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Photo Credit: Neil Johnson
Electric Pets are a four piece from Derby that weave a rich tapestry of mature dark-pop with a garage rock swagger.
Unashamedly drawing influence from the foundations of rock n’ roll history and framing it firmly with a twenty-first century styling, it’s all here: the distinctive twang of rockabilly and surf, breathy 60s girl group vocals, Joe Meek-esque retro futurist electronica and bluesy fuzzed out Jack White-like riffs. Electric Pets are the sleazy dive-bar band you wish were providing the soundtrack to a Quentin Tarantino movie that doesn’t exist yet.
The band formed in the tail end of 2019 when solo singer/songwriter Emma Buckley decided she was tired of treading the solo acoustic circuit and wanted to be in band that played the cool stuff she grew up listening to from her Dad’s eclectic record collection.
The timing was serendipitous – after a stint at yet another ‘by numbers’ acoustic night she parked herself on a stool at the bar next to Phil Wagg and Pete Darrington who had just called time on their current band, a noise rock outfit called ‘The Hudson Super Six.’
Phil and Pete had grown weary of relying on volume and distortion to win an audience over and wanted to do something that was all about the songs. The time was right to venture into more sophisticated and challenging territory.
The three of them got chatting – Emma was a Hudson Super Six fan as a teenager going to local gigs, while Phil and Pete had just been wowed by Emma’s vocal delivery and song writing abilities. numerous whiskies later the three of them decided to form a band.
They began writing together while listening to classics from all genres and eras.
Rock, pop, indie, soul, blues and even country. Having felt restricted by the styles they’d previously worked in, they made a pact: no genre was off the table and the song was king.
The approach would be similar to how it was at the dawn of pop before music journalism compartmentalised everything to the n’th degree. There should be nothing shameful about listening to Dolly Parton one minute and Slayer the next while drawing inspiration from both. After all, savvy Hip-Hop producers had been doing it for decades.
Drummer Adam Grace was recruited for his love of (and ability to play) all styles of music and the newly formed band got to work in a rehearsal studio. Everything was looking rosy… And then Covid happened.
Adapting quickly, digital demos were swapped, files were shared on-line and parts recorded at home. They were determined to not let a global pandemic put a stop to their new project.
As restrictions waxed and waned precious recording windows were seized and eventually a collection of songs were transformed from cobbled demos into fully produced studio tracks. As 2022 arrived and live music began to return, Electric Pets resumed rehearsals with their sights set on playing live at last and finally unleashing their music into the wild.
Big Takeover is excited to host the premiere of Elephant EP.
Track by track:
Make You Mine
It’s taken 20 years of writing to find the inspiration for a happy love song, but here it is… ‘Make You Mine’ is a Motown/Spector love letter from the heart, but it’s also a dedication to the one who walks you the long way home to stop and see the waterfall. This song is about knowing you’ve found someone special and letting love do the rest. That feeling that it’s effortless, all encompassing and everyone deserves to feel that.
Can’t Bring Me Down
‘Can’t Bring Me Down’ is a rallying anthem of female empowerment. It’s basically taking a stand against misogyny and toxic masculinity, whether that’s in a relationship, the workplace or in society in general. There’s a special kind of power born from someone underestimating your worth or ability. Some silently seek revenge to prove themselves, we wrote ‘Can’t Bring Me Down.’
Show is the second single off the EP. It’s a raw heart-pour of the challenges involved with society’s view of what women in their thirties should be doing with their lives. Some people are blessed with choice and others aren’t. A woman should never feel obliged to justify their position on ‘settling down’ or ‘starting a family’. ‘Show’ is for everyone who is on a complicated unique or painful journey. You are not alone.
7 Mississippis represents the moment things inevitably go wrong. Lyrically it embodies the challenges faced when maintaining any kind of relationship with an addict. We appear to make all the right moves but sometimes life has other plans and we fall at the same hurdle, time and time again. A bit like counting to 7 mississippis.
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