We talk to the synth-pop geniuses ahead of their Ruby Lounge gig
After a highly impressive performance at Manchester’s Ruby Lounge in April in support of their EP Arrive Alone, Leave Alone and a stunning recent slot at the Castle, Manchester based synth-pop quartet Girl Friend are set to return to the Ruby Lounge on their latest run of dates.
Fronted by effervescent front man Amory, the four-piece will be taking their shimmering synthesised sounds to the Ruby Lounge in support of their latest single Good Morning, a celebration of idle hours and alone time in the morning after an uplifting night before.
Originally a writing project of Amory and guitarist Jake, Girl Friend quickly took shape. “Originally before Sam (drums) joined, it was me and Jake. We’d known each other for a while, living in Manchester and were writing for a bit, but never with a particular aim of taking it anywhere. We got in to a studio to discover our sound and brought on a few other musicians and Sam was one of them.”
Recently Amory’s sister Eleanor has joined the ranks to complete an excellent line-up.
With influences including the likes of Roxy Music and Depeche Mode as well as more modern and contemporary production influences, Girl Friend have developed a unique sound. It is a sound which has evolved and clicked. “We had an idea in mind, but it has developed as well. We always went in with the idea of being an electronic pop band,” Amory states. “We’ve developed our own sound now whereas previously we were referencing sounds we liked but it didn’t all add up. Now we’ve found our own sound.”
And live, Girl Friend certainly deliver the best of this sound. The Ruby Lounge and The Castle both witnessed enthusiastic crowds dancing and singing to a captivating and engrossing performance. Girl Friend live take the recorded tracks to another level, it’s infectious. “It’s more of a raw sound” Amory suggests. “The beats we use on the records are processed, whereas Sam plays the drums live, so that’s the main difference. It feels more human. We have quite a manicured pop sound, so when we play live, it just feels more human.”
This live experience is something which they had the chance to deliver to larger audiences whilst touring with The Kooks. “They were so nice” Amory adds. “They took us under their wing. We played in Ireland and Scotland as well as Liverpool. I can’t say enough nice things about them.” And The Kooks’ fans also seemed happy with the Girl Friend experience as Jake adds “their crowd seemed really receptive to us as well.”
Good Morning was one of the first songs the group wrote, even though it hasn’t surfaced until recently, in marked contrast to Arrive Alone, Leave Alone which was written in the space of a month and a half. “That one was a weird one”, Amory comments, “We’d actually had the song from the very beginning when me and Jake first met and started writing. We held it back as we weren’t pleased with it and I’m not sure how it fought its way back to the surface, it just felt like the right time to finally release it. Something clicked. We’d gone through various mixes and it just felt like the right time.”
After this tour, Girl Friend look set to put more material together in the form of a new EP before moving on to an album. “We have plenty of stuff in the pipeline”, Jake confirms and adds “We’ve been working on a track with Jos Cross.” (regular collaborator/producer with Courteeners).
And whilst the EP is, as yet, un-named, Amory teases “we always like to do a follow on with our names. There’s always something which links to the previous one”
Girl Friend perform at Manchester’s Ruby Lounge on 10 October 2015.
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Manchester band Girl Friend – image credit Ben Roberts @benrobertsart