Sennen – Interview

In recent years, four-piece Sennen began riding a new-found wave of popularity.  Following big support slots with Explosions In The Sky and Six By Seven, their music found its way onto television – featuring on hit American shows True Blood and One Tree Hill.  The London-based act have a third full-length on the way in April, so we thought we’d find out more…


So, how did recording go for ‘Lost Harmony’?
We had a great time, probably the best time we’ve ever had writing and recording. We’re very fond of this record consequently.  We were lucky enough to record with Dave M Allen (The Cure) and he really got what we were trying to do – his presence is a big factor in how the whole record has turned out.

In the Sennen sound, there’s undoubtedly great doses of post-rock but you’re not exclusively refined to it.  What sounds have played a big part in your lives whilst recording ‘Lost Harmony’?
We’ve always valued tunes and songs over pretty much everything else in our music.  People haven’t always heard that but I think it’s much clearer on this record.  I think it reflects some of our favourite music more closely than previous records.  Bands like – Yo la Tengo, Elliot Smith Luna / Dean and Britta, Sparklehorse, Mercury Rev, Acetone, Neil Young.

How would you say ‘Lost Harmony’ varies from previous record ‘Age Of Denial’?
There’s a lot less stuff piled on.  There’s still some weirdness going on but we tried to make this record sound as real as possible.  Lots of live takes, no double-tracking, no auto-tune.  When we were writing the record it had a really nice lo-fi, even slightly country feel to it.  We wanted to capture that in the recording.

Away from sole musical influence, what inspired you when crafting the lyrics for ‘Lost Harmony’?
I think we wanted something to reflect the music, which is often  bleak yet sweet.  In general I think there’s a real bittersweet feel to most of the lyrics.  A lot of disillusion and heartbreak but also some humour.

Are there any particular themes that you fixate on through the course of the record?
Only musically.  As I mentioned above, we really wanted to capture the right sound.  We knew if we got that right this would be a very warm, intimate record.

What does the album title ‘Lost Harmony’ refer to?
It’s a lyric from Our Lost History. It seemed to sum up the record quite nicely – simultaneously sad and beautiful.

Your music has increasingly taken off in recent times through various mediums.  One of those mediums is through TV.  Your cover of New Order’s ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’ found itself on One Tree Hill and recently ‘S.O.S’ was heard on True Blood.  How did that come about and how do you feel about having your songs on TV series?
It came about through our old label boss Adrian, who has travelled a lot and worked really hard on that side of the industry.  For us, it was just pretty fun and pretty surreal actually.  And to be honest, I think it introduced us to quite a few people in the US.

You have a ‘soundtrack’ feel to your music sometimes.  Would you ever be interested in writing the score for a whole film? If so, what kind of film would suit Sennen?
It’s interesting that you think that, I think it’s something we’d definitely try if the opportunity came up.  I think ideally we’d soundtrack our own film.  It would be like HELP!  We’d all live in a terrace street with the walls knocked through.  Then there would be a bit of the film where we bully Brownie (our drummer) and he goes for a walk on his own by the canal and sings a melancholic song called something like ‘Why do they always pick on me?’

Can we expect a UK tour sometime in the year?
In May / June sometime I think.

Are there any essentials on a Sennen tour?
Patience?  We talk a lot of crap.  Who doesn’t on road trips?  Tim did a pub quiz in the van once.  That went down very well.  Also, Tim has eaten a specific type of chocolate / biscuit bar EVERY SINGLE DAY for about the last three years (well, every time I see him anyway).  If you can guess which type we’ll send you one signed by Tim.  We’ll send a record or something too.

What do you intend to give audiences with your live performance?
We’d always aim to give audiences something undeniable, whether it’s by playing loud or playing quiet or whatever.  Sometimes you see a band and you don’t even know who they are or you might not be particularly into their music but you still look at each other and say “cool” because they’re real and they’re putting in an undeniable performance.  Playing live is totally different to recording a record and I think we aim to create interesting versions of our music that isn’t just like listening to the record.

Any last thoughts?
I’m really only thinking about Brownie singing a sad song now.  This could be wonderful.



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