Photography: Neelam Khan Vela / @neelastica

Fresh from announcing news of their first album, sweethearts HER’S – Stephen Fitzpatrick and Audun Laading – give us some insight into the sounds and inspirational people whose magic seeped into the overall feel of their debut LP, Invitation To Her’s.

They’ve previously described their sound as “international, supersonic spectral wave”, and their choices here suggest that that’s no idle boast. Ranging from 50s slide-rock to lo-fi pop and nu-psych, the pair show that they’re dedicated students of the fringes of alternative music. This eclectic and varied background knowledge feeds into the scuzzy, woozy pop that they weave, which is finally getting the chance to be aired across a full album (hurrah!)

But the roots of their inspiration don’t stop at this, as Audun explains. “We’ve watched The Twilight Zone together a lot… it’s simple, every episode is different, surreal, cleverly written and unexpected. The one where a character keeps having dreams on a train, A Stop At Willoughby, has definitely left an impression on us and our music.”

Below, Audun and Stephen gives us some insight into the sounds that influenced their debut full-length LP; and you can listen to the latest track to be teased from the LP, Harvey, right here.

Martin Rev

Mari

Infidelity

We draw a lot of inspiration from early synthy bands such as Suicide and also Martin Rev’s solo work. The New York synth punk scene has always appealed to us, with its sensitive leather clad rockabillies singing of romance and dreams. In particular, Rev’s 1980 track Mari stood out to us as a point of reference. It’s driving and hypnotic, but also melodious. It builds towards a climax with layers of synth and harmony while the drum machine simply drives on, much like how we started out. AL

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Minnie Riperton

Lovin’ You

Epic

We’ve got a lot of history with this song – from an impromptu cover we nervously performed at our second gig, and a drunk YouTube video of the performance uploaded by our manager at the time, its haunted us ever since. Somehow it seems there’s always someone at our gigs who requests it! We love the track, too, so we started off this entire album cycle by recording our own version of it, which definitely set the tone for things going forward, you can even catch some bird song hidden on the album! AL

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MGMT

When You Die

Columbia

This seems to have snuck its way into a lot of the production on Invitation To Her’s. To us it’s inspiring in that it balances unexpected ‘weird’ elements without losing track of its pop sensibilities. What really stood out to us was the feeling of climax when they strip away all the bells and whistles and leave the listener with only the bare skeleton of the song. We were definitely looking to recreate this kind of an effect. AL

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Ariel Pink

Put Your Number In My Phone

4AD

We end up listening to this at least once per recording session, it’s basically unavoidable at this point. The tasteful reverbs and harmony combined with the pristine yet simple guitar parts and its driving bass line topped off by the amazing melody has been the pinnacle of modern music for us ever since it came out. It was also super important to our friendship as we bonded super hard on it, and it led to us forming the band. Thanks Ariel! AL

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Mac DeMarco

One More Tear To Cry

Captured Tracks

The early works of Mac DeMarco will always be treasured by us, this track especially. We often approach songs as if they were soundtracks for imaginary movies, and we think Rock And Roll Nightclub often inspires that side of us. The concept of the album (biker aesthetic and rock ’n’ roll sleaze) influenced the tone of our song Low Beam, as we tried to portray the lifestyle of an emotional lonely biker. SF

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R. Stevie Moore

Cuss Me Out

R. Stevie Moore Cassette Club

As we’re both mega fans of Ariel Pink it’s only fitting that we’d be strong supporters of the godfather of home recording, R. Stevie Moore. He’s always there for us when we’re looking to incorporate more lo-fi sounds. Whether it’s putting delay on a crooked sounding acoustic guitar, or running synths through various dumb pedals, it’s usually an attempt to recreate some of that R. Stevie magic. SF

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Santo & Johnny

Tear Drop

Canadian-American Records

One of the few duos we listen to; Santo & Johnny are our go-to guys for slide and Hawaiian influences. These two practically soundtracked the one summer we had when living together, which made for some exceptional bonding. So it’s no surprise that we featured some similar sounds on the album. SF

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Bruce Springsteen

Born To Run

Columbia

Nearly every post Her’s gig journey to the hotel features this song, it’s an undeniable classic that doesn’t clash with our van’s speakers. Old Bruce really packs a punch, but he also has a sweet emotional side that counter balances his trademark ‘epicness’. On our song Mannie’s Smile, you can hear Born To Run shining through on the choruses and bridge. It was a fitting way to celebrate Ste’s cat Mannie, who had to be given away. AL

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thatbandofhers.com

Invitation To Her’s is released on 24th August via Heist Or Hit: you can pre-order the album now from radi.al/InvitationToHers.

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