This week’s New Band of the Week is something very different to what we’ve covered so far on this site, in the form of Newcastle’s post-punk indie duo Lost On Me.
The couple and musical pairing of vocalist and guitarist Martin Downing and bassist Jazmine Rains kicked off Lost On Me towards the beginning of 2016, with their friend Michael McCaughy stepping in to play live drums with them.
Describing how the band formed, Martin told us: “I started playing in bands and writing music around the age of 18/19. Since then I haven’t really stopped, and around 2015 started feeling like the best thing for me in the long run was to be solo. I prefer writing alone but really enjoy involving others in a live environment, so following a year-and-a-half of crafting Lost On Me solo, it felt right to grow more into a band environment before it’s fruition.
“Jazmine and myself have currently been together for going on nine years and although not being involved in the music world, she had previously studied music. Jaz is primarily a singer and really helped me learn to sing and is still teaching me to sing to be honest. Anyway, after years of me jokingly suggesting she should learn bass as a hobby, she one day randomly decided to do it. Following a couple of months or so of her learning and progressing, it became a no brainer for her to become a part.
The duo last week released their debut single Balance, with a debut four-track EP Demonstration to follow shortly. The band’s sound carries overtones of the iconic sound of Interpol, with Martin’s powerful vocals on top of atmospheric guitars.
Balance kicks off with a big brooding guitar riff that continues through an opening verse dominated by booming vocals. Higher pitched guitars enter as the track shifts moods then drops back to the original riff. Check it out for yourself in the video below:
Also from the EP is the slightly more upbeat Protection, which kicks off with a funky guitar riff then big, deep vocals. It’s again big on atmosphere but a little faster paced and more rocky.
Describing the band’s sound, Martin told us: “I’d say we’re a bit of a mixture of indie and post punk. We’ve got pop sensibilities but are heavily influenced by guitar based indie as well as the darker side of music.
“Around writing the demo I was listening to a lot of Protomartyr, Gold Class, The Cure and Oh Well Good Bye. I’ve been a lifelong fan of bands like Joy Division, New Order, The Cure and Interpol, which I think rubbed off a bit as well.”
In terms of what inspires their writing, Martin said: “Just life and experience really. I try to write in a way that encourages the listener to make their own interpretation of its meaning, in hope they can relate it to something within their own lives.
“I genuinely love songwriting, composition and playing live, so the whole thing really ticks all my boxes to be honest. Outside of that, it’s a great hobby to allow me to push myself creatively.”
While Jazmine added: “I quite like lyrics that are relatable to the listener and prefer they’re not pigeon-holed to a certain topic or a theme.”
You can see Lost On Me at a few upcoming shows, starting with their first ever gig at Note Glasgow on 22 April, then moving on to their hometown of Newcastle with shows at Biscuit Tin Studios on 6 May, Little Buildings on 4 June and The Cumberland Arms on 16 June. More information on their shows is available here.
They’re also in the process of writing and recording songs for a new album, likely to land before the end of the year.