Every Monday we will be bringing you an unsigned singer or band as part of our Independent Music Monday feature. This week, we caught up with Rylands Heath find out more about them…
Who is in the duo, how did you meet, where are you from and how did you come up with the duo name?
Hi! We are Jack Cowap and James Deacon. We’re from Luton and we’ve been friends for years after meeting at School where it all started during music lessons! We called ourselves Rylands Heath after we saw a road with the same name near where we live and thought it’d be a cool name, as simple as that!
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
We’ve both taken a lot of inspiration from what our parents listened to and we think you can really hear that in our music. For example we’re both influenced by the likes of Queen and ELO and that reflects in our love for massive harmonies in our tracks.
In terms of current influences, Mike Posner is a big one for us. As a songwriter, performer and all round artist, he’s really inspired us over the last year or so (his latest album ‘At Night, Alone’ literally hasn’t been off repeat) and I, James had the pleasure of working on one of his gigs last year and got a little bit starstuck meeting him I think through the realisation of just how much he’s done musically. True inspiration!
The Wombats have also been a continuous inspiration since their first album and Saint Raymond is also well up there. If you mash those two artists together we think you’d get a pretty similar sound to Rylands Heath! (We just want Saint Raymond to release some new music!)
How would you describe your sound?
I guess we kind of answered this above but it’s based in Indie/Pop. Some of our tracks such as Coming on to Me are a bit heavier and draw slight influences from a punk sound and others such as West Coast and Another are more of a synth pop sound. Essentially we know whereabouts we are but aren’t afraid to drift slightly into other sounds.
What is your latest single called and what was the influence behind it?
The latest single is called ‘Skin’ and the overall vibe we had in mind was a more chilled out, beach guitar sound, something that a band called California Wives really inspired during the writing of the song. In a nutshell, the song is about someone that you love but has that knack of driving you really crazy (something I think we can all relate to!) and I think that sense of confusion is matched by kind of hazy sound. It's quite bittersweet and while there's a bit of resolution towards the end of the song I like to think there's still some ambiguity and uncertainty in the dynamic to avoid it become too soppy!
It’s our last song for this summer and I think it’s got that lazy, summer feeling. We’ve had a really good response to all of the tracks we’ve put out this summer so hopefully this song just caps off what has been a really exciting and eventful summer for us.
What’s your local music scene like?
It’s an interesting one as it’s being revived right now in terms of the scene in Luton. The Bear Club has done wonders for music in general, putting on work class Jazz and Blues acts every weekend but we’d love to see a few more places like that popping up, catering for more styles of music. Musicians like us and our mates Timeless Lizards and Liam Rowlands are all up and coming locally right now and we’re trying to make something of it. Another friend of ours, Connor Willis manages Edge nightclub whilst running a gig promotions company ‘Insight’ who is putting on gigs at Edge and at Esquires in Bedford. We’re so excited to see what we can all do and really put Luton on the map for new music. The same has been done not too far away in St. Albans at venues such as The Horn which has live music 6 if not 7 nights a week. It’s on the touring circuit and has hosted the likes of Bastille, Slaves, The Amazons and so on over the last few years. We’ve played some of our first proper shows there but we’d love to not have to travel out and have something thriving like that in Luton.
What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
While this is our last song of the summer, we’re hoping to end this year really strong with more (yes, more!) songs in the pipeline to be released soon. Beyond that, we’re looking at putting together an EP in the new year and as we’ve been writing more and more we’re hoping we’ll be able to achieve a unique sound that we’re beginning to work towards.
In terms of shows, we’ve got a few cool shows lined up before I (Jack) go back to uni to play next month while am at Uni we will slow it down a bit and just focus on the EP for 2018.
We’re hoping to really hit the festivals hard next year, putting ourselves in front of as many eyes as possible and start playing our new music to the world. I think building on what we’ve done this year is always the goal and part of that is playing bigger and better shows.
Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
We’ve already mentioned him but Saint Raymond would be right up there. We’ve been so inspired by his album and moves in general. We could name so many people here, everyone we’ve mentioned as influences and many more but for the music we’re putting out, Saint Raymond would be a perfect fit.
Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
Ummm, this is a hard one as we’re always just laughing at each other. We’re always developing little in-jokes and generally taking the piss out of each other and it doesn’t really stop that much on stage. This spills over into this: We use in ear monitors on stage - basically earphones so we can hear each other and a metronome so we stay in time with everything. We’ve also recorded ourselves giving a few directions such as ‘repeat chorus’, ‘drums stop next bar’ and so on to help us remember what happens at what point in the song, mainly for James’ benefit as he gets a bit carried away with the show and forgets stuff 🙄. We’ve also added some not so helpful messages where we’re basically taking the piss out of each other… So if you ever see us both start giggling on stage randomly, we’ve probably just heard something rude in our ears that no one else will ever know!!
What is the one thing that you want readers to know about your band/duo?
We’re really enjoying what we’re doing at the moment. Essentially we’re chasing a dream but loving every step of the way. We hope that this translates through our music and that you can see our progression through every new thing we do, and thank you for being a part of it!