Los Campesinos! biography

Los Campesinos!

Last updated: 18 November 2008

The music began to come together: "Glockenspiels, melody horns, cow bells, handclaps, Casiotone keyboards, silliness and indie snobbery were then thrown in to complete the mix," explains Tom.

Members

  • Aleksandra: vocals, melody horn
  • Ellen: bass, vocals
  • Gareth: vocals, glockenspiel, guitar
  • Harriet: violin, keyboards, vocals
  • Neil: guitar, vocals
  • Ollie: drums, vocals
  • Tom: guitar, vocals

The music itself is an inventive, more charming British indie sound recognisable in a post-Libertines world with the saving grace of genuine intellect and humour. Oh, and top tunes help too.

In June 2006 the band put the songs from their demo Hold On Now Youngster - You! Me! Dancing!, Death To Los Campesinos!, It Started With A Mixx and Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks - on their MySpace page, and alerted alternative music site DrownedinSound to their presence. Word spread quickly, and soon many blog writers were singing their praises, local gigs sold out and labels started taking an interest.

"We didn't send out a single demo without being asked by a label," they later said. "We've just got surprise and guilt at the fact that it was far too easy."

The pick of their demos was the irrepressible You! Me! Dancing!, which quickly became their signature tune. It even referenced local indie disco night Twisted By Design, whose organisers put out the first official LC! release on their 2006 compilation. So far, so cosy.

In November the band signed to indie label Wichita. "Wichita know exactly what we're about, they're just an awesome label," Gareth told DrownedinSound. "The first time they came to meet us, there was no business rubbish, they were just mates. Though, the main reason we signed with them was because they put more kisses at the end of their text messages than anyone else."

The debut LC! single, the double a-side We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives/Don't Tell Me To Do The Math(s), was released in February 2007. The 1,200 copies of the yellow vinyl 7" quickly sold out, though the band also gave away mp3s of both tracks on their website.

Then came a spruced up version of You! Me! Dancing!, this time on red vinyl 7" and limited to 2,000 copies. It was released in June 2007, the same month the band members went full time after finishing university.

Los Campesinos! also signed to Canadian label Arts & Crafts, who released the Sticking Fingers Into Sockets EP in July that year. It was produced by David Newfeld of Broken Social Scene and collated a selection of their prior recordings.

February 2008 saw the release of their debut album, Hold On Now, Youngster on Wichita Recordings. It was released in America in April 2008, with international touring to support the release.

Less than 10 months after the release of their debut, a second album - We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed - was released, also on Wichita. They told Strange Glue, "This is no post-album cash in. It's no B-Sides and rarities or 'songs that weren't good enough to be on the album cobbled together with some remixes and field recordings of Cardiff's indie scene'; it's 10 all-new tracks that none of you have ever heard before."

In early 2009 the band recorded their third album, scheduled for release later this year. On 2 June 2009, a blog post by the band gave the news that founder member Aleks was to leave the band after an American tour, in order to pursue her studies.


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