TV Priest discuss the influences behind new album; tour starts this week
UK band TV Priest released their second album, My Other People, in June via Sub Pop. It finds them dialing back the anger and angst of 2021's Uppers just a tad and adding melody and atmosphere in its place. "We wanted to discuss love, loss and joy too," says frontman Charlie Drinkwater who is singing more than shouting this time. "It’s a record about personal disintegration and destruction, but also rebuilding again after this.” Nic Beuth's dark, flinty basslines still drive things but there's a new world of sound around them that offers rays of sunshine among the clouds of Brexit, Trump and the last two years of gloom that still hang over the skyline. You can listen to the album below.
We asked Charlie Drinkwater to tell us more about the inspirations behind My Other People and he returned with a list that includes musicians (Bill Withers, Sonic Youth, Aldous Harding, Fugazi), poets, filmmakers and more. Check out his list and commentary below.
TV Priest begin their North American tour tonight in Brooklyn at Baby's All Right (moved from Union Pool which is temporarily closed due to the recent fire). It's with Liily and tickets are still available. All dates are listed below.
TV PRIEST - 10 INFLUENCES BEHIND MY OTHER PEOPLE
Stepping aside from the visual style of the film for a moment (which is characteristically incredible), I really love how the story plays fast and loose with the notions of what you think it's telling you. It's kind of surreal but linear but also confusing and I get so much from watching it over and over. It's one of those bits of art that I keep coming back to and finding new things in and I still don't really feel like I've puzzled it out.
Sonic Youth - "Sugar Kane"
We were listening to a lot of Sonic Youth and early '90s stuff in the studio when we were writing the record. We really admire how Sonic Youth have this really incredible ear for melody amongst all the dissonance. It's not just 'noise'; it's really well thought out and structured songs that are playing with the form of what a rock band can and should do. I'd had a really early teenage love of them and then kind of forgot about them for a long time so it's been special coming back to these records and rediscovering and having my mind blown all over again.
John Clare is my favourite poet; he is a bit of a lost English Romantic but more heavily rooted in place and with a more direct form and that a lot of his contemporaries. Ahead of his time perhaps. This is a really interesting radio discussion on him, his life, and his work. His life in particular was quite eventful and eventually tragic, but his direct relationship to place and a rural landscape continues to have a really profound effect on me as a person and what I want to talk about in my music.
Kills Birds - "Cough Up Cherries"
One of my favourite new bands. There is a feeling of having known this band for ages, but I love that they have fresh and distinctive take on that slightly post-hardcore sound I was a massive fan of growing up. Nina Ljeti is an amazing frontperson and I like how she walks this line between something really raw and moments of calm and anticipation.
Bill Withers - "Harlem"
I think this might be one of the best debut albums, and this is one of the best album introductions. That constant build all the way through until it hits that magic string section is a total rush. Lyrically these little tableaus he makes are so vivid. A total class act.
Caroline - "IWR"
Caroline's album came out earlier this year and really quickly became a firm favourite. This song in particular is really meditative and draws you in. It created a very strong response in me and is a record that has quite an associative experience for me now; conjuring up times and places very specifically. I've not had a chance to see them live but they play 'in the round' and it looks an interesting way to break down the barrier between crowd and audience.
Aldous Harding - "Old Peel"
It feels like this modern kind of chamber music. I fully buy into each and every world Harding builds. I really respect that her visuals have this smallness and displaced feel that complement the songs perfectly. It's surreal yet feels familiar and in no way over wrought or 'cooky'. The record before this, Designer, is one my all-time favourites but this single really stands up as singular and intriguing piece on its own.
Bergman's The Seventh Seal
This was a big inspiration for the video we made with Joe Wheatley for 'One Easy Thing'. There is a feeling of paintings coming to life in a lot of the compositions and it was just so ahead of its time visually. I like that the film plays around with and ask questions on the human condition, and has that existential mission at its core and looks beautiful whilst doing it.
Bjork - "Human Behavior"
My favourite Bjork song and video. It's just such an excellent blend of unique, sinister and playful. Her voice is such a beautiful and distinct instrument in its own right and the song has moments where it just goes in a strange place melodically but to such effect.
Odetta - "Water Boy"
Odetta is my all time, favourite ever vocalist. I think she's often overlooked and she's the absolute cream of the crop. This video in particular is so powerfully emotive and shows how she can go from sweet and gentle to this all out power in the same breath. I will never ever get tired of hearing her sing.
Bert Jansch - "Angie"
This song accompanied me on quite a lot of walks over the winter lockdown here in the UK. There is a melancholy to it but also a kind of skip and a jump and a hint of lightness too. I was thinking a lot about England and what it means to come from here and kind of love and hate it in equal measure and this song (and the Jansch back catalogue by extension) have this strangely English sense of place that played into my thinking and inspired me.
Fugazi - "I'm So Tired"
We're obviously massie fans of Fugazi, but what drew me to this song is how they use space and the lack of dissonance and noise to such a powerful effect. it was something we thought about on our new record, how do we give moments for contemplation, to showcase emotion other than aggression. I love that about this song; it feels like the moment after the event, the comedown, something tinged with sadness and a sense of closure.
TV PRIEST - 2022 TOUR DATES
Tue. Jul. 26 - Brooklyn, NY - Baby's All Right*
Wed. Jul. 27 - Philadelphia, PA - PhilaMOCA
Fri. Jul. 29 - Montréal, QC - Bar le Ritz PDB
Sat. Jul. 30 - Toronto, ON - Monarch Tavern
Sun. Jul. 31 - Chicago, IL - Beat Kitchen
Thu. Aug. 04 - Happy Valley, OR - Pickathon
Fri. Aug. 05 - Happy Valley, OR - Pickathon
Sat. Aug. 06 - Vancouver, BC - Fox Cabaret
Sun. Aug. 07 - Seattle, WA - Clock-Out Lounge