The London duo return with one of the most crafty and emotive R&B records you’ll hear this year, out October 28 via Metropolis Recordings. Lead single, Heaven, is available to stream now.
Teased earlier this year with the slick intimacy of Completely, Alpines’ sophomore LP Another River pares down the sound of their 2014 debut Oasis. This new effort is not so much the sound of a duo finding their feet, as it is an utterly standout performance from a couple of intrepid sonic experimenters subtly refining their craft. We had a chat with the duo following their recent release…
Could you both intro yourselves and your part in Alpines?
I am Catherine, I sing and write the lyrics and also play piano. Bob is the producer of Alpines and on stage plays bass guitar and various other synths and drum machines.
When did you come together and start making music?
We met about 5 years ago and instantly clicked making music. We were both writing and working with other bands and producers, but the songs we wrote together were the ones that would go on to help us carve a career.
What was the initial direction of your music and how has this developed over time?
We started off writing pop music with a darker twist, we were very inspired by the xx and Burial at the time. But over time we have worked out more about ourselves and our sound and have naturally gravitated back to our roots in our song writing. I grew up with a lot of soul music, RnB and jazz and Bob was always more interested in more experimental music.
Your Sophomore album is coming, following on from Oasis in 2014, after listening to Heaven, the new single, developments are clear, can you expand on these and tell us what to expect from Another River?
Bob – It’s out now! With this album, we wanted to keep the sound minimal and raw, to let Catherine’s songwriting take centre stage. We were not influenced by the music that was going on around us, we just tried to stay true to ourselves, and make a cohesive record.
Working with metropolis records, what has the experience been like and how did it come about?
Catherine – Our manager played Metropolis ‘Another River’ and they were quick to show their support. We had spent over a year writing and producing it and deciding on the track list and they were happy with it. I don’t think any changes were made. We were lucky to have it mastered at Metropolis as well which was great.
Bob – They have been a great label for us. They have let us have creative freedom and have worked incredibly hard. I hope we continue to work with them for a long time.
What’s the concept and idea behind your new track and video Heaven, what inspired it and why is this your lead single?
Catherine – I wrote the lyrics for this track coming back on a long drive from the mountains. I spent hours in the back of the car watching hundreds of people go by and I was imagining to myself their stories and what they were going through at that particular moment in time. This song is about people and how much people go through on a daily basis. The video represents that.
Bob – I think this song is the most upbeat on the album, but it also has a bittersweetness in the sound and when you listen to the lyrics. I think it represents us well. for those reasons, we chose it to be the single.
Apart from the new project, what can we expect from Alpines in the near future?
We are touring around the UK and Europe next Feb and March, we are really looking forward to playing in some new cities.
What have been the highlights of your career so far?
Catherine – Playing at Alexandra Palace supporting Florence and the Machine
Bob – I think the release of this album. There was no one moment, but I am just so proud of the music and just getting here, having the world listen to the record is the highpoint for me so far.
What was the first piece of music you purchased?
Catherine – Coolio ‘Gangster’s Paradise’
Bob – Run DMC vs Jason Nevins ‘It’s Like That’
12. Stage or Studio?
Bob – Studio. I love playing live, but if I had to choose one, studio because recorded music lasts forever.