Feature: Ingredients of If Not, When? with bdrmm

Friday, October 11, 2019
Photo by Sam Joyce

Today marks the release of bdrmm's debut EP If Not, When? via cult shoegaze label Sonic Cathedral and we're incredibly excited. Hailing from Hull, the up-and-comers signed with Sonic Cathedral after playing one of their Social Service nights. Though there seems to always be new shoegaze sounds floating around, no one is doing it like bdrmm. Across each of the six tracks, their debut EP captures everything that's so special about their sound. To celebrate the release of the EP, the band took some time out to explore the influences behind their debut for us.

Washed Out – Paracosm
Ever since hearing 'Feel It All Around' in the opening credits of Portlandia, Washed Out have always been a big influence when I started creating music for bdrmm. I adore the blend of electronic music and guitar work, and the way Ernest Greene’s vocals glide along the tracks effortlessly. The track 'Weightless' from this record had a huge impact on me when writing tracks for the EP, especially 'The Way I Want'.

Ryan Smith (Lead Singer & Guitar)

Protomartyr – Relatives In Descent
This album has been playing on loop in my head for just over a year now (help). I can't remember an album I've seshed so hard since I discovered the Stone Roses as a teen. I saw them live in our hometown (Hull) last year just after they released this and they completely blew the roof off. As a drummer, Alex Leonard has to be one of the best I've ever seen in person. The drum parts he writes are incredible, tracks such as 'A Private Understanding', 'Here Is The Thing' and 'Windsor Hum' where he perfectly balances intricacy and simplicity. Never overbearing the song with over the top drum fills, but instead complementing it beautifully. Everything is exactly where it needs to be.

Luke Irvin (Drums)

Neu! – Neu!
It’s hard to imagine my life without this album now, and it’s one of our greatest touchstones whenever we decide to write new music. Quite a lot of our songs start out as jams and end up getting cut into the shape of song, so Neu! really allowed us, as a band, the freedom to experiment with new structures and ideas that we wouldn’t have even considered beforehand. The idea of trying to create something beautiful out of a less than inspiring setting is definitely an ideal that hits home within the band too.

Jordan Smith (Bass)

Neutral Milk Hotel – In An Aeroplane Over The Sea
I think when I first heard this I had spent my childhood listening to Blur and Oasis (Blur good, Oasis bad) so it was a completely new sound for me at the time. It's definitely one which I sat and learned to play in my bedroom. I wouldn’t say it's influenced the EP, but it's influenced the way I play guitar (quite strummy). Lyrically, especially 'The King of Carrot Flowers Pt 1', it's as good as anything I've ever heard. I always liked the line “dad would dream of all the different ways to die, each one a little more than he would dare to try....” because I'm jolly like that

Joe Vickers (Guitar)

Yo La Tengo – Painful
It was around the time of the formation of bdrmm that I kinda really begun to discover this band, and namely this album. I quickly fell in love with their concoction of noise pop, bittersweet lyricism and subtle, but powerful use of synth and organs. When I dig out this album now it still has the same haunting effect as that first listen.

I remember one drunken evening (probably more like morning by this point) myself and Ryan were listening to opening track 'Big Day Coming', and having some deep ass conversation along the lines of “imagine writing and playing a song like this, you’d just wanna cum” this likely led to the birth of EP track 'The Way I Want'.

Danny Hull (Synth)

Listen to If Not, When? with bdrmm below:

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