hmv.com talks to... - November 5, 2021

"We almost called it Our Bones Turn To Stone, but that just felt too obvious..." pop duo Aquilo talk new album A Safe Place To Be
by Tom
Tom
by Tom hmv London, Bio hmv.com Editor. Peanut butter, punk rock and pillows.

"We almost called it Our Bones Turn To Stone, but that just felt too obvious..." pop duo Aquilo talk new album A Safe Place To Be

It's a story that you read about more and more. British songwriters being packed off to the States in the quest to write that first big hit. Some get sent to Nashville to work with the parade of country tunesmiths, but most are sent to Los Angeles. 

Cumbrian duo Aquilo trod the same path, but, after a series of fruitless sessions, they not only came back with nothing, but found the experience so demoralising they wanted to jack in the band altogether. 

Now, after a change in labels and a return to the independent way of making and releasing music that had served them so well, the dream-pop duo have come back revitalised and channelled that Stateside disappointment into full for their new LP. 

The album, A Safe Place To Be, is out now in hmv stores and available here in hmv's online store, and we spoke to the pair's Ben Higham about how it all came together...

 

When was this album written? Did it exist pre-pandemic or was it written during those months?

"The album was mostly written during the pandemic. Maybe two or three songs existed before, but it wasn’t until the pandemic did we start to find some real direction with this album."

 

Did you have a goal of how you wanted the record to move on from what you did on your second album?

"We’d learnt it's important not to force it if it's not happening. In the end, it has really felt like a natural progression and we’re proud of that."

 

It’s an 11-track record, is that 11 down from 15 or 20 or 30 or more?

"Good question. There were probably like 25 songs or and 50 song ideas."

 

What kind of album is this lyrically? Is there a theme to it?

"It’s hard to say really. We move between different emotions on this one but the overall feeling is home. It’s everything that happened to us in Silverdale and recent memory."

 

How are lyrics for you? Are you always scribbling things down or do you need to have a melody in place before you start?

"We find melody leads and the lyrics fall into place after. We sometimes scribble thoughts down, but mostly it all makes sense when there’s a melody to it."

 

Which song on the album took the longest to get right?

"Probably 'You Make Me Mad'. In the end, we had Rich Costey lend a hand on additional production to help us get it over the line. We totally got in our own heads with that one."

 

And which came together most quickly?

"'Our Bones Turn To Stone' pretty much happened over two days. Two very magical creative days and it all just felt so easy. Such a breath of fresh air."

 

When did you decide that A Safe Place To Be was the right fit for the album’s title? Did you kick any other titles around?

"We almost called it Our Bones Turn To Stone, but over time that just felt too obvious. It also would have put too much pressure on the song. Tom came up with the album title. I wasn’t so convinced at first but it grew on us both big time."

 

You start touring in earnest early next year, how is the set shaping up? Three albums in, you’ve got some tough decisions to make…

"Yes, we do. It’s a tough one. We’ll see nearer the time, the classics will always stay in the set. It’s just finding room for new moments in the live show we’re excited about."

 

How’s 2022 looking? Are you getting booked up?

"Yeah we’re already crazy busy working on what’s happening in 2022. New music is being made at a fast rate and creative juices are flowing for sure. Maybe even a new album?! Who knows..."

 

Aquilo's new album, A Safe Place To Be, is out now in hmv stores and available here in hmv's online store. 

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