“This album is us looking back at our lives and dragging up loves won and loves lost” - hmv.com talks to The Pigeon Detectives
10 years after they bounced out into the world with the chirpy indie pop of their debut LP Wait For Me, The Pigeon Detectives are back with a brand new album titled Broken Glances.
We spoke to frontman Matt Bowman to find out why this is the band’s most reflective album to date, why they’re terrified of playing these new songs live and why it’s a real struggle to get the group to sing from the same hymn sheet...
How did making Broken Glances compare to what you’ve done in the past?
“It was equally as arduous as every other album we’ve done. There are five strong personalities in this band and we’ve all got really strong views on what’s right and what’s wrong. It’s pretty rare that we all line up the same way, so it’s always a big challenge. Once we kissed and made up, we had a record that we were all happy with, it just took a while to get there.”
It’s been four years since your last album We Met At Sea, what have you been up to in the time in-between?
“We had 18 months on that album, then we had six months off and then we started on this record. I’ve got mixed feelings about We Met At Sea, it’s got a good collection of tracks but it didn’t challenge us as songwriters and didn’t show how creative we can be. So with this record, we wanted to make our songwriting shine through and give the songs more time to develop. There’s a lot more space in these songs, we know we can hold back more and try something different in a second verse or in a final chorus. We know we can do more.”
You worked with Richard Formby on the album, why did you choose him? Was there any temptation to self-produce?
“He’s not particularly associated with our type of music and that was a plus. We had a lot of ideas for this record and we did sit down and think about doing it ourselves because our drummer has got a studio, but I think we had delusions of grandeur there. We worked through a big list of producers, listened to a lot of albums and we settled on Rich. He has a great knack of getting a lot of sounds and he was a great filter for the ideas and experimentation we wanted to have with this album.”
What kind of album is this lyrically?
“We’ve never had a lyrical plan, but pretty early on it became clear that this was going to be a very reflective album. There wasn’t much living for the moment or planning for the adventures to come, this album is us looking back at our lives and dragging up loves won and loves lost. Taking stock, looking at the journey we’ve had as a band, it’s very reflective.”
Was that an enjoyable process? Not everyone enjoys reflecting on their past…
“It was like therapy. It was very weird. We’ve had some insane highs with this band, but you can’t have those ups without having some downs. This band has almost certainly cost people relationships, but it’s probably been the catalyst for relationships starting too. It’s taken us to some of the greatest places in the world and some of the grimmest. It’s given us everything good in our lives and our biggest struggles, so trying to look back at it was nostalgic and painful, but it’s definitely made the album a hell of a lot more interesting and easily the most honest we’ve ever been.”
Was that where you found the title Broken Glances?
“It’s that moment in time when you make eye contact with someone and make a genuine connection, but your instinct is to turn away. You always wonder what could have happened if you’d taken advantage of that, it’s in keeping with the theme of the album.”
Finally, are you excited to take these new songs out on tour?
“We’re terrified about playing these songs live. We’ve had to go away and learn whole new instruments. Lots of trepidation, but I think it’s going to breathe new life into this band. There’ll be a big fear factor to get over, but I think the fans are going to love it.”