Every Monday we will be bringing you interviews with unsigned UK or Ireland artists for Independent Music Monday. Recently we caught up with unsigned Dublin band ELKIN to find out more…
Who is in the band, how did you meet, where are you from and how did you come up with the band name?
In the band is Ellen, Carla, bassist Peter, guitarist Conor and drummer Rob. We (Ellen and Carla) met in school in Dunboyne, Co. Meath and decided to start singing together when we were 15. We met the guys in Maynooth where Ellen went to college. A lot of people think ELKIN is a combination of the names Ellen and Carla, but it was just a result of a lot of typos over a lot of time!
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
E: When I was younger I was very influenced by my Dad’s CD collection, where I found Tom Waits and Joni Mitchell. I also loved a lot of pop and singer-songwriter artists like Ben Howard and Lisa Hannigan. Now my taste is a lot more eclectic. I’m getting more into RnB with artists such as H.E.R. and Jorja Smith having more of an influence on me.
C: As a kid I listened to a lot of my parents' music. They both have quite different tastes – Bob Dylan, Depeche Mode, Mariah Carey. I think that’s stayed with me. Now I’m influenced by a wide variety of music. I’m a big fan of J Cole and Tyler The Creator. I love their work as artists, in general.
How would you describe your sound?
E: It’s hard for us to describe our sound because it’s constantly developing and growing and is a culmination of so many influences. I’d say it’s pop music with indie and RnB influences.
C: I’d agree with Ellen. I think because we both listened to a lot of folk music as kids, our music is ‘poppy’ but with the honesty of folk.
What is your latest release called and what was the influence behind it?
E: Our latest release is called ‘Cut My Tongue’. In essence it’s a story about a femme fatale figure. It was influenced by stories like Samson and Delilah where Delilah makes Samson fall in love with her so she can cut his hair and take away his strength. It’s also about losing your power to tell your story. I heard a Greek myth about Philomela, whose tongue was cut out so she couldn’t tell any stories of her trauma. Philomela then learns how to sing like a bird so she can tell her story that way. That myth really stuck with me and it’s where the ‘cut my tongue’ line of the track comes from, as well as the line ‘you won’t hear a single sound from me’.
C: We really wanted to develop on from what we achieved with ‘Green Eyes’. We worked a lot with our producer lullahush on creating an ELKIN ‘vibe’ and on how to bring that to Cut My Tongue.
What’s your local music scene like?
E: The Dublin music scene is really fantastic at the moment. There are so many fantastic musicians and the energy at gigs can be really great. There’s a great open mic culture in places such as The Ruby Sessions, Circle Sessions in The International Bar and Singer-Songwriter nights in Darkey Kelly’s. The only thing is that there is so much talent, but maybe not enough resources to go around, meaning that it’s very difficult for people to make an income from their music.
C: The Irish music scene, in general, is amazing at the moment. I think I can speak for both of us when I say we’re both super proud to be a part of it. It’s really encouraging to see Irish artists like SOAK and Saint Sister getting recognised in America and globally.
What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
E: The aim at the moment is to keep expanding our audience, working on our live sound and getting some good chunes out there.
C: Hopefully we’ll have an EP out next year. It would be great to tour that around a bit.
Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
E: So many Irish artists I’d love to collaborate with! I’d love to make a supergroup of us, Pow Pig, Pillow Queens and SOAK. Let’s make it happen.
C: I’d love to collaborate with Junior Brother. He’s just released his debut album and it’s all sorts of amazing.
Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
E: There’s a song that I say ‘fuck’ in, and at one quiet enough gig my friend shouted up at me ‘Ellen your Mam’s in the audience’ and everyone started laughing. Soz mam.
C: I suppose our first ever gig at the ripe age of 15 was fairly gas. I played guitar for us at the time and forgot to bring on my capo and tuner on stage with me. And then my guitar strap broke.
What is the one thing that you want readers to know about you?
E: We’re not sisters!!!!!!!!!!
C: But we are besties aw <3