Fresh off an album release in November, Conor O’Boyle chats to the members of Himalaya about their sound and upcoming plans.
2016 has become regarded as one of the strongest years for new Irish music with a huge number of impressive releases making their way onto airwaves and dance-floors. One of these, which you may have missed, is Dublin-based Himalaya’s debut album, Mad Clock. An album with a unique jazz-grunge sound, it’s quite unlike anything you’ll find on the current scene.
As the New Year began, we caught up with Himalaya’s John, Adam, Vlad, and Richard to talk avoiding the rush, smooth transitions and the closest point between heaven and Earth.
Mad Clock was released digitally last November, but in a scene saturated with singles and EPs, as well as the financial challenges involved, what was the attraction of recording a full album?
“Once we’d started writing the songs, we realized that we had some strong themes and motifs. We felt that we needed more space… to fully develop those themes. We have a wonderful producer in the band who recorded the album for us over in Sligo. That allowed us to avoid the rush and I think that comes through in the vibes of the album.”
You can really feel the benefits of the additional space on the record, primarily, the free-flowing and almost hypnotizing effect of the transitions between tracks. Did this free-flowing nature prove to be much of a challenge on the songwriting front?
“In the early days of writing, before we even had the idea of doing an album, we had a couple of songs that flowed nicely into one other. When the album was really starting to take shape, we became increasingly more concerned with how we could transition between different tempos, keys and textures. When it came to mixing the album, I experimented with more little ways that we could tie the songs together, a favourite of mine is probably the radio noise heard at the end of ‘Galvani Frog’, which morphs into the opening of ‘from A to B.”
“When the album was really starting to take shape, we became increasingly more concerned with how we could transition between different tempos, keys and textures.”
On the topic of transitions, where does it all go from here? “Believe it or not, we’re writing songs for a new album at the moment! Aside from that, we’ve got a couple of other things lined up. A few gigs, the physical release of Mad Clock, and another appearance at The Cavern, if they’ll have us of course.”
With a busy schedule ahead, it’s time I let the band go, however we have to ask, where did the name Himalaya come from?
“Quite a lot of our lyrical content focuses on the relationship between earth and space.”
“Well, you may have noticed that quite a lot of our lyrical content focuses on the relationship between earth and space. Seeing as the Himalayas are the closest point on earth to space, we felt the name was appropriate. Either that, or it’s because we’re high all the time.”
Catch Himalaya at The Wiley Fox on February 23rd.