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Quickfire Questions #20: Kit Monteith of Trophy Wife

 
By on Monday, 12th September 2011 at 12:00 pm
 

Kit Monteith, drummer for the Oxford alt-rock/dance (err, is that a good description?) band Trophy Wife (and incidentally your #5 band to watch for the TGTF 10 for 2011 poll late last year), kindly answered our Quickfire Questions just prior to the band shoving off for Bestival. (Isn’t he sweet?)

Also included below, after the Quickfire Questions, is a stream of a brand new song from Trophy Wife called ‘Canopy Shade’. Pure gorgeousness. It was produced by the band and London electronic duo Plaid. It’s the first taste of Trophy Wife’s forthcoming EP ‘Bruxism’ to be released on 17 October as the inaugural release on Blessing Force‘s newly launched label. Oxford represent!

1. What song is your earliest musical memory?
The ‘Planet X’ setting on my dad’s Emu synth.

2. What was your favourite song as a child?
‘Man in the Mirror’ – Michael Jackson.

3. What song makes you laugh?
‘Stomachache Due to the Sincere Belief That the Rest of My Band is Trying to Kill Me’ (‘video’ below) or ‘No-one Likes a Grumpy Cripple’ by Rumah Sakit (an instrumental band from San Francisco).

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skV_58k5kHw[/youtube]

4. What song makes you cry?
‘Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometimes’ – Beck.

5. What song reminds you of the first time you fell in love?
‘Islands’ – Arab Strap.

6. What song makes you think of being upset / angry?
‘Where Did You Sleep Last Night?’ (Nirvana cover).

7. Which song (any song written in the last century) do you wish you’d written yourself?
‘Music for 18 Musicians’ by Steve Reich. (Editor’s note: there seems to be a lot of TGTF’s favourite bands who idolise Steve Reich. I do not think this is merely a coincidence.)

8. Who is your favourite writer? (This can be a songwriter or ANY kind of writer.)
Donald Barthelme.

9. If you hadn’t become a musician, what job do you think you’d be doing right now?
It wouldn’t matter, whatever it was, I’d be neglecting it and tweeting instead.

*Note: he didn’t answer #10 (If God said you were allowed to bring only one album with you to Heaven, which would it be and why?) so I endeavour to ask them what they’d answer with when I finally see them live. (Hopefully before the end of 2011…)

 

MP3 of the Day #287: Trophy Wife

 
By on Monday, 24th January 2011 at 10:00 am
 

I’m of two minds about this remix of Trophy Wife‘s ‘The Quiet Earth’ done by electrosmith James Yuill. It’s almost like it’s been put in space. On one hand, it’s super sleek. On the other hand, some of its Trophy Wife-ishness is gone. (For more on this, read our review of the double-A single of ‘The Quiet Earth’ / ‘White Horses’ from last week.) Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments.

 

Single Review: Trophy Wife – The Quiet Earth / White Horses

 
By on Thursday, 20th January 2011 at 12:00 pm
 

Oxford’s Trophy Wife, your #5 band on our 10 for 2011 poll at the end of last year, will be releasing a double-A sided single, ‘The Quiet Earth’ / ‘White Horses’, on 28 February on Moshi Moshi Records.

‘Microlite’ (reviewed in October 2010 on TGTF) had an amazing rhythmic sensibility to it, something that bleeds over into ‘The Quiet Earth’ and ‘White Horses’. I can see why the band are choosing to release this as a double-A single – both songs are strong, unique and worthy of being shown off for their brilliance. Forget the band’s previous throwaway genre ‘ambitionless office disco’: heck, if I worked in an office that played this kind of music, I think I’d be thanking my lucky stars. It’s not overt dance music, but I think it’d work in a club with a chill vibe. ‘The Quiet Earth’ has an awesome guitar melody overlaid on a driving drum rhythm, and an insistent chorus: “when it comes, don’t you hesitate…”

I’m not sure how I would react if I ever saw Trophy Wife live. Rather than jump up and down, I think I’d probably be doing some sort of less aggressive, swaying back and forth movements. Despite the presence of a sexy, underlying rhythm section and sultry vocals, there is something gentle, something precious (obvious in ‘White Horses’, especially) about the Trophy Wife sound. Something that makes you want to hold it in your arms, close to your heart. I can’t imagine this band being a best-kept secret for much longer. Jump on this bandwagon before everyone and their nan says they’re fans.

Oh dear.

It’s only halfway through January and I think I’m in love. ::grin::

9/10

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hc9dQkNtRJk[/youtube]

For more on Trophy Wife, read our 10 for 2011 interview we did with the band in December. If you’re interested in catching Trophy Wife live, they will be appear on a Skins-themed gig date on the 29th of January and will also be supporting Esben and the Witch on their UK tour starting at the end of this month through the second week of February (details here).

 

Skins UK Tour / January 2011

 
By on Thursday, 23rd December 2010 at 9:30 am
 

We’ve just received word that there will be a Skins-themed tour next month. The eight towns that have been chosen for the gigs are the hometowns of each of the eight new characters in the E4 teen drama. You can get tickets from the Skins official Web site (you must be at least 18 to register for these). Bands participating in this tour include 10 for 2011 bands Mona and Trophy Wife (pictured above).

Wednesday 19th January 2011 – Bristol Syndicate (Morning Parade, Bombay Bicycle Club DJs, Wilder)
Thursday 20th January 2011 – Swansea Monkey Café (Katy B, Nero DJ, Jagga)
Friday 21st January 2011 – Hereford Saxtys (Kissy Sellout DJ)
Saturday 22nd January 2011 – Ashford Liquid Envy (Devlin)
Tuesday 25th January 2011 – Edinburgh Caves (Kid Adrift)
Thursday 27th January 2011 – London Coronet (Pulled Apart By Horses, Mona, Midnight Beast)
Friday 28th January 2011 – Brighton Pier (Morning Parade, Beardyman, Doorly)
Saturday 29th January 2011 – Oxford O2 Academy (The Wombats, Trophy Wife, The Good Natured)

 

10 for 2011 Interview: Trophy Wife

 
By on Wednesday, 22nd December 2010 at 2:00 pm
 

Trophy Wife is a trio from Oxford that has already turned heads on the strength of their debut single, ‘Microlite’, released on the always ahead of the curve indie label Moshi Moshi Records. I asked some questions, and they kindly answered. I inquire about the origin of ‘Trophy Wife’ the band name and they tell me about their unusually/wonderfully charitable plans for the Christmas holiday.

Tell us a little about yourselves – who plays what in the band? How long have you known each other? How did you guys get together as a band?

Jody: Sings and plays guitar and bass
Kit: Drums, Percussion, Sampler
Ben: Keyboards, Sampler, Lights

We have been making music together for about 7 years in various different forms. Us meeting each other was a case of mistaken identity; Jody pretended to be a female drummer so he could get into Kit’s post-rock band. Trophy Wife happened by accident really, we started recording dancey music late at night over a few drinks.Things grew and we set out to challenge ourselves and do something that was new to us..

At least in America, the term ‘trophy wife’ conjures up something usually not related to music, like the pretty wives of athletes. Who came up with your band name and what is the story behind it?

We’ve had the name for a while and it seemed to suit the sounds we started making. To us, it’s a name that is both glamorous and glitzy yet somehow inherently dark. In many ways this is also how we see our music; Kit had heaps of old manual photographs of these desolate, windswept English locations and we pasted the words ‘Trophy Wife’ in big pink letters onto them and we really liked the relationship between the two.

All your bios say you’re from Oxford. Is that accurate? (a lot of bands meet up after moving from somewhere else from uni, etc.) Are you still based in Oxford? How do you think Oxford contributed to your sound?
Indeed we are all from Oxford, we live there now. It has a lot of musicians for such a small city so it is very easy to start up a band here. Everyone knows each other and is aware of what is progressing musically around them. That atmosphere has certainly helped us although we’re not sure if our sound is directly linked to the city. It can feel a bit claustrophobic, it’s a universe all of its own but there’s always a lot of creative activity going on. We grew up in the surrounding suburban neighbourhoods where there’s not much else to do other than immerse yourself in your favourite music.

Continue reading 10 for 2011 Interview: Trophy Wife

 

10 for 2011: #5 – Trophy Wife

 
By on Monday, 6th December 2010 at 11:00 am
 

Last month, we asked you to vote for the top 10 artists you thought would be big in 2011. We’re halfway through our top 10 countdown, and at #5 is an indie rock band from Oxford, Trophy Wife…

Trophy Wife are the fine purveyors of what is being called Oxford math rock. But they would never call themselves anything as pretentious: when asked, they’ve described the sound they make as ‘ambitionless office disco’. And there is indeed a relaxed nature to their first single released last month, ‘Microlite’: relaxed in the sense of post-punk – introspective, ethereal vocals provided by Jody Prewett with spare but interesting instrumentation. The b-side to ‘Microlite’, ‘Take This Night’ (video below), is cut from a similar cloth, as potentially as mind-expanding as Enya or Mike Oldfield but with an alt-rock / dance bent (check out this track’s bass lines).

This trio counts fellow Oxfordians Foals as mates and these are definitely friends with benefits, as one of the first high-profile outings of Trophy Wife’s was as support for Foals. Like many of the artists that were on our 10 for 2010 poll last year, the band also have a penchant for doing remixes, a good sign that despite their self-deprecating outlook on their own music, they do have the ambition to put their name out there, collaborate with their peers and do amazing things. Rumour has it there is a Foals ‘Miami’ remix just waiting to be unleashed.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4uk7aB1JDg[/youtube]

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

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