In a mad world that needs slowing down, Dirty Laces are reaching for the breaks and pulling out the stops with mesmerising new single ‘You’ – a deep exploration of the ‘self’ and the blistering first release from their Snowdonia sessions which sees the band upturn all expectation with their most expansive offering yet.
“’You’ could be about what holds you back or what’s broken, having a lack of care or direction…why we are made the way we are and possible reasons for failure,” tells the band’s bassist Tom Edwards, of the song’s meandering existentialist thought process. “It’s also about finding solace in people, even if we are all inevitably a bit broken or confused in our own way.”
Leaving Manchester’s north-easterly ‘burbs and retreating to Ffestiniog, Wales over a long Winter weekend, Tom and fellow Laces Charlie Jordan (vocals), Luke Dec (guitars), Jacob Simpson (guitar) and Luke O’Reilly (drums/percussion) decamped from their Chadderton rehearsal room to a hikers’ mountainside retreat, and converted the space into a studio with no-one but neighbouring sheep for company. “Isolation helped us push the boundaries of our creativity and ‘You’ came straight from the wonderful Welsh air,” tells Tom of the band’s psychedelic evolution. “It felt like another world – like something out of Lord Of The Rings. When all you’re faced with is a beautiful environment and your instrument, it stretches your imagination; it gives you a strange focus and the ideas flow.”
Without pre-meditated ideas or concern, only rolling fields and mountain views before them – with the odd distraction of football, Kurt Cobain biographies, occasional smoking breaks, and turning their recording equipment into a DIY karaoke machine – the band got down to business. “We wanted to lay down as much new material as we could and really express ourselves,” they say. “It came with the pressure of being in that space for a limited time but often that helps us get results.” Experimenting by adding drums and synths to the song’s guitar-led foundations and manipulating its dynamics, ‘You’ sees Dirty Laces vibe off the music they’ve always loved whilst allowing themselves to fall deeper into its sonic rabbit hole. “We’re proud to wear our influences on our sleeves and really just want to make interesting music,” Tom says. “We love melody as well as riffs. We want to explore the whole spectrum of Rock ‘n’ Roll and not be afraid to push its boundaries.”
Forcing anyone who thought they had Dirty Laces pegged to think again, ‘You’ takes no prisoners. Nearing the 7 minute mark, it’s a heavy rock epic that belies the young band’s years, and veers from Storm in Heaven era Verve and their love of early Britpop to unleashing a riptide of swelling guitars that tear through the speakers, equally expressing their appreciation for outsider prog and powerful garage rock. Merging their own electricity with the classic stoned rock anthems of Wolfmother, Black Sabbath, Alice in Chains or Ride, it even encompasses a little unease from the atmospheric valley air. “Parts of ‘You’ definitely have something of a chill; it is a cold windy day with a lot of cloud, but still manages to find moments of sunshine,” Tom tells.
Following their work together on recent single ‘Back of the Line,’ the band re-joined Seatbelts’ Alex Quinn (production/mixing) to lay down the track at Liverpool’s Parr Street Studios; once home to The Smiths and Echo and the Bunnymen but now a home of their own, together they developed an intuitive approach to recording that allowed creativity to prevail. “You work tirelessly to make something as good as it can be, and we can safely say we enjoyed every aspect of the challenge,” the band say. From one home to another, ‘You’s artwork even depicts the photo of a dilapidated, graffitied old house by artist Sophie Barrott. “It almost gives the impression of staring eyes – a constant reminder of the importance of ‘You’, whatever or whoever that might be,” indicates Tom.
No longer outsiders, Dirty Laces are coming up on the inside and giving their fellow front-runners an unapologetic wink and a knowing glance. Currently on tour around the UK following some of their biggest shows so far including a sold-out headline show at Gorilla, Salford Lads Club, Tim Burgess’ North by Northwich and festivals like Kendal Calling, Sound City and Neighbourhood, taking some time for self-discovery has allowed Dirty Laces to forge their own path and ‘You’ is another satisfying twist for a band continuing to surprise their audiences with every turn.
Tour Dates 2020
Saturday 7th March – The Lantern, Halifax
Friday 13th March – Electric Church Club, Blackburn
Friday 20th March – KU Bar, Stockton on Tees
Saturday 21st March – The Crystal Ballroom, Glossop
Thursday 26th March – The Salty Dog, Northwich
Friday 27th March – Le Pub, Newport
Saturday 28th March – Three Wise Monkeys, Colchester
Friday 3rd April – Bootleg Social, Blackpool
Tuesday 7th April – The Parish, Huddersfield
Wednesday 8th April – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Thursday 9th April – The Fiddler, London
Saturday 11th April – Zanzibar, Liverpool
Saturday 18th April – The Crauford Arms, Milton Keynes