Amelia’s Magazine | Interview: The Hundred In The Hands

As I arrive at The Hundred in the Hands soundcheck, for sale the floor of the upstairs room of the Old Blue Last is littered with an array of guitars, information pills wires, and keyboards with cases of all shapes and sizes to match. On stage the Brooklyn two-piece seem to glide between their stations, calmly, almost nonchalantly, warming their instruments up and coiling endless lengths of cable around the compact space the Old Blue has to offer. Eleanor, Jason and the beat master extraordinaire (Mr Apple Mac laptop) whir into action for another slot on their summer tour, their appearance in London followed by a much anticipated debut at Latitude and Festival de-Affaire in the Netherlands. Even within the empty room my feet can’t help tapping as The Hundred in the Hands fine tune their breed of electro; sugar spun candy pop sprinkles on a thick, fuzzy electric whirlwind that you can’t help but get lost in.

Once the soundcheck is put to bed, Eleanor and Jason are kind enough to spare me a few minutes for a chat in the luxurious surroundings the Old Blue Last does so well- peeling wallpaper, endless sirens and multipacks of Hula Hoops. But the charming pair seem unfazed by the rush around them, the capital is now like a ‘second home’ to them as this venture brings their UK visits up to four, although Eleanor insists they ‘still don’t know how to get around, nearly getting run over because the cars are going the wrong way.’

As a pair they seem in sync, each listens to the other, feeds off their ideas, never overrunning each other’s sentences. For creators of such urgent and, at times, epic music, there is a calm patience about each of them. Their musical exploration references many shades of genres through history, although their own musical education began with the good old bastion of classic American music: the radio. For Jason it was the ‘golden oldies on the stations, Motown and stuff like that’, a passion shared by Eleanor: ‘Because it was on the radio it wasn’t really a conscious choice, it just drifted into your life. And I listened to a lot of brooding, moody music in the 90’s, of course, as everyone should. But I think when I came back around to pop music and pop forms I realised I did have that in my background, but it was all the golden oldies, the girl group sounds.’

The pop power behind The Hundred in the Hands is undeniable, intentional even, with the band working with four different producers including pop mastermind Richard X and LCD Soundsystem’s aural curator, Eric Broucek. ‘We chose songs that would compliment producers’, Jason explains. ‘They didn’t necessarily shape the idea of the song, but just help it go the extra distance. To tap into the knowledge and ability like that is amazing.’ For Eleanor the assistance of four varying second opinions ‘adds a rush of energy and settle the arguments,’ although few producers would complain about taking on the task of laying Eleanor’s sweet, crystal cut voice over the record. She might be the only girl of the group, but an unmistakable femininity resonates within the melodies, a throwback to their radio listening days.

Their upcoming album is due for release in September and was even originally conceived to be a hip hop album, a nod to their mutual dedication to decades of the genre (although after 1992 it does get a bit wobbly), but the follow up to the pair’s EP ‘Dressed in Dresden’ flirts more readily with a sense of catchy hooks and itchy basslines. With 70 to 80% of the tracks home recorded at some point along the way, The Hundred in the Hands are undoubtedly keeping a lo-fi arthouse panache to their sound, but a heavy touring schedule means the chance to write new songs has got to find its own time amongst the shows.

This is where Mr Apple Mac apparently comes in most handy, not only for spending hours geeking out on dub and hip hop inspirations, but for moulding the biology of The Hundred in the Hands’s sounds. ‘Beats seem to grow; we write as we’re recording and we can’t play it until we record it so it’s always changing. After shows, in between shows, on the way to the next show, we can get the laptop open and work. The difficulty is trying to make the beats feel like they’re happening now.’ Jason’s passion for melding the experience of pre-recording and live performance is evident and is something the pair have perfected for their touring schedule. The frequent appearance of Steve Job’s silvery, shiny plug-in babies on stages across the world has exploded in the past few years, but whilst DJs have benefited endlessly from software programmes that turn the bedroom into the studio, some bands have failed to translate this process into a tangible and exciting live performance. No doubt familiar with this problem, Eleanor explains how the band have moderated their sound: ‘We’ve designed things so with the year of touring we’ve got coming up we have eight different channels of sound coming from the back track, so we’re trying to make it adaptable to a more full on spectrum. Not dance music, but something full on.’

What better place to test the theory than the jammed Old Blue Last. By 10pm the air seems sticky with all the bodies and plastic cups of beer. Jason said he hoped people would ‘get sweaty’ tonight and I do not think he will be disappointed. Opener Tom Tom tip taps through your head and feet but pop the vibration intricacies that make the record such a stunner are somewhat lost in the air. As the songs are reeled out the energy onstage fizzles between Jason’s stopstart juts and stomps on the guitar, and Eleanor’s vocal emerge from her diminutive frame and dishevelled, parted hair. A panicked elegance emerges from each song and new material marks itself out from the darker edge of Dressed in Dresden. A disco electro undercurrent darts from the speakers and limbs start to get looser amongst the audience. The final word must, of course, come from the Man of the Masses, the Voice of the People, or the Man in Front of Me Using Blackberry… “the band is fuckin amazin!”

All photographs by Sabrina Morrison

Categories ,Apple Mac, ,brooklyn, ,electro, ,gig, ,Green Man, ,interview, ,latitude, ,lcd soundsystem, ,Mac, ,new wave, ,Richard X, ,The Hundred In The Hands, ,The Old Blue Last, ,THITH

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Amelia’s Magazine | Young Knives – SUPERABUNDANCE


With such dry, look visit ironic observations as ‘home is where the house is‘, this cialis 40mg Superabundance introduces itself as a melodious continuation of the faux-geek, visit web insightful pop-rock that first emerged in Voices of Animals and Men, but proceeds to take us on a spiralling journey into the dark depths of the Young Knives‘ psyche. In Terra Firma, we are confronted with the beginnings of the climactic incantations that slowly envelop us in a humming and howling hypnosis in Current of the River, which follows a sombre, medieval chant in the delightfully foreboding, pagan harmonies of Mummy Light the Fire. I don’t like to compare bands, but I found some of their wistful, nautical narratives redolent of the Decemberists‘ historical fictions.

While the insinuations of suicide in Counters left me feeling tempted to phone the three band members to see that they were alright, Rue the Days has a positively nonchalant nineties feel and Flies, a gentle meditation on the natural world, seems to encapsulate a recurring fascination with human-animal relationships; a little idiosyncratic perhaps, but I get the feeling this album is somewhat an eruption of the Young Knives’ musical multiple personality.

I listened to every word of the album, and realised it was poetry; a super abundance of philosophical metaphors immersed in a synthesis of unexpected genres, undulating from pensive, orchestral flickers to thick, satisfying explosions of bass, good old enthusiastic shouting and some of the catchiest hooks around. It may leave you weeping, but it may just as well have you running out the house in your dancing shoes.

Categories ,Music Narrative Album

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Amelia’s Magazine | Gabby Young & Other Animals: Fear of Flying Video

FOF - Gabby Young
Last year Gabby Young & Other Animals released the gorgeous Fear Of Flying from recent album One Foot In Front of the Other.

Fear of Flying is a personal favourite,’ says Gabby. ‘It’s about being so fiercely independent I refused to let people get involved in my career and life, but I am so thankful I got over that and let people in. Those people have made my life so much better. They help me conquer my fears, which I have too many of – including the fear that I might be scared of flying, which is crazy.

We caught up with Gabby to find out more about the beautiful video, in which she is dressed as a giant bird…

What inspired the video for Fear or Flying?
We wanted to do a simple video for this song as it is so rich and emotive. Our previous videos have been busy and flashy but we felt Fear Of Flying should be subtle and all about the music and lyrics. The director, Angus Campbell Golding sent a treatment based around an idea that Stephen (my musical and life partner) and I had already been thinking about – a fledgling bird in a nest scared to fly for the first time.

FOF - Gabby Young 2
What preparation was required to be a bird?
When we decided to make me into a bird like character I knew exactly who to call – Alexandra ‘Hippy Poppins’ Gray as I have worked with her before and she is so brilliantly creative and talented all I needed to say to her was ‘I would love to be like a bird but not a bird‘ and she started firing off amazing ideas about feathers and a bird skull headpiece which she brought in the brilliant Ruby Bird to make for it too. They are such a great team and totally got the aesthetic of the song and video – they even ended up sculpting my hair when the hair stylist didn’t show up!! The nest was built by the wonderful design team that Angus brought in – Adrian P Smith and Sarah-Jane van der Westhuizen who built the nest from a dogs bed, twigs and fluff.

FOF - Gabby Young - crew
Who made the video?
Angus Campbell Golding is my best friend from primary school’s brother who I have known most of my life and when I got a facebook message from him asking if I would be interested in doing a music video with him and saw the films he had been making it was an easy choice! I loved working with Angus – his ideas were so doable and I love that he totally ‘got’ the song. Angus built up the fantastic team bringing in Daniella Gonella and her DG Productions who really got behind the whole project and generously found us the makeup artist, Tanya McGeever, EPK crew and photographer. Angus got Jon Hall on board as the director of photography too. I loved working with this team – it ran like clockwork and we all had a wonderful time together.

What are you working on next?
I am playing at Late Night Jazz in the Elgar Room at the Royal Albert Hall later this month and album no.4 is starting to be written which is exciting!

Fear of Flying is out now. Gabby Young & Other Animals play Late Night Jazz at the Royal Albert Hall on the 29th January – more information here.

Categories ,Adrian P Smith, ,Alexandra ‘Hippy Poppins’ Gray, ,Angus Campbell Golding, ,Daniella Gonella, ,DG Productions, ,Fear of Flying, ,gabby young, ,Gabby Young & Other Animals, ,Jon Hall, ,Late Night Jazz, ,One Foot In Front Of The Other, ,Royal Albert Hall, ,Ruby Bird, ,Sarah-Jane van der Westhuizen, ,Tanya McGeever

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Amelia’s Magazine | Pete & The Pirates – MR UNDERSTANDING

Pete & The Pirates are great. Guitar pop hasn’t been this exciting since The Libertines‘ debut. Nothing too smart, nurse store no overt post-punk influences, unhealthy no attempt at non-existent depth. Mr Understanding is an over-excited barrage of sharp, sketchy simplicity.

And it makes you feel so young: “Could it be I’m alive after all then/Picking pennies of the floor with my cold hands/Look at me, no hands, ain’t it cool yeah/Look at her falling out of the taxi cab.”

It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but it’s the imagery that’s great. I can remember riding my bike, showing off and releasing my grip of the handlebar. I can remember goading pissed women stumbling out of cabs. I can remember when getting pissed was a novelty, not routine. And so do Pete & The Pirates.

They’ve got an energy, a buzz, a playful pizzazz about them. And check the video. Chickens, lights, mirrors, shades, larking about. This is what boys in bands were supposed to do before they got all serious and started strutting around in leathers, competing over women, insisting on class A’s and appearing all intellectual. Basic, raw and monstrously entertaining: boy pop at its best.

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