Music Exclusive: Jekyll launch new single Warning Signs

Blackpool four-piece band Jekyll are back after a year’s hiatus with a new single Warning Signs, out today. They share an exclusive first look at their brand new video with Blackpool Social Club and tell us what they’ve been up to for the past 12 months.

Born and bred in Blackpool, and taking inspiration from a wide and eclectic pool of influences, Jekyll’s music is known for its expansive, melancholic soundscapes, dynamic mood shifts and visceral intensity.

The band is made up of Joel Foster (vocals, guitar, piano), Liam Singleton (drums), Mike Spence (guitar) and new addition to the band, bassist Luke Jones. Their last six releases were championed by Huw Stephens, Steve Lamacq and John Kennedy. Jekyll’s recent Maida Vale session for Radio 1 was played out on Jack Saunders, Huw Stephens & Daniel P Carters Radio 1 show. The band have also been featured on Spotify Hot New Bands and other playlists.

Take a first look at the new video below.

Tell us about you, who you are and how you came together as band?
Joel: We are all from Blackpool and met through school/college/uni. Initially, we started by playing covers in all the local pubs but eventually moved towards writing and playing exclusively original music. Between us, we’ve got a very diverse range of musical/artistic influences and very different skillsets, but we absolutely love working together.

How has your sound evolved over the years?
Joel: I’d say our sound has definitely matured over the years. When we first started we had lots of weaker material with quite ‘teenage’ themes, whereas now we have learnt a lot more about songwriting and try to tackle more introspective and uncomfortable material with our songs. We’ve definitely been employing more piano into our music recently and aren’t afraid of being a bit experimental and silly with our songs. However, saying that, this release is pretty straightforward and is not really trying to be anything other than quite an up-tempo, riff-lead song. We’ve got a few other songs in the works at the moment and, whereas some of them are the most dramatic and unorthodox tracks we’ve ever written, some are the catchiest and simplest we’ve ever done. We tend to just write what we like and don’t worry too much about genre or anything like that.

Lyrically, the song explores the experience of an all-consuming anxiety that you could hurt something/somebody you hold dear

Tell us about the new single, Warning Signs.
Joel: The song was recorded at Spirit Studio in Manchester. Lyrically, the song explores the experience of an all-consuming anxiety that you could hurt something/somebody you hold dear, forcing you to take measures that lessen the perceived likelihood of it happening and to temporarily relieve the worry. The desperation of trying to avoid something that will not actually happen, the need for certainty and safety, the loss of trust in your own mind and body, and the unfortunate attachment of meaning to meaningless ‘warning signs’… these are the materials that make up this song.

You’ve been on hiatus for a year – what have you been up to and why are you coming back together now?
Liam: This year has been particularly busy for us, mainly behind the scenes. Once we got back from Texas after playing at the SXSW festival we began to look for a permanent bass player which took a good few months. Since then we have spent most of our free time writing, recording, rehearsing and filming a music video. It now feels like a perfect time for us start back up again after the hiatus now we’ve got a stream of singles ready and hopefully a busy summer of gigs!

What was it like to record your Maida Vale session for Radio 1?
Mike: The live session at Maida Vale was absolutely unreal. Obviously we were all buzzing as we knew it’s a real honour to be invited, but walking into Studio 4 was just something else! This was the room all the greats have played sessions in. It had an aura, a vibe. That, paired with the fact our session was going to get air time from Huw Stephens, Daniel P Carter and Jack Saunders on each of their shows was absolutely huge. To say this experience meant a lot to us would be a huge understatement. It’s safe to say that it is, collectively, one of the most cherished moments as a band so far.

Blackpool seems to have quite a buzz around it in terms of live music at the moment. Why do you think that is and how does it compare to when you first started out?
Mike: As everywhere did, Blackpool’s live music scene fell on hard times with the pandemic. Theres a few venues around that thrive on their live shows. With that said a couple of venues we know quite well, Bootleg Social and the Waterloo Music Bar both made it work and strived to operate in a safe way during the ‘tier system’ period. I think what they did to keep moving forward resonated throughout. A buzz about live music came back, people were excited again and since this point, it has never left.

Can we expect an album this year?
Joel: You can definitely expect lots of new music from us but we aren’t sure whether that’ll be in an album format just yet. Maybe a new couple of EPs would be nice? We’ve been approached by various people before about releasing a debut album and we’ve always declined because it hasn’t felt like the right time yet. Perhaps we are being too perfectionist but we really want our first album to be unreal. Personally, I absolutely love listening to albums in full and really appreciate them as a full package of art and vision so it’s definitely something that we are actively working towards!

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    Antonia Charlesworth Stack is a journalist and editor from Blackpool. She was deputy editor of Big Issue North magazine and is editor of Blackpool Social Club. Antonia is also the founder of Reclaim Blackpool, a women's safety campaign that began life as an article she wrote for Blackpool Social Club. She's a contributing author to the Lancashire Stories anthology with her story about a Blackpool performer, The Call of The Sea. The book is available for free in libraries across the county.

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