Super Furry Animals might be on a hiatus at the moment, but the members of the band are keeping busy with individual projects.
Bassist Guto Pryce has formed Gulp with singer-songwriter Lindsey Leven, and their first release has fans and critics salivating. They've created a unique sound that would soundtrack a Bridget Bardot film with ease. I sent them a few questions to find out more.
Gulp. Photo: Mary Wycherley
Gulp: a new outfit and a new beginning. Tell me a bit about who you are and how Gulp came about.
"Gulp are Guto Pryce from SFA and Scottish singer Lindsey Leven. Lindsey moved to Wales a few years ago and we met through mutual friends, the way you do in Cardiff. After a while we discovered a shared desire to create cosmic-pop music so we decided to make a record. It has been a very natural process."
How do you put the tracks together? You've brought in a few friends to help haven't you?
"We've been putting down ideas for a couple of years. We started writing a few of the songs in the Scottish Highlands and some in west Wales, playing about with synths and stuff, the inspirations coming from a love of being in rugged landscapes by the sea.
"We then got some help from friends to complete the recordings. Game Love was recorded last August in Sir Doufus Styles' late-great Wings For Jesus studio in Cardiff with Dafydd Ieuan (SFA) on drums and Gareth Bonello (The Gentle Good) on acoustic guitar and cello.
"We took those recordings back home to fiddle about with some more before enlisting Cian Ciaran (SFA) to help mix the tracks. Cian did an amazing job and took the songs to another level sonically.
"Home recording has its advantages and disadvantages. With paid studio time a deadline is imposed on you where as at a home set-up there's plenty of opportunity to tweak and adjust your songs. The hardest thing is to stop playing about with a track and decide when it's actually finished."
Who inspires you and the music you make?
"Also equally important are great pop song writers and record makers like Lee Hazlewood and Brian Wilson. Inspiration from some of our favourite bands also seep into our consciousness, artists like Grandaddy, Blondie, Lindsey's record collection of female vocalists, ESG, and more recently Wooden Shjips and Django Django.
The studio project is currently being 'prepped for' live outings, so how will the live set-up work?
"We've been jamming with our good friend Gid Goundry on guitar. Guto plays bass and dabbles with machines, Lindsey sings and plays synths. We decided early on that things will need to be stripped down as there's no room for a cello in the back of the car so practical reasons have dictated the live set up; circumstances that we've embraced to create our sound. A kind yogi gave us the missing link in the form of a Roland Groovebox that has some nice classic electro sounds so the rhythms come from this."
Where will you be playing?
"We have our début gig at Clwb Ifor Bach in Cardiff on 13 July and we play on the remote Scottish Isle of Eigg on 21 July. We intend to play a lot more after the summer."
You've had some great press and blog gushings already - tell me about some of these.
"Yes, we've had a nice reaction. Although we've been working on the music for a while now, the Game Love single came out of the blue for most people. It was a relief to finally get some music out. We're releasing on our own label and without a PR hype machine behind us so were very pleased to get 'Pick of the Week' in the Guardian Guide and nice write-ups in Spin and various online blogs. We hope to build things up organically so the best thing we can do is create our music as good as we can and hope people enjoy it."
What's next for Gulp - more recordings?
"Yes, we're getting together enough songs to make an album but there'll be another EP first and we'll be getting this done over the next couple of months. We'll also be playing live more which will help the sonic development of our tunes."
Do you have a website?
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