Can you share the creative process behind your upcoming single, “How Like You This?”? How did the inspiration for this particular track come about, and how does it differ from your previous work, especially considering the success of “Scent”?
The title of the song is actually from a poem by Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-42) called “They Flee From Me”. The intimacy of the line struck me as something that everybody can relate to, which led me to think about how basic human emotions bind us all together. I hope that doesn’t sound too much like a Spinal Tap quote! The tempo is slightly more relaxed, there’s more of a Grace Jones kind of groove (to our ears at least) and the chorus is bigger but it’s still got the North Ship sound so no radical departures there.
Your music is described as an innovative blend of haunting melodies, dreamy classic rock references, and a mix of electronic sound design, programmed beats, and acoustic drums. How do you navigate the integration of these diverse elements in your music, and what challenges and rewards does it present in the studio and during live performances?
As my old and much-missed mate Guy Bailey once said about songwriting, the rules are there are no rules. If the gut says it works, we keep it. I try to keep my ears open to new influences, although I ought to listen to much more than I do. The biggest challenge is programming the beats to leave room for the acoustic drums. It’s almost like deliberately half-finishing the job. We play to a backing track live so there’s no room for on-the-fly changes. Also, if we make a mistake we’re in trouble so the on-stage sound has to be really good.
The press release mentions that your sound draws inspiration from musical legends like David Bowie and Nick Cave. How do these influences manifest in “How Like You This?” and throughout your overall musical journey? Are there specific aspects of their work that you intentionally incorporate into your own, or do you find yourselves naturally evolving into a unique sound?
I think perhaps that’s more a question of getting older and changing perceptions about life and music. I don’t intentionally incorporate specific aspects of anybody’s work but things that strike a chord in me, as it were, do tend to sneak into my songs. For me, it’s a natural evolution.
“How Like You This?” is described as a striking addition to North Ship’s discography and a compelling course toward your eagerly awaited album in 2024. Can you provide any insights into the overarching theme or concept of the upcoming album, and how “How Like You This?” fits into the larger narrative you’re building with your music?
That’s a tricky one. I suppose the overarching theme is one of reflection. It’s different aspects of the story so far if that makes any sense.
With Thomas Golzen taking on multiple roles in the band as a songwriter, guitarist, bassist, vocalist, and keyboardist, and Francis Nørgaard Jensen as the drummer, how do you balance and collaborate on the creative aspects of your music? What dynamics and strengths do each of you bring to the table, and how does this collaboration contribute to the distinct sound that is North Ship?
The list of who does what is misleading. I’ve just got more time on my hands! Francis is extremely musical so his contribution is much more than playing the drums. He’s an essential role in the whole creative process. We collaborate on the overall atmosphere and feeling of the material, structure, instrumentation etc. It’s the partnership with Francis and our producer Thomas Li that makes the North Ship sound.