Interview: White Flowers

by Dave Bertram

Sound and visual art have long had a profound influence on each other. We listen to paintings, graphics and sculpture in the same way we envisage music – often creating both mediums hand-in-hand

White Flowers – the Lynchian pop duo of Katie Drew and Joey Cobb – are chief proponents of this approach, but not as a goal they set out to achieve. Both have always made their own art individually, alongside the beautiful and ambiguous music they create together – culminating in their debut album, Day by Day, which is out on 7th May through Tough Love Records..

‘Both are outlets for us,’ said Cobb. ‘[It’s] a way of dealing with our daily lives, so whether it’s art or music we’re creating it all comes from a similar place. Everything we do aesthetically tends to be black and white, but this isn’t intentional – it just fits. We’re always struck by imagery that you can’t quite work out. People interpret abstract images in their own way – you see what you want to see.’

The Preston duo released their debut double A-side single – Night Drive/Portra – on limited vinyl in early last year – which was followed by the Within A Dream EP this January. And their strong visual aesthetic is a core part of the pair’s identity and its minimalistic, bleak and obscure nature shines unequivocally through the music of their debut full length.

‘It’s a kind of documentation of growing up and coming of age in a very strange and uncertain time,’ said Drew. ‘The sound has been driven by a sense of anxiety and frustration, but there’s hope and excitement in amongst it.’

 The tracks’ sonic inspirations are drawn from the layering and rule breaking of My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive, together with the strong mood and feeling from the likes of Burial, Grouper and King Krule. With Doves guitarist, Jez Williams, at the controls, the rhythmic drive of Night Drive is followed their new single: the mournful, electronic beat of Portra – Drew’s soft, spacious vocals carve into the face of the reverb-drenched instrumentation, remonstrating about the selfish world we now inhabit.

Leaving the boundaries of strict song structure behind, the natural feel is addictive. ‘For us, the writing and recording process is very cathartic, but we don’t record with the intention of channelling a particular feeling or theme,’ said Cobb. ‘That usually reveals itself later on after we’ve lived with it for a while.’

Debut album, Day by Day, is out on 7th May through Tough Love Records.

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