Better put Bristol-based electronic-pop trio Elder Island and their hotly-anticipated sophomore album Swimming Static (out May 28) on your radar, because they are blowing up! Following the release of 2019’s acclaimed debut album The Omnitone Collection, Elder Island’s Swimming Static sees the band meld genres with effortless precision. Flitting between the surreal dream-state of electronica and the storytelling-esque lyricisms of indie, the new record tempers introspection with a coveted taste of feel-good pop, offering dashes of neo-soul at the core. To bother Katy, Dave and Luke was an absolute honor, and their answers are fun, funny, and inspiring.
1. If you could shapeshift into anything at all, what would it be?
KATY: Seagull – a good flyer – built to last – floats on water – still enjoys chips.
DAVE: A circle.
LUKE: I would shape into a bird of some kind, one that can glide pretty high. It may not seem like the most adventurous answer but I reckon it would be super cool to just fly around for the day.
2. Did you know there is an actual Elder Island and do you know where it is?
KATY: In Canada! I think it’s a small uninhabited island – I always wanted to go.
DAVE: Yes, it’s off the eastern coast of Canada.
LUKE: Sure did! It’s in the arctic circle of Canada, it was discovered by Sir William Edward Parry. One day we will write a concept album there, it will probably be made with no electronic instruments as it’s pretty remote and powering equipment will more than likely be difficult.
3. Are your parents proud of you?
KATY: Yes, and I am proud of them, we are one big never ending circle of pride ∞
DAVE: I hope so.
LUKE: I hope so.
4. What was it like to work side jobs while your music was playing on BBC radio?
KATY: It was pretty incredible, I think I’d like a part-time job again! Last time was a full-time job on the side and that was a bit much. Full-time musicianship is amazing and I thank my lucky stars but there’s a lot more business to attend to and the frivolity is harder to come by. Sometimes I muse that a part-time job might also offer a bit of structure and an assurance of steady pay.
5. Have you ever gone cherry picking?
KATY: I have been black current picking, strawberry picking, blueberry, raspberry, elderberry, sloe berry, and even mulberry picking- but alas never cherry.
DAVE: There was a cherry tree in the back garden of the house I grew up in, so yes I have!
LUKE: I sure have! I was lucky enough to photograph Cherry pickers in the Okanogan Valley. British Columbia, Canada back in 2013. Why do you ask?
6. Is it true that every song of yours starts with a jam session?
KATY: It is true…apart from maybe “Garden” on EP1 which started as a song I wrote for my mum for her birthday when I was a poor unorganized student.
LUKE: So far that’s how it’s turned out. There may be a couple in there that haven’t initially started that way but they have always been jammed to make them the songs they are today.
7. Have you ever driven a car in America?
KATY: Yes! a big ol’ SUV, loved it. We do a lot of our own driving on tours and there are some monster drives to be had in America!
DAVE: We did our first US tour in a whopper of an SUV.
LUKE: I’ve driven an SUV, does that count?
8. If COVID ended today, what’s the first thing you would do as musicians?
KATY: Tonight, a triple stop trail of evening music- pub with band on, then a gig, then club dancing. With a possible panic attack halfway through because of being mentally unprepared. Plus chips, every good night deserves chips.
DAVE: Go to a record shop.
LUKE: As musicians, probably do a show as soon as we can.
9. Have you ever had an embarrassing mishap or hurt yourself while playing on stage?
KATY: Nothing big – I’ve stepped on a few sharp items as I often perform barefoot. Also had a few psychological brain meltdowns on stage and started talking about fruit and god knows what else on the microphone. This is cripplingly horrible but brings much mirth to Luke on my left.
DAVE: Not yet.
LUKE: Too many to count! For some reason, I am the mishaps man.
10. Which famous musicians from Bristol would you rather collaborate with: Massive Attack or Portishead?
KATY: Massive Attack – we see them around, they seem really down to earth. That would be brilliant.
DAVE: That’s too tough to answer.
LUKE: Massive Attack all day!