The Landseers are a brand new lo-fi, pastoral-post-punk supergroup formed by Nat Lyon, Pulco and Sweet Benfica. Their first release has just come out on Bandcamp and Rebecca Sowray, a fan of all three, brought the fellow music travellers together around a Google doc to probe them about their music.
The Landseers call themselves a lo-fi supergroup – a trans-Atlantic lo-fi supergroup in fact and one that combines the best of traditions and marries them into a unique, post-punk collaboration.
The Landseers’ first release, ‘The Royal We’, shares out a dose of hazy keyboard and guitar modulation, before hitting us with its unique vocals. There’s harmony, melody and counterpart, a track so thick with hooks it’s musical Velcro.
This lo-fi excellence exists outside of time, the natural child of the electronic ether. Nat, Stefan and Ash didn’t meet over a pint, a cuppa (Stefan is a tea obsessive) or even at somebody else’s gig, but rather through internet radio. By listening to each other’s music, reading about each other and making connections over Twitter and email, the chemistry of Nat Lyon, Pulco and Sweet Benfica began to work and between Connecticut, North Wales and Neath, these three identities connected.
They’re a self-confessed “lo-fi Welsh/ Connecticut Super Group” and aim to be “cute, in a provocative way.” (No, not the Hallmark cards kind of cute, though I’m pretty sure they could manage that too, if they wanted.) And that fits, because keen-witted and ingenious is what they are.
A looping process between the three is their generating plant. “It’s a joy to find an MP3 and a set of instructions waiting for you in your inbox…this kind of collaboration breeds spontaneity…you’re able to cast out a challenge or an idea and see what comes back” says Ashley Cooke (Pulco). The three confirm this as a fast process, with an idea developed or filed. In the bin or on the shelf.
“We’re DIY musicians and we’re realistic – we understand that there’s actual work involved and we have a tremendous amount of respect for one another,” says Nat Lyon.
So here’s the first of that process, ‘The Royal We’…
The story behind anyone’s collaboration is fascinating; influence and inspiration going hand in hand. So second track ‘Wasted’ was assembled with Nat’s vocals, lyrics and melody and built on the distorted base of Ashley and Stefan’s ruling atmospherics… courtesy of a theremin…
So plans for The Landseers? The only plan is that there is a plan for more songs. “There will be more songs coming through, that is a certain plan,” says Stefan (Sweet Benfica).
They’ve also confessed to shared hopes for a DIY video or a fake live performance and to play at Glastonbury.
Here’s to The Landseers occupying an extending space with more to come.
In the meantime you can track down some downloads on Bandcamp.
And there’s a huge shout-out from The Landseers to Huw Williams and Martin Johnston at Pure Radio for being the start of the collaborative space at pureradio.org.uk and for their radio show Take Off Your Sunglasses.