With their third album about to drop, Le Galaxie talk to Cian Montague about new beginnings, nostalgia and repealing the eighth.
“I’m getting really excited today for the first time… the train has now left the station.”
Purveyors of slick electronica and sci-fi aficionados, Le Galaxie, have every right to be pleased with themselves. Pleasure, their polished third album and follow-up to 2015’s Choice-nominated Le Club, is set to finally be released next week, after they have been sitting on it for nearly eighteen months. Mary-Kate Geraghty, a.k.a. MayKay, remarks, “I’m getting really excited today for the first time… the train has now left the station.”
When I meet Geraghty and fellow vocalist Michael Pope, they are certainly in good form. Relaxed and talkative, the two crack jokes and riff off each other throughout our conversation. They’re quick and eloquent, and pop culture references abound in their speech: we talk about Martin McDonagh, Black Mirror, The Chemical Brothers, Pope’s reviews of Murder, She Wrote, and the ethics of playing R. Kelly and Azealia Banks. It’s clear that they’ve been doing all this for years.
A few things are new for Le Galaxie. Geraghty, frontwoman of the now-defunct Fight Like Apes, has collaborated with the group in the past, but only recently became an official member. “I’m a lot more comfortable now that I’m ‘in the band,’” she says, “When you step in the door to something completely established, with very set ideas of what they’re doing, it’s a lot easier.”
Pleasure is also the first album Le Galaxie will release on US label Red River, as well as their first time working with a producer, Blende, from Sweden. “We didn’t know if a producer was supposed to be a dictator, or a collaborator or if we were basically handing over demos to have them done by this third party,” says Pope. “It was very different, but we definitely picked the right guy.” Pope praises his “crazy good skillset” and Geraghty his “silken hair.” “It didn’t hurt that he was an absolute sweetheart, too,” adds Pope.
“Yeah, Drive was good, the soundtrack was good. Does it have to become a way of life?”
The press release for Pleasure suggests a stylistic move away from “dance floor bangers,” but Pope describes it a little differently: “I would say [it’s] not less something, but [it has] more melody, more heart. The only thing I would say there’s less of is nostalgia. We’re far less interested in nostalgia now than we are in making a progressive dance record. There’s enough of that stuff out there now. Yeah, Drive was good, the soundtrack was good.” He stops dead, “Does it have to become a way of life?”
This adjusted sonic direction fits with the themes of Pleasure. “It’s about choices and relationships, and about not fetishizing the past anymore, about going forward and sticking with your decisions,” says Pope. “The songs, to me, sound like love and lust and an excitement about the two things… and a reawakening,” Geraghty adds.
Le Galaxie have another reason to be happy: when I speak to them, they’re about to head off to Austin, Texas for SXSW, although they stress that this is not just a holiday. “You can’t take the piss with the opportunity you’ve been given,” says Geraghty. As well as the gigs, there is lots of networking to be done; a lot of it is simply about meeting other bands. At the same time, says Geraghty, “we’d be lying if we said it wasn’t built for parties!”
SXSW is full of both small acts and some bigger names; Pope quips that Metallica, who performed in 2009, played the “Napster Stage.” He begins excitedly searching his phone for a video and a few minutes later we halt our conversation to watch it (“It’s gonna annoy me, ‘cause I really want to show you,”). It’s a group of men in cowboy hats playing country in a clothes shop, with the lead singer – to Pope’s delight – nonchalantly rocking on a mechanical horse. “It’s the most Texas thing I saw,” he laughs.
I have noticed Geraghty’s ‘Repeal’ T-shirt, Le Galaxie have been outspoken about this issue before, and I’m eager to hear their thoughts. “We’re on opposite sides of the debate, sadly,” deadpans Pope, with such a straight face that I’m taken aback for a moment, before they both start laughing. Unsurprisingly, they have a lot to say about this. Pope states that he doesn’t mind bands not committing to a side: “That’s completely fine, you don’t have to air everything on Twitter, God please! But for us as people, I feel we’d be remiss to have 10,000 people listening and not try to help with this cause, because it’s hugely important to us every day.”
“We have to do exactly the same thing as during the marriage referendum, which is to show love, and show what love means to us.”
“I don’t think you have to engage,” says Geraghty, “I wish you would, but more so than online I wish people would engage at home. The people that I really think are absolute heroes are the ones sitting down with their grandparents and their parents, and not [getting] any high fives for it.” They don’t condone shouting down opinions. “We have to do exactly the same thing as during the marriage referendum, which is to show love, and show what love means to us. I do believe that if we all can listen to each other, we can pass it.”
“I’m a libtard cuck snowflake.”
This conversation raises plenty to think about, but it ends on a lighter note, after Geraghty has finished speaking. “I agree with what she said… And, I’m a libtard cuck snowflake,” Pope beams proudly, “Put that in!”
Pleasure is released on 6 April.