Kinships celebrated the release of their second EP Vice earlier this month with a headlining concert at the Black Prince in Northampton.
A sequel to last year’s EP Shapeshifter, Vice sees Kinships continuing to refine his juxtaposition of samples and synths alongside guitars, drums and vocals.
Multi-instrumentalists Dave Crawford and Tom Butler met in 2019, both sharing a love of indie and electronic music.
The following year, bassist and singer Aoife Foley and drummer Adam Gammage completed the line-up, officially reuniting Kinships.
To mark the release of their new record, Crawford and Butler sat down to browse songs from their new record, written and recorded during lockdown.
“A lot of this album was created during that time and I think because of that it’s a pretty introspective collection of songs,” Butler explains.
“We must have spent so much time with ourselves during that time, I went very inward.
“With a lot of these songs, we didn’t go with a theme in mind, but a lot of these songs make me think about the way I relate to people, the different situations you find yourself in and the way that you answer them. ”
The five-track EP features the songs Deeper, Dissolve, Reform, Recover, and the title song Vice.
Of the opening, Crawford said: “It was one of the songs we entered for a BBC Introducing Live Lounge competition and there is a live version on YouTube that we are really proud of.
“It was a natural fit as the first track on the EP and it’s also the first track where Tom and Aoife’s vocals came and went between them and then came together in chorus.”
Of the second Dissolve track, Crawford says, “It’s another one where vocals are a lot of the chorus, but it has more of an electronic feel in the middle parts.
Butler added, “We just added this one to the live set, it’s more electronic than Deeper which has more of an indie vibe.
“This one is led by a repeated guitar loop, while Dissolve is more key driven, it’s a fun track and has that big build in the middle.”
Reform was the second Kinships track released as a single from Vice earlier this year.
Crawford said, “This one is a pretty slow burner, it’s a pretty laid back song and has incredible Aoife vocals on the choruses.
“There are some great, unexpected little pieces on the guitar all along.”
Butler adds, “The reform sort of comes in at the end with a whole wall of sound.”
The fourth Recover track is described by Crawford as “the most straightforward track” on the EP, explaining, “Recover features Adam’s drums, where we originally had loops.
“It didn’t really have the right vibe so Adam put in a few drum beats, we cut them off and everything started to fall into place just fine.”
Butler added, “I started writing this song with just a little synth loop and drum beat, just during the first lockout last year.
“It’s interesting because I kind of wrote it about having a little bit of meltdown with my girlfriend because of the lockdown – all of a sudden being in this pretty intense world to have to be with each other constantly.
“There have been so many times when you couldn’t do nothing else and felt that everything was above me.
“A lot of it comes from being in this lockdown and responding to a relationship.”
The EP ends with her title track, which was recently chosen by BBC Introducing in Northampton as song of the week.
Crawford said: “Vice is a little weird, it’s quite different, it’s a song more influenced by our dance influences.”
Butler adds, “It’s more structured like an electronic track.
“Most of our songs have traditional songwriting elements and structure, whereas Vice doesn’t really have a chorus, it’s more back-and-forth vocals, and then a few weird tracks in between.”
After the release of Vice and looking ahead to 2022, Kinships hopes to play more gigs to promote the record and continue working on new tracks.
Crawford said: “I like artists who push the boundaries a little bit, who do things a little bit differently and that’s what I hope we can do with Kinships.
Butler concludes, “I think we both naturally lean towards slightly more melancholy sounds, this is the kind of music we both love to listen to and write.