This is a v exciting post. So exciting that I literally don’t know where to begin. Seeing as this is a post about all things musical and wonderful, let’s ease you in with a lil bit of music. Have a listen to these cracking tunes.
Are you a fan of The Smiths? Take a listen to the nostalgic, reminiscent sound of Morrissey:
Next, have a listen to the 110% catchiness of the 1975 with their classic indie-pop offering:
After having a listen, try and imagine an infusion of epic Morrissey-esque vocals, alongside an oh-so indie-pop vibe that’ll leave you toe-tapping longer than Chocolate did.
Now, treat yo ears with these beauties:
And there you have it, say hello to Manchester’s AFFAIRS. I know, why haven’t you heard of them? No need to thank me.
I was extremely lucky to be able to have a chat with the band’s very own Dan Parker on all things AFFAIRS: what makes the band who they are, their musical influences and where they see themselves in the future (aka at the forefront of the indie circuit, in my opinion).
It’s Friday evening at 7pm and I’m awaiting a phone call from Dan. Not exactly being a pro at the ol’ interview caper and also having been a major fan of AFFAIRS ever since that first listen, I was admittedly a little nervous as to how the chat would go. Questions laid out in front of me, I’d pretty much memorised them by heart after double-checking (or triple-checking, or more) through them in preparation. However, as soon as my phone buzzed into life and I hastily answered it, I was put at ease in an instant. A warm, Northern voice rumbled ‘hello?’ on the other end of the line and with that, we were off.
Dan himself describes the band as ‘heavy indie-pop’ and this sound has stood AFFAIRS in good stead around n about the ol’ indie circuit. Having supported the likes of Alt-J, Nothing But Thieves and JAWS, AFFAIRS is a force to be reckoned with. Comparisons have been drawn to The Smiths and even Spandau Ballet – and also modern indie favourites such as The 1975 and Wild Beasts (who I found out would be the band’s dream musical collaboration). AFFAIRS combine nostalgia with pure indie-pop modernity: an utter musical feast.
“We were messing about at the beginning and somebody was laughing about being called AFFAIRS”
Despite a very epic sound, the band have humble beginnings: ‘we formed a few years ago now, whilst we were in University in Hull. Me and one of the other guys started it up, we then brought in people from all over the shop and went from there really.’ Intrigued as to the inspiration behind such a name as AFFAIRS, Dan chuckles before admitting the name came about in quite an amusing way. ‘I don’t think it’s that inspired, to be honest with you. We were messing about at the beginning and somebody was laughing about being called AFFAIRS and I think that’s how it came about.’
There’s a very real, down-to-earth quality about the band that is particularly refreshing for the music scene. There is a tendency for music to become pretentious and grandiose, but AFFAIRS’ latest single, the euphoric ‘Life of Leisure’, says a simple, yet important message in their classic ‘heavy, indie-pop’ way. Hailed as a ‘doom-pop masterpiece’, Dan is quick to keep it real when discussing the meaning of the song. ‘Life of Leisure is about wanting something for nothing. Well, at least that’s what it means to us – it can obviously mean what the hell it wants to mean, but on the surface, it’s about wanting the life of leisure without actually doing the hard graft’.
“Life of Leisure is about wanting something for nothing.”
Hard graft, ambition and drive is something that is clearly important to AFFAIRS. Right at the beginning of his career, Dan was actually thrust into a previous band without any experience of playing an instrument, so he ‘had to learn pretty quick!’ He first discovered his passion for writing music here and this continues today to be his favourite part of being a musician. Interested as to how their songs come about, I asked Dan whether they tackle the lyrics or melody first when song writing. He nods towards how ‘it’s quite difficult to get a melody without some lyrics first’, however he again keeps it real by telling me that each song comes about differently and organically: ‘I think sometimes the more you mess about with an idea it ends up changing and becoming something else’.
As to who inspires their craft, Dan explained the diversity of each band member’s musical influences, that definitely feed into their infusion of nostalgia with a modern sound: ‘James would kind of harp on about people like David Bowie, Mike has a different background as he was a jazz drummer before joining us, I think Jack’s really into his pop and then Liam’s into more indie, electronic house music, so as you can imagine everybody’s got their own different musical inspirations that they bring to the table.’
“We’re just in the process of recording the follow-up single”
Right now, AFFAIRS are in the process of getting some more tracks recorded and I’m lucky enough to be let in on their next single. ‘We’re just in the process of recording the follow-up single to Life of Leisure, which I believe will be called Gracious World, and then we’ll probably be writing more tracks. It’s just a continuous process: new music, recording, writing, playing gigs and that’s it really.’
It seems as if we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg with AFFAIRS. There’s a lot more to come from this Northern band, many more mental shows, a lot more ‘hip-thrusting’ on stage as Dan tells me, and plenty more classic songs to add to their armour. I have no doubt that they’ll soon be reigning indie-pop. As for AFFAIRS’ future, Dan knows that ‘it’s gotta get weirder.’ They have the drive to know where they want to be: ‘the stuff that I listen to that makes me go ‘wow, that’s great’ has that classic pop music sound, whilst also doing something that makes you go ‘that’s a bit strange, but I love it.’ That’s exactly what I’m aiming for.’ The best musicians have an edge, and the edge is exactly what AFFAIRS have got. Watch this space.
Make sure to follow the band on social media to keep up-to-date with up-coming songs and exciting new releases
— A F F A I R S (@Affairsband) November 4, 2016