Catherine Pockson and Bob Matthews formed on the back of visits to each other’s respective shows. Bob with his previous band and Catherine playing solo. Bob said: “A couple of months later we started making music really naturally, just because it felt like the right thing to do. By the beginning of 2010 we realised that we had something really good, and only then did we start to think of ourselves as a band. We spent ages thinking about what kind of band we wanted to be, what we wanted to sound like, and what we’d be called. After we played our first shows in the summer everything happened really quickly, we ended up signing our record deal in the autumn.”
“We came up with the phrase Night-Pop because we knew that we'd need a quick way of describing our music. I think it works quite nicely though.” - Bob Matthews, Alpines, 2011
It's now 2011 and on top of an EP release, the band has plans for an LP, Bob said: “We've currently recorded 8 songs but we really need 14 or 15 to narrow it down from to make the record. So we're going back in next month. It should be out in September and our working title is Nocturnes". Very exciting news, especially paired with the fact they're working with Craig Silvey who mixed Arcade Fire's The Suburbs and produced Portishead's Third. One thing that really struck me when I heard Alpines is that they've got a very intrinsic balance between vocals and instrumentals which is something Bob puts down to their recording process: “Catherine will write the song on a piano, and then I add everything else, and I try and make sure it does the song justice.”
They’ve self classified their sound as 'Night-Pop', Bob laughs: “We came up with the phrase Night-Pop because we knew that we'd need a quick way of describing our music. I think it works quite nicely though”. The Night Pop excellence of “Drive” seems to be what got the band noticed. It featured in a Rankin produced promotional video for fashion designer, Hannah Marshall. The track also was the soundtrack to her catwalk show last September.
(Rankin made video ft Alpines - Drive, for Hannah Marshall's S/S11 introduction at London Fashion Week)
Catherine: “That campaign was an interesting one because Rankin heard our music very early on before many people were aware of Alpines. It was a great opportunity for us, as he was very enthusiastic and supportive. As a result it’s made Bob and I more open to the idea of our music being used alongside other fashion shows and art forms. I'm also hoping to work with Louise Amstrup in the future, designing a collection of clothing inspired by the influences of Alpines".
Another typical part of entering the media spotlight is the inevitable comparisons - In Alpines case it's Florence & the Machine and La Roux. Bob adds: “It's always flattering to be compared to such successful acts in a positive way, although I don't think there's much similarity between us and those two acts other than the fact we have a female singer.”
The band were due out on tour with Fenech-Soler this month, but the sad news of lead singer Ben being diagnosed with cancer has forced the tour to be cancelled. A very big 'get well soon' from us. Below you can find a brand new remix of "Ice & Arrows" by Dark Sky (who has previously re-worked The XX's "Cyrstalised"). Get used to Alpines because you will be hearing and seeing a lot more of them in the future.