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September 2018
Feature

In The Studio: Fenech-Soler

"There's a different side to our new album that I'm really excited for people to hear," reveals Ben Duffy.
Published: 9:00 am, November 27, 2016
In The Studio: Fenech-Soler
Since second album ‘Rituals’ in 2013, a lot has changed in the Fenech-Soler camp. Now a two-piece, brothers Ben and Ross Duffy are back with what they promise to be a brighter and bolder sound.

Hey Ben. So, there are only two of you now - how’s it going?
It's going great! Myself and my brother Ross have always written Fenech-Soler's music so it's been a natural progression really. It's a new phase of this band and we're feeling really pleased to be back with new music.

Has it changed the process of creating music, or gigging much?
There's certainly an element that's different now when it comes to producing as Ross and I have taken that role much more with this album but ultimately it's still very much the same as it's always been. We've never wanted to be a band hunched over laptops so our live show is still a full energetic experience with drums, guitars, synth etc. We've actually got our cousin playing drums for us now so it's a full family affair.

How are you feeling about heading into this next chapter? Excited? Apprehensive?
We both feel a sense of achievement really. We're extremely proud of the music we're making and the band that we are and it feels like we've finally found the simplicity in our writing that we've been searching for.

How do you feel about the environment you’re now releasing into - is British music in a good place?
It's always been a good place to start a band because the industry here plays a big role on the world stage but also feels connected and small enough for bands to climb the ladder. There's always been a great ethos behind new artists and cultivating new acts but now that music is a free commodity, more and more acts appear. You have to raise your head above the crowd.

What else is new in the Fenech-Soler camp? What have you been up to since ‘Rituals’?
Well, we have a new EP, a new album, a new live show and now there's only two of us so we've been pretty busy. We started making the album in America where we spent quite a bit of time with Jacknife Lee but didn't really find our stride until we set up a home studio back in London. We limited ourselves to only using the first keyboard we ever bought, the kind that you learn to play on and somehow everything we needed was right in front of us. It had all these perfectly faux-vintage sounds and there was a kind of eureka moment where everything made sense.

How representative is the ‘Kaleidoscope EP’ of the new record? Is it a good indicator of where you’re heading?
There's actually a different side to our new album that I'm really excited for people to hear. We both knew we wanted to create an album that had slower more delicate soundscapes so we wrote much more on the guitar and pieced electronics around it. The EP certainly embodies the new Fenech-Soler and where we're heading but there's much more to come.

How would you best sum up your upcoming album?
I guess quite simply we wanted to make colourful pop record but also offer an honest album that captures what's inside of mine and Ross' heads. We didn't want to dwell on things for too long either when it came to putting it down. In total, the album only took a few months to make but it was the period of learning and experimenting before that took a while. We've always been hugely influenced by electronic music so that naturally plays a big part too but for us, it was about following our own creative compass with every decision.

What’s the one thing you really hope people “get” about the release?
I just want people to discover this album and go back to it in the future. I'm not a fan of how disposal music sometimes feels and for me, good albums and good songs stand the test of time. Everything tends to fade quickly so it would be nice if people enjoy this album for a while to come.

What are you most looking forward to right now?
We have a London show that sold out very quickly [October’s gig at Oslo], and it's our first show in London for a while so that's quite exciting. We also decided early on that we wanted to play new places and release this album in new countries so I'm hoping we get to wander the streets of some new cities. Any band that says touring is hard is not telling the truth. It's a lot of fun!

Taken from the November issue of Upset, out now. Fenech-Soler’s EP ‘Kaleidoscope’ is out now.

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