The sounds that inspire...
Sea Pinks

Sea Pinks are a new name with some familiar faces.

A trio from Northern Ireland, singer Neil Brogan (ex-Girls Names, CRUISING) is joined by Steven Henry (Documenta) on bass and Davey Agnew (Newton Forest FC) on drums.

New album 'Soft Days' will be released on January 8th, and it's a low-ley gem. Out on CF Records, the material veers from lush, dreamy territories into rather more sparse, post-punk realms.

Clash invited Neil Brogan to reveal a few of the Influences swirling amidst 'Soft Days'.

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I’m always a bit wary about calling influences on things because I’m usually not that self-conscious about the way I process things I like. I never sit down and try and emulate a particular sound or anything. I think whatever influences me is mostly subconscious and I’m ok with that. Also I think it’s weird that people are expected to talk about other people’s music instead of their own. Liking good music doesn’t mean your music is going to be good. I’d rather just say that I’m inspired by things rather than influenced directly and leave it at that. So anyway!

Felt are a band I listened to a lot when I was making the first Sea Pinks record years ago, and I actually covered ‘Ballad Of The Band’ on that record (which was a tape but anyway). I’m always drawn to an ambivalent lyric and “I feel like giving in” is one of the best. The first song on Soft Days is called (I don’t feel like) Giving in and is a deliberate throwback to that first record and to that original source of inspiration. That song doesn’t sound anything like Felt but a couple of others like Trend When You’re Dead are a bit more directly Felt/80s sounding.

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I like to throw in the odd direct reference here and there, be it a song title or whatever. There’s a little throwaway Arthur Russell reference on one of the new songs (I won’t say which one). I love his voice and that he was so eclectic, he kind of tried his hand at anything and usually the results were great. A massively underrated pop auteur.

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There’s a song on this record which has a verse which is a little bit filthy ('Cold Reading'). When I wrote it I was kind of thinking of Nirvana who are definitely an inspiration. When I came to do the vocals I was actually quite coy about it and not sure about keeping it in but Ben (the studio engineer) when he heard it said it reminded him of the way Will Oldham always lobs in the odd filthy line. So being a massive Will Oldham fan I kept it in. So it’s all Ben’s fault.

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Another great voice. I was listening to 'Rock Bottom' a lot prior to making this record but this is kind of why I have a problem talking about influences - I wouldn’t claim that any of that made it directly onto this record. Maybe I’m saving it for something else. Anyway I think this is one of the most romantic songs ever written and the imagery is beautiful.

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This is probably our most 80s sounding record in terms of the production. I’ll make an exception here and confess, I did actually self consciously listen to the Go Betweens a fair bit before making this record. Not with the intention of emulating them but really just discovering them properly. The Go Betweens and The Chills would be two of the more obvious 80s references on there. Just great song writing.

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Another band I listened to this time more as a production than a songwriting reference was Big Star. Having said that, this record sounds nothing like Big Star. Love Chilton’s jumper in this video.

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'Soft Days' is due to be released on January 8th - pre-order LINK.

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