The Lounge Society: “It’s the most dangerous thing when you’ve had enough of your own freedom”

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The Lounge Society are a quartet from Hebden Bridge, consisting of Cameron Davey (vocals, bass), Herbie May (guitar), Hani Paskin-Hussain (guitar) and Archie Dewis (drums), who formed at school and made the first impression outside of their hometown during lockdown with the Generation Game single and EP, Silk For the Starving.

This week sees the release of their debut album, Tired of Liberty, on producer Dan Carey’s Speedy Wunderground label.

According to May, growing up in a small but thriving music scene was instructive. “It’s been helpful for us to have places like The Golden Lion in Todmorden and Hebden Bridges Trades Club – and also for other bands. The Orielles in Halifax are a huge inspiration and now they are our friends. I think it was also helpful when we were in grades 9 and 10 at school to have young people as inspiration,” he says.

Paskin-Hussain is inclined to look at the “positives” when viewing their musical development during confinement, without the pressure of touring. “We had time to work on the album and perfect it, approaching it as a rehearsing band as much as possible. But it was hard trying to adapt to those early gigs. When the confinement was lifted and we were able to go out, it was very refreshing for us.

Silk For The Starving, which included the impressive Burn The Heather and Cain’s Heresy, named them a band to watch. Paskin-Hussain thinks seeing their work on vinyl has been “a big step forward” for the band. “Now this album feels like another step forward for us,” he says. “The EP was brilliant but it feels like a track we’re really proud of more than anything in the past.”

The album was preceded by two further singles, Blood Money and No Driver, which seemed to presage current British political events. “He seems to have landed pretty well,” admits Paskin-Hussain. “We thought the singles that were coming out around that time that things would probably start to unfold a bit, as we’ve seen. These songs, as much as they are written about experiences we’ve all had, the goal was to write something timeless, that would hopefully resonate with future generations at our age. They might feel like we still have these problems, that these people keep losing their lives, and that’s absolutely not what we want.

“We want something better than that and we think our music is the best way to explain that to people and get our points across because we don’t have anything else.”

Contrary to the idea that Gen Z is disengaged from politics, the four members of The Lounge Society take an active interest in it. “It’s hard to describe yourself like that, I guess, because it’s an endless spider’s web of uprisings and arguments – nobody’s ever right, it seems, but nobody’s never wrong. But we tried to keep pace as best we could. I think that’s important,” May said.

“There seems to be an idea that young people are disengaged from politics; I think a better word is disenfranchised. When young people are cut off from real world events, it affects them more directly in terms of how much of their future will pay the price for whatever negative happens. We don’t claim to know everything, but we certainly know what we feel and think is right and that’s a good place to start.

Musically, Tired of Liberty’s eclectic songs reflect this band’s desire to be unrestricted by genre. “Being stuck in one genre or style of music seems pretty limited,” says May. “We like to surprise ourselves and raise our musical bar, otherwise it doesn’t seem very helpful if you stay the same all the time, so we push ourselves that way.

“Also, I guess the four of us tap into our personal influences when we walk into a room to write songs. If we pull in four directions, we end up with a strange cocktail of influences that we listen to at the time.

Paskin-Hussain agrees. “I think it’s very natural for us to play different styles of music. When you walk into a room to try to write a song it’s very rare that you repeat a style. We fly to different musical genres. That’s what I’m most proud of, in a way. »

The apparent urgency in the songs stems from the fact that they wanted to cram what they’ve learned over the past 18 or 19 years into 40 minutes of music, May believes. “I guess there’s a sense of urgency because we’re exploding to let it be known so people can see that side of us,” he says. “For a while people tried to put us in one kind of category or another that I don’t necessarily agree with, not to denigrate any of those categories, but we don’t listen to the same kind of music from day to day to day and I think that’s reflected in our music.

“I think it’s a really energetic, youthful album,” says Paskin-Hussain. “If it wasn’t, I don’t think we’d be as happy with it as we are. It’s a debut album in every way. It has that raw energy that any great debut album should have.”

Thematically, May says that what connects disparate topics is “the concept of freedom – more as a feeling than as a political concept”. They’re interested in freedom “and how long people will take to achieve it and how people want to take it away from others, and what happens when you don’t have enough of it, what it’s just in your own feelings of anxiety or if it’s in the political realm,” he explains. “It’s bound by the feeling of wanting to break free from something or everything. this feeling of being attached and wanting to let go and let your hair down. The inscription would be: never get tired of freedom. I think that’s the most dangerous thing when you get tired of your own freedom.

Paskin-Hussain cites the importance of Dan Carey’s contribution to the album. The producer is also known for his work with Kae Tempest, Wet Leg, Fontaines DC and Black Midi. “During our work with Dan, we created a very strong working relationship and I really don’t see any other producer having that impact on us,” he says. “When we record, it’s not the four of us in a room and him somewhere else doing his thing; we are all together. He’s almost like a fifth member.

Being able to “set the world straight” with Carey outside of the studio also helped, May says. “It was important for the themes to develop outside of everything,” he adds.

Tired of Freedom comes out Friday, August 26. The Lounge Society will play The Golden Lion, Todmorden on August 26, Wrecking Ball, Hull on August 28 and the Brudenell Social Club, Leeds on September 29.

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