Words by Arthur Arnold - @arnoldcityliving
Images by Through The Eyes Of Ruby - @throughtheyesofruby
In the sludge and drudgery of a Friday evening [N.B I recognise this is the most typical introduction to an evening in Manchester, though it is impossible to go without saying] I spent the evening talking with Annie, Danny and Rhys – collectively known as The Early Mornings. Talking about how they work, talking about what they do, talking about what they listen to - talking about most things really. They were at the Castle Hotel ready to play a set for Do Your Best / The Singing Box promotions, with a handful of other bands, including Organic Zip and Beige Palace. I arrive to find Rhys, in the green tile bunker of the Castle Hotel who quickly opens up about projects of his that go beyond The Early Mornings, and as Annie and Danny arrive, the creative plot behind the group thickens to reveal three individuals all with myriad creative capacities and outlets. A holy trinity of an artist, a filmmaker and a poet. And in terms of sound, it’s a bit more than a trinity…
We talk and drink. Talking about what they listen to. Lots of local, modern bands are mentioned, such as Handle, The Starlight Magic Hour, Blanketman, DUDS and The Birthmarks. Further afield there's also talk of how fertile the UK in general is at the moment for guitar music with bands like Roxy Girls, Dry Cleaning and Black Midi coming up. Annie is of the opinion that guitar music is being ‘pushed to places it’s not been before’ and that there is ‘a big scene for that in the UK and Manchester at the moment’ – and that’s a scene you better hop onto if I may add. With groups sharing equipment and members (Rhys points to two of his local favourites, Humint and Spengler) there’s a lot to be said for the vast amount of music that surrounds you in Manchester, as well as touring bands too, in what Danny would call ‘a good mix’ produced on the basis that people are always moving here, so it’s never stagnant. Though this may be the case, The Early Mornings aren’t concerned with pandering to anyone else’s conceptions of taste, not even each other’s. It’s exactly this attitude which produces a richness to the group, steeped in originality; it’s refreshing and it’s moreish.
We talk and drink. Talking about how they work. The group’s lyrics start with Danny’s poems before Annie takes the blade to them and in her own words ‘slices them up’ to change their context, meaning and sound. A technique which nods to their love of collage and cut-ups, evident both lyrically and visually - with the band creating all their own artwork. Commentaries, on things that one might see daily, yes, but applied in pop context. This gives the songs a universality in their meaning – Danny’s writings of ‘different observations and moments’ come together in the songs to create a whole, which is ambiguous in it’s meaning, open to thought and interpretation. This universality makes also for modest political pop. In an era of hyper direct, accurate but obvious political verse with groups such as Slaves and Idles, it is a staple of The Early Mornings refreshment that their music isn’t ‘consciously political’ but instead about ‘everyday things’ – things that matter, things that don’t, things that can mean whatever you want.
After chatting, the merriments aren’t nearly over as the band take to the Castle’s stage. In quick-fire they shoot off numbers one by one: an eclectic mix of 2-minute pop songs, instrumentals, post-punk and even the occasional swapping of instruments - each song taking you somewhere different. Though the band has no official releases to date, ‘Yoni’ has collected a local recognition and admiration on the back of an early home demo. As Rhys describes - its jagged, but it’s got a melody - and you could say this just about sums their sound up. We are lucky enough that The Early Mornings have just released their debut single ’Artificial Flavour’ on Safe Suburban Home Records – so if you can’t get down to see them play, you’re in luck.
’ARTIFICIAL FLAVOUR’ AVAILABLE NOW ON VINYL AT WILDERNESS RECORD STORE