Having only entered into the music industry in the last twelve months, Various Cruelties have already made incredible headway, having had air time on Huw Stephens Radio One Show as well as performing at the Isle of Wight Festival, Bestival and Latitude festival this year. Despite this impressive rise to fame in such a short amount of time, information about the band is sparse, purposefully so.
‘We didn’t want to rush it,’ frontman Liam states, ‘We wanted to play it cool until we were ready.’ In the beginning the band teased their would-be followers with sporadic song-streams on their website and one single press image, creating whispers and hype amongst fans and followers.
Theirs is a soundscape that creates nostalgia towards classic Motown with a contemporary twist. It’s as though you could hear tracks like She is The One being yodelled from a grainy jukebox in a glossy 1960s American diner. Their sound is anachronistic, but at the same time rejuvenating, separating them from the majority of emerging artists.
“I came down from Leeds with the idea of doing music and once I met these guys I knew that these were people I could work with,” Liam says. After working on a set of six songs, the fruits of their labour led them to playing a support slot for The Vaccines. “Starting at that level was just an amazing thing for us… We did a gig at Camden Barfly where there was about three people, and then that was our second gig!” It seemed like luck was on their side, as after sending out CDs around music moguls. “Huw Stephens picked up our demo and played it on his Radio One show, so it was those two things very early on which helped us.”
The band define themselves as “alternative soul”, with a spectrum of both modern and past influences. There is a definitively ‘classic’ vibe to their sound, as Liam announces, “one of the reasons I wanted to come to Brighton was because of the history of the Mods. I guess I was into music from that era, the early 1960s”.
It seems the band is meant for great things, and for those that are eager to get their hands on something solid, there is good news to come.
“We finished recording the new album about a month ago and it’s in the process of being mixed and remastered. Hopefully it will be ready early 2012.”
The quartet is currently touring around the UK, working towards spreading their fan base before the release next year. With their sorrowful yet pleasantly uplifting sound cascading into the mainstream, it is only a matter of time before they explode into the big time. Various Cruelties are definitely a band to look out for.
Words by Tom Harrop