Superfood are using this year’s festival season to debut a brand new sound.
Festivals are about many things. Pints in the sun, hanging out with mates across a weekend full of memories you’ll be harking back to and talking about until next year’s season starts again and y’know - bands. It’s the perfect time to make a mark, but for Superfood it’s something even greater than that. It’s the glorious rebirth of a band who in 2017, are finally embracing who they’ve always wanted to be.
“I think it’s just been a real kinda long time coming,” explains Dom Ganderton. Sitting in a huge dressing room at The Great Escape, it could seem daunting for a band to reemerge with a distinctly new sound, but for Superfood, it’s the start of something altogether more vital. “I guess it just feels more like a relief that we’ve got this music to a place where we can get it out there, and it’s being played on the radio and everything that we were worried about before when we were second-guessing ourselves has started to go away. Those times where we sat there in the studio thinking is this any good or are we just being fucking mental. People are enjoying it, and things are slowly building…”
Dom trails off as he turns to look at partner in crime and bandmate Ryan Malcolm. It’s a journey that has seen them grow up together and its results are nothing short of dazzling. “I mean, we’re pretty much starting from scratch again, and I’m really happy about that” continues Dom. “Like, the other night we played a set that was mostly all-new songs, and it was just like when we first started gigging. You can see people slowly starting to soak in the songs, and it takes time for people to truly get into it, but I’m just so up for putting the labour in again.”
When Superfood sparked into life back in 2014 with debut album ‘Don’t Say That’, it felt like the arrival of a band flowing with ideas and energy that could shake up a doorframe with the amount of buzz searing through their system. Once the feverish live shows and singalong moments had subsided though, the band found themselves at a crossroads - with an old label who no longer believed in them and a question mark over what came next. Uncertainty, however, led to freedom, and it was in that freedom where Dom and Ryan threw caution to the wind, not knowing if the sounds they were working on would ever make their way out into the world.
“For the first six months after, we were really bummed and were writing bits here and there,” recalls Dom. “But we got into the studio and thought fuck it; we can just do whatever we want - all these crazy ideas and beats that we have on our laptop, let's turn them into songs. We didn’t see it being released anytime soon, or even at all, so we thought let's at least make the music that we want to listen back to while drinking at fucking six o’clock in the morning while high-fiving each other. Whether anyone is going to listen to it or now, so it was really a blessing in that case.”
“This feels a lot more of a true identity for us,” notes Ryan. “The first album was that moment where we had just started writing songs together, hanging out a lot mostly at parties so we never really opened up about our true ideas. We thrashed out that album, which was fun and great, but living with each other and getting to know one another more has led to something more natural for us.”
“And it’s changing people’s perceptions,” jumps Dom. “With this album, we could have sacked off the name Superfood, but we’ve put so much blood, sweat and tears into whatever Superfood is, that we’d be doing ourselves an injustice to scrap it all. At the moment when you say Superfood some people may think along the lines of auto indie-rock Britpop-wannabees, so it’s a matter of getting this album out and letting people hear it through and realising, ‘Right, this is a different thing now’.”
Expressive and shimmering in its own stunning light, Superfood MK II is revelling in an ocean of styles, eras and flourishes. Tasters so far such as the sample-sliced ‘Double Dutch’ and the searing heights of ‘I Can’t See’ point to an album basked in the glories of summer wrapped in something undeniably special, full of fizz and ready to burst into glorious technicolour. For Dom and Ryan, festival season is the enthralling prelude to what’s ahead, and judging by the crowds they’ve seen swarming to the front so far, the word on what Superfood have up their sleeves is making its way around.
“Yeah, it’s a weird one, it feels like we’re confusing people a bit at the moment - but I’m well into that, to be honest,” details Dom. “People go away from it thinking ‘Well, it definitely wasn’t shit, but I need to hear it again’. That thought of ‘What was that?’ is way better than someone not feeling anything. With festivals, we’ve been playing like seven new songs and one old one, and I think we’ve just got to be brave right now, we feel this music is our best and at festivals you’ve got a kinda open playing field to do whatever the hell you want.”
What makes Superfood so undeniably infectious, is that there truly is no ceiling to their ambitions. They’re a duo who no longer feel confined to a box of expectations but instead have discovered a world of potential avenues that’ll continue to surprise and delight at every turn. If there’s one band hungry to open up festival season and grab the attention of thousands, it’s Superfood - laying out the moments you’ll be shouting ‘I Was There’ on a platter for all to sample.
It’s a bold step, but sometimes the most memorable nods are the ones that stand out from the bunch. “It’s just so easy to be safe and play it safe,” defines Dom. “But we’ll thank ourselves six months down the line if we just do it and get these songs out there.”
Your starter is in; Superfood is taking over the menu.
Taken from the August/September Dork Festival Guide - order your copy below. Reading & Leeds takes place from 25th-27th August.