The pulsating London quartet Malady may have only been a full-fledged band since 2018, but their journey so far has resulted in a huge change in their initial sound.
The rising quartet, made up of frontman Percy Junior Cobbinah, guitarist Charlie Clark, Khaleem Mitchell-Patterson on bass and drummer Ertan Cimen, has grown from a group embracing distorted guitars to a group that throws itself into a vast palette. sound influenced by post-rave. , dub and electro.
The result is a heady mix of captivating and transgender soundscapes, complemented by everyday Cobbinah observational lyricism.
London’s debut single I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down, a play on LCD Soundsystem New York’s classic cut I Love Youâ¦, was the perfect introduction to an act enjoying the freedom of not knowing which direction then they will take – and one that refuses to be cataloged.
âIt’s our mission because we’re not really happy with most of the guitar music we hear these days,â Cobbinah told The Daily Star. âIt was what we thought was the freshest and most modern and pushing the sound forward.
“I feel like it would be going against the grain of time to just just make a sound and stick to that.”
Malady, who was named one of the 50 Rising Stars to Watch by Daily Star in 2021, released the equally impressive follow-up single, Famous Last Words in May, which quickly garnered support from NME and So Young Magazine.
The signers of Nice Swan Records have 12 months ahead of them. They are headlining the BBC’s intro show Live at the Lexington with Wet Leg and Police Car Collective on August 5 and hope to release new singles before the end of the year, Cobbinah tells us.
Daily Star’s Rory McKeown met Cobbinah via Zoom in a London park to talk about their journey so far, singles, influences and goals.
Hi Percy. Tell me more about the band. When did you meet? How has the trip been so far?
âThe journey started in 2018. That summer we started rehearsing. We didn’t have a name at the time, but there was an intention for this band to play these songs. Before that, I was trying to find all the people I wanted to play these songs with.
âWhen we started we only had demos for London (I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down), Famous Last Words and a few others. It was about finding people who were willing to commit. and play these songs. “
How long have you had the songs?
âI first wrote in London in 2016. Famous Last Words was around the same time. A few of the songs we have in the set are around the same time. We’re still working with the first batch of songs. They have obviously developed and evolved since then. I still work with OGs.
Let’s talk about London I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down, one of my favorite tracks from 2021. It’s a review of London, where you sing about skyscrapers, cafes and the lost places where kids were playing. What was going on as you were writing it?
âI was at my dad’s in Homerton and I guess when you walk out of the house every day you start to notice some things. You take stock of everything.
âEver since I was younger visiting my father in Homerton, I lived with him from the age of 16 just noticing how much things had changed, not necessarily for the better.
“Obviously, I had heard the LCD Soundsystem song, New York I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down, and I thought there was definitely a parallel between the two cities.”
It was written in 2016. Have you refined it since? A lot has happened since then and it is becoming more and more relevant over the years.
âFrom the time I wrote it until now, a few lyrics have changed. It was the first song I wrote from start to finish. Obviously you’re substituting things a bit naive. naivety to that song but I felt like changing it too much would make it inauthentic, something different from what it originally was.
âIn terms of instrumentality, it has changed so much from the start. When I first wrote it, it was a pretty tough indie song, with a lot of distorted guitars. We don’t hear that at all in the studio version.
The sound you have now, is it the culmination of influences with each member?
“Absolutely. Charlie is a production manager. He knows what he does in terms of sound design, arrangement and electronics. We’ve all been into electronic music for a while now. It was about finding one. way to get this without losing what we originally had.
âWe all played a part in this. Me and Charlie are going to work on stuff, bring it to the band, and from there they can put their songs on. “
How important is it for the group to embrace varied sounds rather than just settle for a niche. You mentioned that London sounded different before and was mostly guitar based.
âIt’s our mission because we’re not really happy with most of the guitar music we hear these days. It was what we thought was the freshest and most modern and pushing the sound forward.
“I feel like it would be going against the grain of time to settle on a sound and stick with it. I don’t feel like that’s the way it is. going on right now and how things are going. “
It also gives you different directions on where to take the band, rather than categorizing it as a particular sound. I guess that’s a nice freedom to have.
“Exactly. We left the door pretty open with these two singles in terms of where we could take the sound next.
âI feel like we’re settling on some things that are intrinsic to our sound. Overall, because we left the door open, we could take it wherever we really want to, I hope! “
In terms of lyrics, is it collaborative or are you the main songwriter?
“That’s me. Obviously I’ll talk to the boys about what I’m up to and ask for advice on phrasing and all that, but lyrically, I tend to be the one doing that.
What do you draw from the influences at the level of the lyrics?
âI like to treat songwriting almost like an essay on a topic that I love. I was reading about things, things that interest me, or things that bother me, things that I notice more in conversations that I overheard.
“I would read a little more about it and see what has been said on a topic and make my own point of view.”
Musically, who are your inspirations? Do you share similar influences?
âA few touchstones for all of us are Overmono, largely in production items. Charlie is very attached to them. I feel like that’s one of the directions we’d like to take the songs in from here on out.
âFuneral. Obviously, King Krule is a formative influence for all of us. Yves Tumor as well, who is someone who really mixes that electronic and more indie element together in a nice and fresh way.
âWe all try to listen to as much music as possible together. It will influence what we get out of it. We all love dub, we all love techno, the jungle, etc.
I guess being in London is the best place to be immersed in all of this.
“Exactly. It would be a shame to shut down and not assimilate all of this.”
You are this exciting new group. How does it feel to be in a band right now with so much to do?
âWe didn’t really feel like we were part of it. As we have published things, we have been in Covid. It was hard to feel that we were part of a bigger thing because most of our interactions were mediated through a screen, which was disappointing.
“But as time goes by and we play more gigs again and we go out and go to gigs, it will start to make a little more sense in terms of the larger stage.”
You are headlining the BBC’s intro show with Wet Leg and Police Car Collective in August. Are you looking forward to this?
âIt’s going to be huge because this is the first non-socially distant gig we’ve played in about a year and a half. It’s also our first correct title with songs. It will be an important step. We need to make the scenery as good as physically possible. There is a little pressure but in a good way.
It’s at Lexington, right?
“Yes. It’s at Lexington. We played there with Hotel Lux a few years ago. My guitar broke the last time we played, actually. It was awful! Hope it didn’t. reproduce more.Great room, great sound, we can’t wait to play it.
You are signed to Nice Swan Records, which called on Blossoms, Sports Team and Pip Blom. To what extent are they in favor of the label?
âBecause they are also our managers, Alex and Pete have been with us since 2018. They are there to guide us gradually towards a more complete development. They have been with us little of our development. We’re still in our development phase but they’ve been with us to give us advice and help us where they can with gigs and stuff. They have been our father figures in a way.
âWe have another gig with other bands on our label in August. It will be nice to see everyone and feel a Nice Swan vibe!
You’ve been informed by a multitude of publications such as NME, Fred Perry and, of course, Daily Star, and enjoyed the Jack Saunders and Huw Stephens broadcasts. How does it feel to have that support right from the start?
âIt was mind-blowing, the feedback from everything. It pushes us forward because it feels good to know that what we’re trying to do has already been appreciated, so early on. We just have to keep doing it for more to happen. “
What’s the next step for you guys? Any plans for an EP?
âThis summer, we’re writing as much as we can psychically. Eventually, I think an EP would come in the fall. No guarantees there because things change very quickly these days.
âIn an ideal world, that’s what we want because we have to put a bigger volume of work in there. Releasing a few singles here and there is good, but I feel like we have to. go on and put in a little longer than we can.
âWe want to release a single in about a month and a half. “
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