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December 2020 / January 2021

Hype List 2019: Thyla

Brighton bunch Thyla have been building buzz all year; 2019 is set to see them take it to a new level. Frontwoman Millie Duthie tells us more.
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Published: 2:00 pm, December 13, 2018Words: Martyn Young. Photos: Patrick Gunning.
Hype List 2019: Thyla

With a new year, comes the weight of expectation on a new batch of artists, thrust into the spotlight and expected to set the agenda for the twelve months ahead. That's what The Hype List is about - a series of interviews, profiles and more highlighting who we think will be making a noise in 2019.

hyla are a new band who know exactly where they’re going and exactly how they’re going to get there. The Brighton quartet have gradually honed their powerful indie rock assault through a number of increasingly exciting singles this year culminating in ‘Candy’ the mega banger trailing next year’s debut EP. The Thyla experience though is one that is perhaps best represented by the raucous energy of their live shows which have propelled an amping up of excitement that leaves the band on the cusp of take off as we enter 2019. Super confident, self-assured and ready to take their place at the heart of UK indie’s new golden period, singer and guitarist Millie tells us just how pigs might fly for Thyla in 2019.

Hey Millie, how would you describe what you guys are all about? 
It’s difficult to describe your own music, but people say Grimes, dream pop, indie rock. We’re really loud, and we have a wall of noise guitars. We bring lots of energy in the live set while our records have a dreamier vibe to them. 

Have you been conscious of Thyla becoming ever more of a big deal? 
You definitely grow in confidence when you get a good response. It makes you want to try things and expand on ideas. It’s difficult for us to realise how far we’ve come because it’s just been one big journey. People say, “Oh, you guys are doing well” and we’re like, are we? 

Do you think you’ve benefited from taking your time a bit and building your following? 
It’s allowed us to develop and not be like those buzz bands who can’t really get in a room together before they’re putting out an album. We haven’t had that. We’ve had a steady build, and it’s meant that everything has been a natural progression. The songs that we have now are ours without too much of an input from a label. 

Thyla feel like a super exciting fusion of a classic indie aesthetic mixed with a current sense of anything goes freedom. How do you guys mix inspirations from the past with the diversity and opportunities of the present? 
I like that, for us, the influences are just there and we all like the same stuff. We’d never be in a room and think ‘this is too out there, we can’t do this’. We don’t really give ourselves genre boundaries. All of those references come out naturally; we’re the opposite to bands who listen to a lot of different stuff and try and find a happy medium. We’re right in the middle of the most exciting wave of bands for maybe a decade. 

"2019 is the year that pigs can fly"
Millie Duthie, Thyla

How does it feel to be part of that and does it give you any added confidence? Do you ever think, “Oh, they’ve come out with something really good, let’s blow them out the water”? 
The competitiveness of it is a good thing. It helps bands cut their teeth and gives you a drive. As long as you use it positively and not negatively it can be beneficial. Bands help bands. Scenes only build from a collective of people cutting the same path. It’s just made the path bigger for us. It’s really exciting. Wolf Alice winning the Mercury was wicked. 

How big is the itch to make an album becoming and are you ready to scratch it? 
You have your whole life to write your debut album, so it’s a big deal for us. We have a lot of songs already. We don’t want to just put a collection of songs out and say, here you go. It needs to be a real piece of art. We don’t want to say we’re perfectionists and it’s not coming as it definitely is, but it needs to be special. 

Do you have any nuggets of information you can give us about your plans for the next year? 
We’re desperate to get Stateside; we’re hoping to do SXSW next year and then the album for sure. It just depends on the right time, the right people and the right engine to get it done. 

Y’know how people say it’s the year of the horse, or the rabbit or whatever, if you could pick anything what would 2019 be the year of for Thyla?
 I have a motto where I have a necklace and a phone case which has the flying pig, that’s kind of my vibe, and everyone calls me pig so yeah, pigs can fly. 2019 is the year that pigs can fly. 

Taken from the December 2018 / January 2019 issue of Dork. Order a copy below.

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