Ahead of their gig with The Vryll Society at Gorilla last Thursday, we chatted to up-and-coming indie rockers Hidden Charms. With bassist Josh disappearing straight after soundcheck, here’s what the rest of the band had to say in regard to their new release and current tour…

Photo by Giles Edwards

Photo by Giles Edwards

Firstly let’s talk about your new EP ‘Harder From Here’ and in particular lead single ‘I Just Wanna Be Left Alone’ – what’s the inspiration behind this track?

Ranald: Me and Vinny wrote it together, we were both similarly in a bad place. It was about feeling suffocated. Vinny’s better at explaining it than me.

Vincent: It’s not a complicated message and it’s not a big statement about anything. It’s relatable with the way that things are now in that everybody would just like some peace now and again. You know you could use it for whatever you want the lyrics can be used in different ways, we had our own reasons at the time for why it was relevant to us. We’re doing this tour now and people are singing along to it and there’s something sort of rebellious about it. It’s a little bit of a two fingers song.

Ranald: It’s kind of ironic as well when you get loads of people singing “I just wanna be left alone”.

Do you have a song from the EP that’s your favourite to play live yet?

Oscar‘I Don’t Mind’ is quite fun because it’s newer.

Vincent: Different ones are better on different nights. ‘Harder From Here’ is nice because we’ve never done anything with an acoustic sound live. We’ve had tracks in the background but we’ve never used them live. It’s good to get that side of us out because it’s what we always play when we’re hanging out and at after parties and things it’s always that almost country sound. That’s how we started, harmonicas out and we’d just grab a banjo and mandolins or whatever we could so it’s good to show that side of the band anyway.

I love your style as well as all your artwork, is image something that’s quite important to you as a band as well as your music?

Ranald: Style is not as important but it’s the whole thing, the whole image, the whole brand of it.

Vincent: If the music is really important and for us the music is really important than why would you have terrible artwork for it? We obviously care about the music the most – we spend ages in the studio writing and recording so then to put out artwork that you’re not connected to in any way would be stupid and with clothes and stuff it’s the same thing. It doesn’t really matter what it is, you just don’t want to be told to do anything.

Oscar: The guy that does our artwork is a guy called Young and Sick – it’s all done by the same guy and it’s great.

Vincent: Anybody who is with us is there for a reason so we’re like a kind of family.

So you’re currently on tour with The Vryll Society, It’s quite unusual for bands to do a co-headline tour, what made you decide to do it?

Vincent: Australian bands do it.

Ranald: We’re on the same label and we love them as people and as a band.

Vincent: It’s been two years since we first played with them.

Oscar: We did one of our first ever shows and they were playing the same bill but we didn’t know them then.

Vincent: They were on after us then and they’re on after us now. It was great after that we met Ann and everyone at Deltasonic and so now we’ve played loads together. It’s always fun.

Ranald: It works well putting the genres together because they’re kind of different…

Oscar:  But if you like our music you’ll like their music and vice versa.

Over the summer you played at numerous festivals across the UK and Europe – was there a particular highlight for you as a band?

Oscar: Kendal Calling I think was probably the best one for us. We played some pretty weird festivals this summer.

Vincent: Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg – that was pretty cool. I think it’s cool because it used to be, when we first started, all about getting out of London and getting a reaction somewhere up north or further south, and now it’s going to, say, Hamburg and seeing Germany react to you. Not that the English ones aren’t good, it’s just that this summer that was a highlight.

Oscar: We’re getting to travel and that’s exciting.

What are you listening to on the tour bus at the moment? Are there any new bands you recommend?

Oscar: We have a Spotify playlist available on our Facebook.

Ranald: It’s all Oscar’s choices.

Oscar: I’ve got a few of your songs on there, some Paul Simon.

Vincent: On the road, we start off in the morning with something jazzy like Louis Armstrong and by the end of the day we end up with Motorhead. New bands-wise we like loads of new bands.

Oscar: All the cool bands, we like all the cool bands.

Finally what’s next for Hidden Charms, what are your plans for after the tour?

Oscar: We’re going to Europe, without The Vryll Society and then back to the studio.

Vincent: I think we’re going to go in the studio as soon as possible. We’ve got loads of ideas we just want to get out. It’s been really good to get this new material out because we’ve never actually done an EP. There have been many times we’ve come close but pulled out last minute. So it’s good to finally have something.

Oscar: We’re getting more grounded, we learnt as we went along about what sort of sound we want to go for.

Vincent: That’s why we’ve waited so long to release an EP – it’s because now we feel really good about it. It’s good that we’ve waited till we’re really sure to put out a collection; before that we’ve always just done singles. That doesn’t mean that the next record is going to sound like this one either. It can all change again. I see it as lily pads – you never know whether to jump or not, we keep jumping on them but you never know, the next one you could just sink. Venturing into creativity could always be a terrible mistake or the best thing you ever did, you have to do it for the thrill.

Hidden Charms’ ‘Harder From Here’ EP is out now via Deltasonic Records. Listen to ‘I Just Wanna Be Left Alone’ here:

Catch Hidden Charms on tour on the following dates:

NOVEMBER

1HULL –Fruit
2LEEDS Brudenell Social Club
3LEICESTER The Cookie
4OXFORD O2 Academy 2
5SOUTHAMPTON– Lennons
14BERLIN Badehaus Szimpla
15DUSSELDORF The Tube
16AMSTERDAM Paradiso
17TILBURG Extase
18UTRECHT Acu
19DEN HAAG De Zwarte Ruiter

About The Author

Ellie Nolan

Manchester based Music Business student always on the lookout for new talent, hoping to enter the world of tour or band management in the future. Particularly passionate about indie guitar bands and loves a boogie. Twitter: @Ellie_Nolan_