Circuit Sweet Interview, Feature, News

Gavin Brown Takes On Lotusbliss | Interview & EP Release Special

September 30, 2022
Lotusbliss- courtesy of Lotusbliss facebook

Gavin Brown Takes On Lotusbliss

Interview & Release Special

Lotusbliss creates soundscapes that take in a whole host of gentle ambient, soaring guitar and harmony-led sounds. The band (who consist of brothers Josh, Adam and Seth) have just brought out their latest EP An Aching Sea and the follow-up to last year’s Bittersweet EP, which is five tracks of pure lotusbliss audio magic. We caught up with the band, and they talked us through the creation of An Aching Sea and a whole host of other subjects relating to the band, including live shows, music videos and new music.

EP Artwork

Your new EP An Aching Sea is out now. How did the creation of the EP go?

We really enjoyed the making process for this EP, in the past we’d tracked a couple of songs at a time and then put them together afterwards (sometime’s releasing the first single before the others were fully done) but this time decided to flip that and make the record as one body of work. This felt much more freeing creatively, as the deadlines were looming in the same way as before and allowed us to focus on making the music we wanted to make, to consider the journey more fully across the songs – and to just enjoy the process more!

How excited are you to get the EP out there for fans to absorb?

We’re really proud of this record and think it’s our best body of work to date, so yeah really excited! We’ve had some great responses from both fans and critics alike so far and can’t wait to hear more.

The song Dust was the first song you realised from An Aching Sea, can you tell us about that song and what it is about?

Nightshade was actually the first one we released, with Dust being the second single. Whilst Nightshade is dark, energetic and brooding, we enjoyed the contrast that Dust brought to it – hazy, hopeful and calmer. Dust is about valuing yourself, about not allowing some of the heavy thoughts that come along to take over your mind and define who you are – “don’t give up now, you’re a whole lot more than ashes and dust”. It’s based in part around when I (Josh) was walking home one evening and saw a girl sat in her car, with condensation misting the windows, looking lost in thought. I wondered what it was she was thinking about, and wrote the lyrics around that.

Can you also give us a bit of insight into the video you released for Dust?

This was more of a ‘visualiser’ than a proper music video. We wanted to create something that offered a visual aid to complement the listening experience of the song, and it felt like a slightly chaotic one-shot video of us all representing different potential emotions and thought patterns of the girl in the car would do that well. We shot it by filming the dashboard of a car with a reversing camera which brought a number of technical difficulties with it but, we felt, added lots to the aesthetic overall.

Can you also tell us about the video you did for Nightshade and what the song is about?

Nightshade is about being involved with something or someone that is unhealthy, though the unhealthy nature is not immediately visible. The whole song is framed in a metaphor – like solanine (the poison found in nightshade plants like potatoes and tomatoes), in small doses it’s too subtle to notice; the corrupting force goes undetected. In larger quantities, though, it can be all-consuming and fatal, like with the infamous Deadly Nightshade flower. Its’ scientific name, Atropa Belladonna, comes from Greek mythology – Atropos has the thread of your life in her hands and is poised to cut it. We wanted to represent this in the video, give the sense of foreboding and visualise the poisoning element through the slightly trippy shots of us all stumbling around Birmingham city at night.

How important is the visual element of lotusbliss?

This has come to feel quite integral to the music, which initially we made the videos to serve the songs they have evolved to become a crucial part of the storytelling for us. That is helped by the fact that we’ve done it all in house, so there’s a distinct flavour to them.

What are some of your favourite ever music videos?

We all love the video to The Horror from our Bittersweet EP, but the video for Unwired (which we released just after the EP) has become an instant favourite. We filmed this in the beautiful Moseley Road Baths, and it was the first video we’d done which featured us all playing a song together as a band, whilst keeping those essential lotusbliss narrative elements to it – the drummer in the video is the same masked character that features on the EP artwork.

What has the reaction to the new material been like so far?

As I said, it’s been really great so far. We’ve been featured on some really cool blogs and radio stations etc, but it’s the messages from fans saying how a particular song has really meant something to them which we relish. Looking forward to seeing which songs connect going forward.

Have you had any thoughts about a full length album in the near future?

We would LOVE to do a full album, and have definitely thought about it. We want to make sure we do that when the timing is really right – you only get to release your debut album once! But we do have lots of material in the pipeline, with a number of songs recorded already for the next project, so will see how that starts to form.

What are the biggest influences on the sound of lotusbliss?

We listen to lots of different styles and genres of music, with the nuances of those playing out in subtle ways throughout our music, but possibly the artists that have shaped our sound the most would be Tears for Fears (particularly around guitars), indie-folk artists like Fleet Foxes, Vancouver Sleep Clinic, Ben Howard etc and modern rock acts like Foals, The War on Drugs and Wolf Alice.

Have you got any live dates planned after the EP comes out?

We’re about to announce a London date for later this year but are holding fire until next year to go out on tour. Can’t wait though!

What have been some of the most memorable gigs that lotusbliss have done and what made them so memorable?

The first festival we played at was 110 Above, which is a beautiful festival in Leicestershire. It’s small and family friendly but with a die-hard indie/rock/alternative crowd, and our music seemed to go down really well there. It was shortly after lockdown in 2021 too, so getting on the stage and playing felt so liberating!

What have been some of the standout moments from your time in lotusbliss so far?

Besides 110 Above, our first show back in Feb 2020 was amazing. Loads of friends came out to support, and it felt like the perfect way to launch the band. We love the recording process though, so just being in the studio making music together has been amazing – long may it continue.

A huge thank you for spending time with Circuit Sweet!

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