Culture Clash: Tommy Lefroy

Cultural passions explored...

Wynter Bethel and Tessa Mouzourakis spent their lives trying to make it work, only to realise that sometimes the only rules that matter are the ones you allow yourself to make. The two songwriters met in Nashville, their ambitions matched only by their talent – within the space of a few days, Tommy Lefroy was formed.

The name is intentional – and might possibly ring a bell. Jane Austen’s real-life Mr Darcy – the original 19th-century fuckboy Thomas Langlois Lefroy – broke the author’s heart, and in an attempt to subvert this the pair used it as their moniker. A string of viral singles followed, before their bulldozer debut EP sparked an international fanbase.

Now rooted in London, Tommy Lefroy return with new EP ‘Rivals’ – the title is a nod to the way that the music industry continually places female artists in competition with one another. Out now, it’s bolstered by runaway singles ‘Slick’ and ‘The Mess’ (which features both Samia and Dylan Fraser).

Clash caught up with Tommy Lefroy to discuss their cultural touchstones in Culture Clash.


Tessa: Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson is a masterpiece. It is so unlike anything I’ve ever read before, the first time I read it I immediately read it again. In Autobiography of Red, Carson reconfigures the Greek myth of Herakles and Geryon into a modern, ill-fated love story from Geryon’s perspective. It is one for the underdogs. I can’t say enough good things about this book. 

Wynter: Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson is also one of my favourites. It’s one of very few books I’ve read multiple times. My latest favorite of her’s is Decreation, I read it last summer while also reading Anne Sexton’s Mercies. Both destroyed me. 


Tessa: I tend towards a strange dichotomy of historical period pieces and grimy gangster shows. Shows like Harlots, Queen’s Gambit, Peaky Blinders (best of both worlds). I also adore Derry Girls. That show is so good for so many reasons, I love it. 

Wynter: Don’t watch a lot of tv lately, but The Office (American) got me through college and is one I’ll return to when I need familiar company. 


Tessa: I’m such a sucker for a coming-of-age story. Greta Gerwig’s Ladybird is so good. Juno. Goodwill Hunting. 20th Century Women. Eighth Grade.

Wynter: I love Mike Mills, always find the nuance and earnesty of his storytelling to be life affirming. Beginners is one of my favorites. Kristen Johnson’s Cameraperson is another I think of often. 


Tessa: ‘Blue’ by Joni Mitchell is a record I find myself constantly coming back to. My mom always had it on in the background as a kid, and as I got older I really came to appreciate her incredible lyricism. \Case Of You’ and ‘River’ are some of my favourites. 

Wynter: My favourite band is The National. ‘High Violet’ and ‘Trouble Will Find Me’ have soundtracked a lot of my life. I’ve seen them live a few times and by far the best was last summer at All Points East in London, all the dads and lads and I screamed the words with our arms in the air. 


Tessa: I don’t know if this counts as a gadget, since it’s maybe a bit archaic, but I love my Canon AE1 film camera. It belonged to my dad, who bought it in the 70s and brought it along on all his adventures before passing it on to me. It’s really special seeing the photos he’d taken in his twenties while he lived in Greece, photos of my mom when they met, of my sister and I as babies, alongside my own photos of life. It will always be one of my most prized possessions. 

Wynter: I am late I know but I just got AirPod pros for tour and have recently been experiencing spatial audio for the first time. It’s been blowing my mind, and I’ve also been struck by how older records sound. It’s gotten me in a bit of a panic at times because it’s crazy how quickly the way we consume audio has evolved, and these incredible records that were intended to be listened to a certain way are already getting rearranged. Have been thinking a lot about how stereo imaging and the spatial listening experience affects emotion portrayed in music. 

Tommy Lefroy’s new EP ‘Rivals’ is out now.

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