the person. The more attention you pay, the better it gets. Soph Nathan’s fuzzy and all-encompassing guitar attracts you first, then come Lauren Wilson’s decisive drums which take you aback but entice you at the same time, all tied together by Josh Tyler’s slick bass line which deliberately hooks you. And when you think you’ve seen the perfect picture, Nathan’s husky and comforting voice starts singing words which are too honest not to move you. A magic lies in the simplicity of her words, she’s unafraid of saying directly what we all feel but try and coat under layers of flowery language.
Our Girl are special, and ready to take on the world and receive the recognition they deserve.
The Brighton trio is set to have a huge 2018, already having wrapped the DIY tour with Pale Waves and Bloxx, a busy week at SXSW, and a support slot on The Magic Gang’s UK tour. They’ve also released their self-titled single, probably their best yet, and don’t plan on stopping soon: 2018 is the year where they’ll gift the world with their debut album. Atwood Magazine caught up with them right after they got back from SXSW, and got to know one of the most promising bands of the year, from their inspirations and connection with water, to their stunning single “Our Girl” and how it was what consolidated the band’s lineup.
A CONVERSATION WITH OUR GIRL
Atwood Magazine: You just got back from America where you played SXSW - what excited you most about the trip?
Lauren Wilson: I was excited about every part of it! Being in Austin, playing in Austin, getting to see others bands and hang out. A bit of sun, eating loads, going to record shops, all of it.
Soph Nathan: It felt so exciting to be going to America to play shows! We’ve only ever played in the UK so it’s a big one for us. We couldn’t wait to be in the sun too.
Josh Tyler: I’d never been to the USA before so was excited to see a new landscape. To get to perform in a completely new place is very exciting, can’t believe it.
You recently toured with Marika Hackman and also went on the DIY tour with Pale Waves and Bloxx. What are the best and worst parts about being on the road?
Lauren: Best parts are being in new places, getting to travel around.
Soph: The best parts are being able to travel to places we’d otherwise never go to, and being able to play music every night. I feel very lucky we get to do that. And with our friends!! Worst parts are missing our loved ones.
Josh: Worst part is not being able to cook but the routine of travelling and getting to a new place then playing is great.
“Being Around” kind of blurs the lines between friendship and love, and it’s such a beautiful song. I think the magic of it rests on the fact that it doesn’t matter if you’re singing about a friend love or a romantic love, this person’s importance in your life is clear. What’s that song about?
Our Girl: Thanks very much. You’re right, it is about both kinds of love. The song is slightly confused in that some of the sections are about different people, but I think the reason it all came out the way it did in to one song, is because it comes from a similar feeling of comfort and warmth I was getting from those people at the time. Or at least trying to focus on – there’s definitely some uncertainty in there!
The video for “No Big Deal” has all of you under water. It reminds me a little of the Nevermind album cover. How did you come up with that idea?
Lauren: Was very natural, we just have always had quite a strong love for/connection to the ocean- forming in Brighton, and other places that mean a lot to us individually.
Soph: Yeah, the idea of using water in the imagery came quite naturally to us. I think lyrically “No Big Deal” has quite a sad and lost feel to it, and I think something about the nature of water – the movement and fluidity to it – reflected the sentiment in some way?
Watch: “No Big Deal” – Our Girl
Speaking of Nirvana - some people on YouTube call you the next Nirvana. Are there any artists that inspire you?
Lauren: I think that’s funny. I mean Nirvana meant a lot to me growing up, Dave Grohl is definitely one of my favourite drummers. But we all take influences from very varied places and bands. I love Pixies, Warpaint, Arcade Fire. But then also I love Indian and North African music, the drumming and rhythm in particular. There are a lot of artists that inspire me, but it’s not necessarily as clear cut as what they sound like. Could be their intention, or their visuals or how they perform.
Josh: Think we all have a variety of influences and artists we like, I’m into less heavy guitar music and drone and ambient stuff. All the variety between us ends up feeding into the band in little ways.
Now onto your new stuff. Tell me about your single “Our Girl” - you named it after your band. How does it represent you?
Lauren: The song means a lot to us. It was the first demo Soph and Josh sent me and I fell in love with it. It’s the reason I’m in Our Girl, I knew it was a special song straight away.
Soph: It does mean a lot to us! It was pivotal in the Loz courting process. We tracked the demo in a studio in Brighton with our friend Gus (who plays in The Magic Gang), about 4 years ago, and I remember hearing it back in the control room and getting this really excited feeling in my stomach. Our Girl was something I really wanted for a long time, and it felt like a very exciting, and almost relieving moment, like maybe we were finally starting to create what I’d hoped we would! We since re-recorded it with Bill Ryder Jones, along with a bunch of other songs, and I think it was the first time that we felt the recordings really reflected how we are, and how we sound live. And as it was the first song we’d ever played together it felt like the perfect choice of song to mark the start of what we have next to come.
“Our Girl (Live) ft. Bill Ryder-Jones” – Our Girl
I’ve read that you like to cry a lot. Is there a special moment that happened with the band that moved you and you can share with us?
Lauren: Haha, yeah. I mean we’re just quite in touch with our emotions, everything we do means a lot to us, hopefully that comes across.
Soph: I agree! There was one moment last year when we were practicing, and I played Josh and Loz a new song. It’s quite a happy one, but I think it was quite a release for me to write it and they knew it meant a lot to me, so we all had a little cry. Maybe we were just extra tired that day or something…
You seem to be within a community of tight-knit musicians who constantly support each other. How important do you think it is to have support from other people who are also in the same position as you?
Lauren: It’s great! It’s a weird thing playing music and all the other stuff that comes with it, it’s nice to have other people, who also play in bands that you love and admire know the realities and understand the amazing parts of being in a band. It’s nice to look out into the crowd when you’re playing and see people who you love watching you.
Soph: Yeah totally. We’re lucky to have so many lovely people in bands around us. I mean it’s mainly important just to have good people around you, regardless of music, but I think having support from friends who are also in bands has made a big difference to us. Our Girl started in Brighton, where I lived in a house with lots of other people that played music, which meant we could just play through ideas together in the living room or whatever, which made it less scary to do. And I don’t think I’d have had the courage to show other people the songs I’d written if they hadn’t made me feel so comfortable to!
Josh: It’s very important I think, from knowing that friends are out there doing the same thing to meeting another band fleetingly, it can help to keep those levels of both comfort and inspiration up.
If you could set up a dream tour for Our Girl, who would be the artists? And what would be the most unexpected place you’d take this tour to?
Lauren: That’s difficult! Probably just a load of our friends- Francobollo, Syrra, Marika Hackman and we’d have a great ol’time, just hanging out and playing gigs. I’d love to go to South Shields, it’s a place that has a special place in my heart.
Josh: Would be great for us to do a tour with Courtney Barnett or the breeders I reckon. Be nice to do a rural tour someday too or a tour of Scandinavia.
📸 © Jodie Canwell