In a similar vein to top of the pops airwaves-staples like Lauv and Troye Sivan, South London-based Balcony make the kind of chilled-out, heart-on-sleeve, alt-pop tunes that should by rights dominate summer playlists. Their latest single 'He Don't Trust Me' is about "the paranoia and jealousy that comes with loving someone who is in an unhappy relationship," they explain. "Written from the perspective of the person outside the relationship." Fresh(ish) off the back of a tour with Lewis Capaldi too, singer Jamie Ward tells us more about his band.
Hi Jamie, how's it going? Are you having a fun day?
Hey, what's up Dork! I'm having a pretty chilled day in the sun, and we just uploaded our next music video to YouTube, so just waiting to see how it goes.
Introduce your band, then - who are you all, and where did you meet?
So, Jack is our Rolling Stones' obsessed lead guitarist, and he's from London. Dave is our tech wiz, plays almost every instrument, and is from Esher. Johno is our American import from the Bahama's who plays drums and helps with lyrics sometimes. And I'm the singer and do a lot of the writing. We met four years ago through mutual friends in college.
Are you all self-isolating at the moment? Have the current restrictions mucked up many of your plans?
Yep, it sucks!!! We're all cooped up in four different apartments around London, but we've been Zooming at 11am every second day to keep things rolling. There was a headline show booked at the Omeara for May 20, and a trip to LA planned, so we've had to postpone those things, but to be honest, we've found a way of coping and staying productive. Jack's been sending me guitar parts, Dave's been editing like a mad man, and Johno's been cooking three-course dinners. But overall, I think Covid-19 has brought us back to our roots, and it's nice to have this time to reflect a little.
How were your Lewis Capaldi support dates, that must've been exciting?
It was a blur, which went by way too fast, and when it finished, we were all pretty sad. I guess it's because you have this vision in your head that you've built since you were young, of what performing on a stage like that would be like, so you just don't want it to end. Lewis was absolute class, and we couldn't have asked to support anyone nicer or more talented, and we definitely learnt a lot from him and his crew.
What do you most enjoy writing about, and what's your songwriting process like?
I'd say our favourite way to write is by trying to tap into something personal that's happened, and then applying it to a bigger more universal idea. For instance, 'Pink Hair Green Eyes' was sparked from a crazy house party I had, but we placed it in the world of two of our favourite stories, The Odyssey and The Rum Diaries. Sonically, sometimes the sounds and vision come at the same time as the melody and lyrics, but other times we have to sit with it a while.
Have you always wanted to be a musician? Is it living up to the hype so far?
It feels like the role of being a musician is evolving every day. One day it feeds on your introverted self, and then other days it demands your extraverted self. I've always had way too much energy and had a lot of ideas, but I also overthink things a lot, so I guess being a musician suits me haha. Jack and I share a very similar romantic image of musicians, growing up on films like Almost Famous, and bands like the Stones and Coldplay, and I'd say we're still in search of that.
Music aside, what do you do for fun?
I'm a huge motor racing fan, Jack's got quite a name in the Texas Hold Em world, Dave goes for walks with the band mascot (his dog Roo), and Johno's quite the cook.
What are you working on right now? Are you able to write and record from home?
We've just wrapped up our next single 'Tattoo' while writing a bunch of new stuff too. Every few days, a new song idea will pop up, and those ideas have felt really fresh.
Who do you think is the most exciting band or musician around right now?
It's pretty hard to look past The 1975. We've been fans of theirs since the first EP, but the progression of their image, sound and ideas have been pretty remarkable. I think we're very lucky to have someone like them in this day and age.
Anything else we should know?
Just that we've got one of our favourite songs coming out next, and we're playing at the Omeara in October.
Balcony's single 'He Don't Trust Me' is out now. They play London's Omeara on 14th October.