Bad Sounds were born through a fraternal bond paired with an eclectic breadth of experience and taste in music. But while brothers Ewan and Callum Merrett didn’t collaborate much throughout their childhood, their innate ability to craft interesting music together has shone through at a staggering rate later in life.
“Callum and me started playing when we were ten years old, but didn’t really do any music together throughout our teens as we both got into totally different stuff. I got really into Hip-Hop and working with samples, whereas Callum went down the songwriter route, listening to more classic pop and soul stuff.” Ewan explains. “It wasn’t until later on when Callum had just left his band, and I was looking for a MC, that we started writing together. Then we got Sam, Olivia, and Charlie involved, and started playing out about a year later.”
Made-up of such a broad range of musical influences, and with a very interesting approach to songwriting, it comes as no surprise that the Bath-based quintet are drastically turning heads in every sense of the term, throughout the UK and beyond.
“Musically, our influence is pretty broad, and I’m sure Callum would mention a lot of different names to me, but we’re both massive fans of De La Soul and Michael Jackson. With regards to lyrics, I mainly just write about conversations I’ve had with people. Most of the lines in our songs are just things people have said to me that have just stuck with me.”
Pooling all of their individual resources together, Bad Sounds’ output collectively is both accessible and genuinely authentic, with qualities of both enigmatic and whimsical natures shining through in their own unique blend of soul-tinged electronic-pop. In recent single ‘Meat On My Bones’, Ewan recalls a conversation with a friend about her tattoo in tribute to her dead dog, an almost sinister subject matter accompanied by funky guitar licks, shimmering organ sounds and blustering drum beats. This juxtaposition of thought-provoking lyrical content and ‘lose-yourself-in dance’ evoking glitch-pop music is proving to be incredibly appealing, and has seen Bad Sounds’ reach euphoric sights beyond their native Bath.
Although the group is making a name for themselves nationwide, with an extensive UK headline tour taking place throughout spring and an array of festival appearances on the cards, Ewan believes that Bad Sounds still identifies closely with the thriving local scene in their adopted home-town of Bristol.
“We see Bristol as our hometown, as it’s the place we tend to play the most. The music scene in Bristol is really good now, it feels like, finally, there is a scene emerging of people who all play together a lot, and who are really into each other’s stuff. The usual people at a good local gig in Bristol are ThisisDA, Fenne Lily, Cousin Kula, Swimming Girls and Tamu Massif, to name a few.”
Alongside an extensive live schedule and plans to collaborate with other like-minded artists, 2017 will also see Bad Sounds’ release their first body of work, which will no-doubt propel the funkedelia-esque songsters to stardom.
“Our 2017 plans are shaping up well. We’re finishing our mixtape right now, which will be the first time we’ve put something out which isn’t a standalone track. We’re going on tour and we really want to start collaborating with other vocalists, as we’ve always seen that as a big part of what we want to do, as well as producing other people’s stuff too. Everything’s looking positive!”
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Words: Joe Allan