Experimental, psychedelic, dance pop
Ones To Watch - Citizens!

Tom, Mike, Lawrence, Martyn and Thom, or Citizens! as they’re better known, are ready to put the soul back into pop.“There seems to be a stale way of thinking amongst bands, particularly in England, who are embarrassed of pop music,” says Tom Burke, lead singer of Citizens! “I don’t mean the music made by artists like Rihanna or Lady Gaga, that’s a different thing, but it seems that many bands believe that to make pop music they have to throw any intellect or soul out of the window. We don’t believe that that to be the case. We also don’t want to bury our heads in a pointless revivalist type thing. Some bands do it really well, but people say: ‘I don’t want to play pop music so I’m going to resurrect something from 1992’ like it’s a choice between the two. You need bands who want to make people have a good time and are having a good time themselves.”

After having played together in different bands in the run up to forming Citizens! it was a house party where the London-based five-piece turned the corner and started swapping ideas that led them to forging their unique brand of pop.

“Lawrence, Mike and I were all at a party. Lawrence had been trying to chat up the girl whose party it was while Mike and I had both failed in our particular missions that night, so we were sat in a corner listening to music - everything from Michael Jackson to Suicide. From the sublime to the ridiculous in whichever direction you choose. That’s where we decided to form the band.”

Citing their influences as somewhere between Michael Jackson, Kanye West, Martin Rev and Queen, there is certainly more substance to Citizens! than the average outfit. And, with their debut album ‘Here We Are’ recorded and ready for a 2012 release, the band will be playing a string of UK and European dates in the run up to festival season which, we predict, could be theirs for the taking.

Words by Sam Ballard

Where: London
What: Experimental, psychedelic, dance pop
Get 3 songs: ‘True Romance’, ‘Reptile’, ‘Caroline’
Unique Fact: Mike’s great-grandfather discovered Greenland.

Photography: Samuel John Butt
Photographic Assistant: Maisi Lee
Hair: Meggie Cousland
Make-up: Danielle @ Technicolour

Black suit jacket by Dior Homme, light denim shirt (under jumper) by Denim Demon, boots by Dior Homme, spotted shirt by Carhartt, all other clothing artist’s own

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