Tuesday, December 21, 2021

 I first heard The Big Believe on a song called “Let's Pretend We’re Spies,” with guest vocals by Let’s Active’s Faye Hunter. That song was great, as is everything I’ve heard since from The Big Believe. After some time off, they’ve returned with three singles, "Doing My Utmost," "Hundreds," and "Girl On Wire." We discuss them below, as Amanda Louise Thompson, band leader, was kind enough to answer a few questions.

Andrea Weiss: How did Daniel Wylie of Cosmic Rough Riders come to co-write “Doing My Utmost?” 

Amanda Louise Thompson: We had been communicating online for years, like - over a decade.  I've been a fan of CRR since about 2001.  At some point I shared my own albums with him and he loved the songs.  I remember we did a swap once:  His solo record Fake Your Own Death for my band's (Ozone Baby at the time) debut Love Like A Foghorn.  In fact, those two titles might just sum us both up, respectively!  So it was during Covid lockdowns that I asked if he fancied writing together and he kinda said he'd been waiting for me to ask.  We couldn't be further apart geographically in the UK.  He's right at the top of the country and I'm right down the bottom.  So given it was all done remotely, it couldn't have been easier.  I'd send a chorus, he'd send a verse, I'd send a verse, he'd send a chorus.  All in voice recorders on our phones, and they always blended together perfectly without trouble.  He's a really nice guy, too.

AW: How did “Girl On Wire “ get released through Aldora Britain?

ALT: Ooh how weird - I can't remember how I first came to Aldora Britain Records, or even whether they came to me or the other way around... but it happened, and that was another easy thing.  Tom Hilton, who does all the work there, releases tons of independent music and really supports it.  It's all digital.  AB released my track "Frequencies" back in March 2021, which had good response so I offered up "Girl on Wire" before I'd even finished recording it, so that something new was out with them before Xmas and to give myself a deadline, stop me fussing about with it too much.

AW: “Girl On Wire” sounds feminist, which is great. Is that the case?

ALT: If it is, it's taken me 51 years to have my first feminist thought.  But in a way, yes.  It's a collection of different tricky situations for women, all wrapped up in one fictional protagonist.  People, friends were telling me things, for example a friend was hiding her sexuality for personal reasons,  someone else had a kid who was getting into all sorts of scrapes due to social media pressures.  Stuff to do with appearance and judgments.  I also added my own situation of societal attitudes to women who've chosen not to have children, then threw in a few lines about prostitution too.

AW: I hear the New Pornographers and Let's Active in the sound of these songs. Were they influences here?

ALT: I suppose those two bands must be in there to some extent, as it's no secret I love them the most!  However, I personally don't notice being influenced by them, maybe I am.  There would be no point in trying to sound like your favourite bands.  A lesser version of them?  That's daft.  Like "Owl City" and "Postal Service" (I love "Postal Service").  Yet after the event, listening back to a finished song, sometimes there are little sections where I notice and think "actually that is not unlike something The New Porns might do."  Mainly, though, I reckon we all make the music we want to hear, and please ourselves first, so it's always gonna be in the same genre as the music I like best.

AW: Will these songs be on an upcoming album?

ALT: Yes, they will both be on our third album, which should be out in the summer of 2022.

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