FAMY have always been outsiders. Raised in the south of France, the group first emerged from the bowels of west London, their arch, lush, artful aesthetic sitting at odds with virtually everything else in the country.
“We never really felt like a London band, even though we started off doing it here,” frontman Bruce Yates explains. “We did some shows and we just never felt like we were at home.”
Falling under the spell of seminal American punk outcasts Minutemen, FAMY realised that being different was something precious, something worth reaching for.
“That was a good point of inspiration for us, to do our own thing,” the singer says. “We don’t sound anything like Minutemen, but it was that real sense of being outsiders, doing things DIY, doing things by ourselves.”
Crafting rich, widescreen indie with an orchestral flair, FAMY have a sense of aesthetic ambition lacking in so much British guitar music. “Creating something a bit further,” as the singer puts it, led FAMY to record their as-yet-unreleased debut album in a church by the Welsh border.
“We like to have quite a bombastic, epic feel to our sound. We thought that a chapel would lend itself to that aesthetic, as you could capture the atmosphere of that place on the recording as well.”
“The vocal booth was on the altar, the bass camp was in the bell tower,” Yates goes on. “It was a really, really good time of our lives, those 10 days. It was perfect.”
Presaging their debut album with some already highly sought-after EPs, FAMY are busy building towards something different, something special.
“There’s a lot of noise, I think, with the Internet,” Bruce concludes, “so to just go back to the roots of the way things are done is quite appealing to us. The noise of everything at the moment drives us back to that, subconsciously.”
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WHERE: West London via the south of France
WHAT: Ambitious orchestral indie
GET 3 SONGS: ‘A Ho A Hey’, ‘Donkey’ (video above), ‘Hebrew’
FACT: Members of FAMY and WU LYF perform in the avant-disco group Los Porcos.
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Words: Robin Murray