There’s a very 80s indie-pop-rock feel to the deliciously soothing yet upbeat sound of French one-man-band Somehow. The band is the brainchild of Paris singer-songwriter Erwan Pépiot, with the able support of backing vocalist Aurélie Tremblay.
Erwan sent us his latest track Shut Your Eyes and See, which gives us an intriguing insight into their intoxicating sound. It opens up with light repeating guitar and piano, then stabbing synth over the guitar that feeds into Erwin’s distinctive vocals. The pace and intensity of vocals soon pick up, before being answered by Aurélie’s darting vocals. Check it out in the video below:
Also worthy of a mention is the super-cool track Meaningless Thoughts In Dark Times, which features an awesome little bass solo early on and builds into a highly engaging track featuring all manner of exciting instrumentals under Erwan and Aurélie’s vocals.
We had a chat with Erwan to find out more about their music, and get his insight on the French music scene.
GR: Who are Somehow? And where are you from?
EP: “Somehow is Erwan Pépiot, a DIY multi-instrumentalist based in Paris, and Aurélie Tremblay who is doing the backing vocals on the record.”
GR: You just released Shut Your Eyes and See. We love the video exploring our home city of London. What should people be expecting from the song?
EP: “This song is a combination of very cold/dark elements and some brighter aspects. The lyrics are quite surrealist and open to interpretation. I would say that it’s basically about finding your escape (art? love? drugs?…).
“As to the video, it’s a sequel to our previous single (While the Days Go By), in which you could follow the young (imaginary) couple formed by Marina and Paco in their daily life in the South of France. This new one is supposed to take place after they broke up, and after Marina moved to London (which she actually did in real life). Paco goes there to visit her as a friend, and they explore this amazing city together.”
GR: How would you describe your sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
EP: “I usually say that Somehow sounds like a mix between Joy Division and Belle & Sebastian. Many people also find similarities with The Smiths.
GR: What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
EP: “I mostly find the music and the vocal melodies first, through improvisation sessions in my home studio. The lyrics usually come later. Some themes are definitely recurring: the passing of time, the idea of escaping or fleeing, the happening of disasters… Other texts are more political (sometimes implicitly) and inspired by social movements or social crises. In the upcoming album, there is a unifying theme for all this: the tide.”
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
EP: “One of my main influences is obviously Joy Division and New Order (first period). But I could also mention more recent bands like Fanfarlo, The Drums, Belle & Sebastian, Clap Your Hands & Say Yeah and Motorama.”
GR: We’ve not met too many French rock bands. What are your thoughts on the current French music scene? Is there much support for new French bands?
EP: “There is actually an abundant French music scene, but it usually stays within our borders. Sometimes it’s due to the barrier of language, which is too bad because there are terrific bands and artists like Lescop, Manfield TYA or Dominique A who all sing in French but would really deserve a brilliant international carrier.
“Regarding new bands, I think it’s as difficult to emerge in France as it is in England. There are several indie labels that are doing a huge amount of work with little means. Just like ours, Toolong Records, who also support great bands like LuneApache, Twin Apple or Beep it, for instance. One of the main issues in France, and more specifically in Paris, is to find (decent) gigs. But I believe it’s quite the same in London, isn’t it?”
GR: What have you got coming up through the rest of 2019?
EP: “Shut your Eyes and See is the first single from our upcoming album Low Tide that will be released at the end of October (via Toolong Records & Differ-Ant). We are currently planning a tour in France that should take place right after the release of the album. I will be playing in Toulon on 9 November and in Paris (at Le Truskel) on 20 November. Other dates should be announced soon!”
GR: Anything else you’d like people to know about you/your music?
EP: “I just hope your readers will enjoy our new track. If you like it, don’t hesitate to give a listen to our previous album, Hidden Memories!”