Ever since their brilliant debut eponymous EP back in 2018, we’ve been hooked on the succulent sounds of Blackpool quartet Jekyll. Signed to legendary indie label Fierce Panda, their brand of brilliantly atmospheric indie pop has seen them compared to everyone from British Sea Power to Idlewild – and for good reason. Their latest single, ‘Echoes’, is a brooding slice of wonderfully evocative pop that carries the sort of ethereal nature that made bands like My Bloody Valentine such a tantalising prospect. We’re huge fans of the band, so we decided to speak to lead singer Joel Foster about the single, saving The Social and their beautiful hometown of Blackpool.
You’ve just released your new single ‘Echoes’, a song that is a brooding slice of euphoria-tinged indie pop that reminds us of the likes of brilliant 90s/early 00s bands such as early Ash and British Sea Power. How would you describe the track and what were your influences going into the writing and recording process?
With Echoes, we wanted to create something more direct and more colourful than we have in the past – something that people can dance to. However, despite the up-tempo, direct nature of the song, it was important to us that the song evoked some sort of haziness and ethereality; bands like Smashing Pumpkins, Wolf Alice, My Bloody Valentine and Jj72 were a big source of inspiration for this song and the soundscape we wanted to create. Lyrically, the song is very heavy and extremely sentimental so one of the biggest challenges I faced when writing it was creating something that was simultaneously uplifting and beautiful, whilst also being introspective and melancholic.
You’re originally from Blackpool – ‘the Vegas of the North’ – but what’s the local music scene like?
Blackpool is a very strange and silly place. We love it to bits and are so grateful to be from one of the most unique places in the UK. However, when we were starting up there really wasn’t much of a market for originals bands in Blackpool at all – it was mainly all covers bands working the tourist circuit. Though there’s always been some stellar proponents of original music in Blackpool, most music venues didn’t last too long and we found more success and more want for original music in nearby cities like Manchester, Preston and Liverpool. It’s definitely getting better though! There are some fantastic bands coming out of Blackpool at the moment and venues like Bootleg Social and The Waterloo are ensuring that Blackpool isn’t missed out by touring bands.
You’re signed to Fierce Panda, one of the best indie labels in the country and one steeped in musical history. Who are your favourite bands, from past or present, signed to the label?
Some of our biggest inspirations have had music released through Panda. I honestly can’t remember a time when bands like Ash, Supergrass and Idlewild have not been in my life. Placebo and Coldplay are especially big influences on Jekyll’s sound and songwriting.
You’re set to play the Fierce Panda party at The Social at the end of the month. It’s just been announced that the venue needs to raise £95,000 in two weeks or it faces closure. What do you make of the epidemic or brilliant music venues closing down and what can we do to stop it?
It’s such a genuine shame that grassroots music venues are not being looked after. The UK has one of the best, most influential and most successful music industries in the world, one that so many other places would love to have (and they’d probably look after it far better than we do too). So many venues that we’ve played have shut since and it’s just sad. Grassroots music is something that should be nurtured above all else – without it, the opportunities available for future musicians, especially from working class backgrounds, is going to be so limited. I also feel that the fragility of grassroots music in our society is being greatly worsened by The Government’s appalling attitude towards The Arts in society and in education. We cannot afford to let something as essential as grassroots music and music education wither on the vine.
What has the rest of 2019 got in store for Jekyll?
2019 is going to be a big one for us. After being tipped as ‘Big in 2019’ by Huw Stephens and by This Feeling, we are giving it everything we’ve got. We’ve got so many songs written that we can’t wait for everyone to hear and we are really looking forward to playing anywhere and everywhere during Festival season. It’s such an exciting time for us right now – keep your eyes peeled.
What new music are you listening to at the moment?
We are currently really enjoying The Blinders, Demob Happy and Pale Waves. It’s great to see ‘emerging’ alternative music is in such good form at the moment. Another very new artist that we are loving right now is God On My Right. They’re a duo from Liverpool with a really cool Nine Inch Nail’s vibe.
Finally, what’s your hangover cure?
I’ve never had a hangover that leftover pizza hasn’t cured. It definitely tastes better the day after anyway. I know Mike (our guitarist) swears by berocca for his hangovers but pizza’s always done me fine.
You can find Jekyll on Facebook here.