Icarus take us through their EP ‘This Must Be The Place’ track by track
Striking up the perfect balance between dance floor disco and meticulous studio production, the UK duo ICARUS made up of brothers Ian and Tom Griffiths, have just last week put out their most accomplished body of work to date – an EP titled This Must Be The Place.
In the lead up to the EP, the duo spent the better part of 2018 revelling in some of their biggest career moments to date. They linked up with Aussie dance legends RÜFÜS DU SOL, touring with them across North America. They then came back home and were the main support on RÜFÜS DU SOL‘s UK tour.
For a duo who’d only debuted their live show six months before, it would have been a remarkable experience.
Whilst on the road, they were busy writing and recording This Must Be The Place. Transience as a theme is central this release, and defines not only the duo’s approach to songwriting on this record, but also the parameters of which they wrote it too.
In order to gain a little more insight into the record, we asked the boys to put together a track-by-track rundown of the EP and how each of those tracks came together and what they might mean to them. Take a read below!
‘Echoes’ was the first track on the EP that we finished. Although we love using vocals when we write, we really wanted to make a track that focused on instrumental melodies. It was also a kind of challenge we set ourselves to write something that was stripped back and simple, but without becoming too repetitive and boring. We’ve been playing it in our DJ sets as well as our live show, and it’s been going down really well in both.
‘MAN OF THE LAND (FEAT. REAL LIES)’
As soon as we’d finished the instrumental of ‘Man Of The Land’, we knew that we wanted a spoken word vocal on it. We’ve been massive Real Lies fans since we first heard their album Real Life and luckily, Kev from the band was into the idea of collaborating. When he sent back what he’d done on it, we were blown away. The story is based on his late Grandfather, Freddie, a traveler who used to find work wherever he could and was in and out of prison. Sometimes when you have such a clear vision of the type of vocal you want on a track, it can be difficult to get exactly what you envisaged. But in this case, Real Lies delivered.
The original demo of ‘Sirens’ was actually written about 18 months ago. Before our first ever live show in London, our manager made a playlist of our demos to have on in the background before we went on stage and ‘Sirens’ was on there. After the show, we had a lot of our friends come up to us and ask what the track was, which prompted us to go back into the studio and re-work it. We were lucky enough to test it out live every night whilst on tour in the US with Rufus Du Sol and the reactions we got to it were amazing. Once we got home, the singer, Katie Pearson, came to our studio and added the final touches to the new version and we wrapped it up!
This track took us the longest to finish. We tried to finish it in October last year before we went on tour, and we also rented a studio in LA for a couple of days whilst on the road to work on it, but we couldn’t seem to get it to where we wanted. We left it alone for a while and revisited it when we landed back in Bristol and suddenly everything clicked. We think we needed that time away from it to become inspired by our recent experiences, then we were able to realise the track in a way that we both felt suited our ideas for it.
Intro by CAITLIN MEDCALF