“Growing up I was pretty severely dyslexic. I didn’t read that much until more recently but I watched a lot of films. So most of my inspiration for writing probably came more from film. When I’m constructing a song and writing it out I always think about it visually as much as I do on the page.”
It feels like the rise of London alt band, Gengahr, has been quite sudden, but for chief vocalist Felix Bushe it’s been 10 years in the making.
“I’m 25 now, and I played in my first band when I was about 14 or 15, so it kind of feels like 10 years building up to it,” he says.
“Since we put our first demos online, that process has felt really quick and that’s been a really exciting thing for us. Having interest from putting stuff up on Soundcloud gives you real confidence because you get the sense that real people are listening to it. We’ve played in other bands before where we’ve had record labels or management get involved and they’ve been really excited about it. But we’ve never really seen that connection with the public.”
Gengahr’s woozy, dreamlike brand of indie tunes have garnered them worldwide acclaim and led to them to tour with the likes of Alt-J and The Maccabees, play SxWS in Austin earlier this year, and get singles such as She’s A Witch significant radio airplay. And all before releasing their first album, A Dream Outside. Bushe describes it as a modern guitar album.
“There’s elements of psych in it, elements of pop, elements of grunge. So it kind of straddles the line between pop and rock but does it in a way that’s gentle and trippy at times.”
He continues, “Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Deerhunter, Tame Impala, they were a few of the bands we were listening to as we were writing music for the album. And the production on those sorts of records, the lo-fi or element of DIY sound, makes them sound rich and inviting. That’s what we were going for with our record.”
Lyrically, Bushe says he also takes a lot of inspiration from films. This can be seen in the band’s music videos which feature cinematic and often disturbing narratives.
“Growing up I was pretty severely dyslexic. I didn’t read that much until more recently but I watched a lot of films. So most of my inspiration for writing probably came more from film. When I’m constructing a song and writing it out I always think about it visually as much as I do on the page.
“When it comes to making the videos, I spend a lot of time storyboarding them and writing them down. I’ve always wanted to make a film so to be able to do it with music and combine it with the artwork we do as well, it’s a real privilege to be able to do all those things.”
Gengahr will be coming to Australia for the first time to play Splendour In The Grass later this year, and Bushe promises that despite the ethereal and delicate aspect of their music their show is an energetic live experience. And for those without tickets to the sold-out festival Bushe says there are side shows in the works.
“We’re looking to do about five or six. I can’t wait. I’ve always wanted to go to Australia. We started working with an Australian label pretty early on which was great and that’s how we managed to get over there and get stuff on triple j. It’s really exciting to hear that there’s interest. For us it’s a whole other world from little old England. I mean my mate I think he got his Australian girlfriend out there and now she’s living with him in London. All magical things seem to happen in Australia.”