About 18 months ago Another Sky played their first official show at a tiny church in London: a blizzard of lights and sound, it startled everyone in attendance into shocked silence. At the end, the band were able to mingle in the background, and became aware of the impact their performance had on those present.
Jack Gilbert explains: “The best gigs I’ve been to the bands have all built a world, and you feel part of that world. And for that amount of time that you’re playing you totally exist within that band’s utopia. The best of what the band represents.”
United by a common purpose, the band’s songwriting is both huge, cinematic, and completely intimate, moving from whispered incantation to Explosions In The Sky levels of outright noise. Playing in a semi-circle, this sense of equality also runs through their writing sessions, with each idea treated with the same intensity.
“We don’t talk, we just do it,” explains vocalist Catrin Vincent. “From the start it was like that. We just knew what each other wanted to hear without even saying a word.”
Running on instinct, Another Sky’s powerful sound has taken them everywhere from The Great Escape to Later… with Jools Holland. Some songs are scarcely even finished, an improvisatory approach that keeps their approach fluid. “We’re discovering it at the same time as everyone else,” Catrin says. “We keep writing new stuff and we’ve no idea what it is, we just accept that it’s changing again. We just do what we want. That’s all we’ve ever done. We’re lucky that we get to do that.”
Working from a variety of studios, Another Sky recently set up base in East London’s Limehouse area, turning a ramshackle building into a new hub for their creativity. “It looks like a prison from the outside. Barbed wire everywhere!” Jack laughs. “It’s the smallest studio ever, but there’s enough space for us to have our instruments, a little mixing rigs, a piano.”
Catrin nods in agreement: “It’s really important to us to feel that ownership over the music, so the more we can do out of our studio the better.”
Another Sky’s music seems to emerge solely from the people in the band; it’s an internal voyage, one that twists and turns around their own lives. It’s a hypnotic approach, one that perpetually searches for something truly original. Catrin seems to sum up their mission at one point, when she sighs and says simply: “We just do what feels right.”
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WHERE: East London
WHAT: Atmospheric guitar music with post-rock leanings
GET 3 SONGS: ‘Apple Tree’, ‘Chillers’, ‘Avalanche’
FACT: Despite their leftfield leanings, Another Sky’s tour van soundtrack includes AC/DC and Level 42.
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Words: Robin Murray
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