Parisian duo Singtank is made up of siblings Joséphine and Alexandre de La Baume. Since their acclaimed debut album released in 2012, Singtank have been working with a range of influences for their second album Ceremonies (released on the 13th of October). From seventies Reggae-feel track ‘Can You Hear Me’ which was produced with the help of Joséphine’s other half Mark Ronson, to jazzy Motown style tune ‘Looking For My Sister’ and Pop ballad ‘Ursus’, the duo’s eclectic taste is clear. Their cover of Mr. Presley’s ‘Suspicious Minds’ also features on the album, graced with Joséphine’s dreamy vocals and 80s synth sounds from Alexandre. We caught up with the de La Baume’s to discuss their teen music tastes, touring and the making of the music video for ‘Can You Hear Me‘…
When did you begin collaborating together? Was there a moment when you realised that you would work well as a band?
We grew up together (we’re siblings), and started writing songs together as teenagers. It was a very natural process of exchanging the records we love, and spend hours figuring out songs and melodies together. It took us a while to actually realise how much we loved it and that it could potentially be a project we could develop and turn into a band. We started playing these songs to people around us, and the good feedbacks gave us the confidence to go forward with the project.
How did you find the process of creating ‘Ceremonies’ compared to your first album, ‘In Wonder‘? Do you enjoy life on tour?
We learnt a lot making ‘In Wonder’ and touring with it, it was this incredible experience of jumping overnight from crafting demos at home to making a record in amazing studios with fantastic producers, and getting on stages for the first time to give a new and different life to these songs. The whole process gave us a much clearer idea of how we wanted our next record to sound, it gave us more ambition and the confidence to write songs somehow more personal, and the will to work on the songs, sounds and production until we felt like we could tour with them for the rest of our lives!
Life on tour has been great so far, we can’t imagine a better life than travelling around with and for your music, it’s really rewarding and thrilling. We have some particularly good memories of gigs in very small venues like this bar we played at in Rennes (Britanny). It was packed, sweaty and really intense, it felt like the show lasted two minutes even though we played a dozen songs.
We love the music video for ‘Can You Hear Me‘. Joséphine, you co-directed this with Nova Dando, how was the experience of being behind the camera for you? Tell us a bit about the story of the song and video….
The story of that video is a visual metaphor for the way one feels when he gets the bad news of someone passing. You feel like your entire world shatters and I wanted to show that in a kind of surreal apocalyptic way. It is set in a retro futuristic world which I think suits the mood of the record well.
It was really fun to direct, Nova and I are very complementary and we put a lot of our friends in it so I got to boss them around all day! Heheh. No just kidding ..it was a family day but also a lot of work, but I did enjoy the challenge of being in control of our visuals and being able to express the theme of the song further with a different medium.
What did you both listen to whilst you were at school? Do you think anything from your teen years has influenced your sound now?
I was obsessed with Michael Jackson as a kid while Alex loved Elvis Presley. Later on during teenage years I was into hip hop and Alex Brit pop and then I listened to more rock and a bit of electronic. I think it reflects on the record as we mixed a lot of different influences on it.
Do you have any advice for young people trying to get their music out there?
Take your time, find your sound and develop the whole project until it really feels like it sounds, smells and looks like you.
If you could bring back one track from your youth to be a big hit, what would it be?
The Unicorns – Tuff Ghost
Here’s a lil’ muso game for you, list three tracks under these titles…
1. Guilty pleasure… Busta Rhymes & Maria Carey – I Know What You Want
2. Play on a loop… Dirty Projectors – The Gun Has No Trigger
3. Makes me feel sick... Child Bride. I can’t believe this is happening, how can an adult take advantage of its years on an innocent powerless young human. There’s a song about it on the record, called “Frida”.
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