Nanook Of The North | Interview

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After scooping heaps of attention with their single ‘Panda Eyes’, Nanook Of The North are set to play this months Electric Harmony Basement Session (18th May) in support of Sophie Jamieson. We shared a few words with the band ahead of the show.

You dropped an EP last year, what are your next steps in terms of new material?

We’ve spent the last year gigging as intensively as possible in support of that EP and while doing so we wrote a lot of material. Now we’re going to record and release that in various parts. We’re excited to finally bring it all to life. Our first single ‘Panda Eyes,’ was the first step in doing that. The follow up ‘Sweet Jubilee’ is going to be released on June 1st, so hopefully people will like it as much as the last.

‘Panda Eyes’ seemed to have a lot of attention, would you say that song still represents where you’re at musically now?

Panda Eyes was the second song that we ever wrote as a band. There are two versions, one is a ratty older one from our EP recorded in our practice room, the other is the one that you can find on youtube alongside a rather excellent video by Storm+Shelter’s Josh Bennett. That one was recorded at Rockfield Studios and was the last thing we did after the intense year of gigging so if anything, it was the end of the very beginning. It’s a naive song, one that we cherish, but essentially a naive song. We’ve come a long way since and are excited to share our new music with those who want to listen.

You’re set to play the May Electric Harmony ‘Basement Session’, what attracted you to the event? It seems to be having quite a positive impact of showcasing new music so far.

We’ve wanted to try and do something like this for a while but haven’t been able to find the right event. Electric Harmony are a group of passionate people who actually care about the music they put on, so when they invited us to play, we jumped at the chance. To be featured alongside such fantastic acts is a massive compliment and supporting the incredibly talented Sophie Jamieson will be something that we’ll hopefully remember forever.

I understand you’ll be playing a stripped back set, that’s a first right? How will you go about altering your normal live show?

This will be our first stripped back set, yes. We’re looking at it as a chance to reinvent our set more than alter it and redevelop our songs from the ground up. Our songs are all very personal to us but once you play them so many times, you sometimes forget why. By putting a new spin on them, we can hopefully not only show people our more tender side, but also re-discover them ourselves. At least that’s the plan. If you want to know more specifically what we’re going to do, you’ll have to come see for yourself.

The comments from Huw Stephens and NME must have lifted you greatly as a new band, did you notice more attention following that publicity?

When we released ‘Panda Eyes,’ that was our way out there dream that if everything went to plan and we got extremely lucky then something like that could happen. Getting mentioned in NME by Huw Stephens was a dream come true. It definitely got us more attention and it’s meant that we’re starting to get to play bigger shows on bigger stages, to bigger crowds and are therefore able to share our music with more people. That’s all that we want.

Have you had a highlight live show as a band so far? There’ve been a lot of notable ones in the Bristol area, Birdcage and Stag & Hounds to name a few…

Bristol has been very kind to us recently and we’ve played some really great shows here. The Birdcage was very memorable, as was Stag and Hounds. We also played Start the Bus last week with the brooding Be Forest and had an awesome time. The highlight however has to be the single launch for ‘Panda Eyes’. When we started this band, we didn’t think anyone would ever care enough to want to bother seeing us live, let alone pay to see us. At that launch night, we played to a full, attentive room. We could never have hoped for more.

Check out ‘Panda Eyes’ right here: