The Manchester-based alternative duo Villanelle & The Northern Wonder highlight their 70s fuzz-rock appeal through their recent groovy single, "Clever Girl."
After the project debuted in 2019 with solo member Kieran Greville, Villanelle & The Northern Wonder later grew into a duo with help from the stylings of Dan Shaw. After reworking their sound all 2020, Villanelle & The Northern Wonder are now releasing their latest EP, 'Dark Days at the Grand,' to introduce their audience to new and improved sounds.
Highlighting their recent EP, 'Dark Days at the Grand,' Villanelle & The Northern Wonder take us by surprise with the project's intro track, "Clever Girl." While the entire EP is said to combine vivid lyricism, catchy hooks, crooning vocals, and a warm sonic landscape, the project's intro track is no exception.
Jumping into the piece "Clever Girl," the track opens with nostalgic electric guitar melodies, crisp drum arrangements, a thumping bassline, and a haunting background organ. What we adore about this track is right off the bat, Villanelle & The Northern Wonder blast through with incredible grit and groove through the song's savory western feel and their crisp delivery.
Through the song's vintage tones and production, Villanelle & The Northern Wonder transport us back to the 70s with each heated element. While lead vocalist Kieran Greville soaks us in his crooning vocals, we must note the brilliance of the dark and heavy chorus, as he serves all the introspection and lust for us to lose ourselves amid the song's dreamy and soulful atmosphere.
Immerse yourself in the versatile stylings of Villanelle & The Northern Wonder and their recent hit, "Clever Girl," and find the duo's latest EP, 'Dark Days at the Grand,' on all streaming platforms.
We truly admire the groove and 70s appeal of your recent hit, "Clever Girl." Why did you want this track to open your EP 'Dark Days at the Grand?' How does the intro track set the tone for the entire EP?
Thank you, we’re glad you like it. I think it's a great introduction to the sonic world that we created on Dark Days at the Grand as a whole. There’s a very definite retro vibe and groove to the track that’s mixed with a touch of old spaghetti western and Americana aspects that get carried through the rest of the EP. It really gets you in the right mindset to appreciate the vivid imagery we've used throughout.
Could you break down how your duo handled the songwriting process for "Clever Girl?" Did you co-write this piece together? What did you want to get across to your listeners lyrically?
Some lines from Clever Girl have been around for a while as a collection of thoughts and experiences over several years. We were trying to find an overall vibe for the band whilst writing some tracks that would blend together well live. The riff started it all and some lines started jumping out that ended up forming the chorus and which set up the feel of the lyrics as an abstract set of fantasies or memories. From there everything just fell into place.
Our songwriting process does differ depending on the song, but most often one of us writes the majority of a track, sometimes swapping old unused lyrics with each other, and then we finish it together, adding parts and layers, sharing ideas, so all of the songs end up a combination of the two of us - and all the better for it.
Did you work alongside any producers or engineers when formulating the sonics and instrumentals for "Clever Girl," or was this a solo process?
The main vision for the track as a dark spaghetti western was already well established through its time played live and during pre-production in our home studios, so once it came time to head down to the studio in East London with Dave and Oscar from Sunglasses For Jaws, the tracks were all well fleshed out and had a clear direction. Kieran’s known the Sunglasses For Jaws guys for years now and we really admire their musicianship and vibe. They are fantastic at nudging parts in the right direction to get everything to fit even better together, and they knew exactly what finishing touches were needed.
What sort of themes and messages should we expect to hear within the entirety of your EP 'Dark Days at the Grand?'
We wanted Dark Days at the Grand to be an exploration of fantasy, memory, will, and suggestion, and the hand each plays in love and lust - unrequited or not. Several of the tracks deal with the uncertainty surrounding subjective experience and that’s something we play with a lot - whether through imagination, intoxication, memory, or bewitchment for each of the tracks respectively.
What's next for you?
Firstly we want as many people to listen to the EP as possible, and we’d love to hear what everyone thinks about it. After that we’ve written a lot of music that we are working into our next releases, we’re probably sat on around 20 tracks and are constantly writing so there will almost certainly be more releases over the next year. So hopefully 2021 is filled with new music and new fans