At the end of January they released their debut album, Highlights, and several months of touring beckoned. Instead singer Josh Carruthers, drummer Josh Hussey and guitarist Freddie Edwards found themselves confined to home as the Covid-19 lockdown kicked in.
Carruthers sees reasons to be optimistic after the band weathered tough times. “I think it’s reassuring,” he says. “We’ve had to be resilient, just watching everything get cancelled or pushed back, shows and festivals and stuff
“We supported an (American) band called AJR in December 2019 and we had this momentum and we didn’t want to allow that to stop which is why we threw ourselves back into writing and all these crazy things on Instagram, just trying to be as proactive and productive as possible.”
Edwards points to one particular disappointment. “We were booked to play at South By South West (the annual music showcase in Austin, Texas),” he says. “We were in rehearsals for that and were so excited to be playing in America for the first time. We went to the pub straight after the last day of rehearsals and that’s when the news was saying ‘things are looking really bad, the country’s going to close the borders’ and whatnot, so that was definitely a big blow, but we tried to look on the bright side and bounce back by writing.”
To continue to build an audience, Flawes rapidly adapted to livestream gigs. “We’ve also had time to learn a little more about our fanbase, to find out where they are and actually connect,” says Hussey. “We this great series of gigs with people in Brazil and Russia, places which we wouldn’t unsually get to connect with. It’s been lovely to have the time to figure that out. Those are the areas which we’re dying to go to now and play, it’s been eye-opening.”
They also attempted a world record for the most individual livestream performances of the song Holding Out For the Win in 12 hours.
“It was in between the lockdowns,” explains Carruthers. “We sent out messages for fans (to get in touch) and did individual performances of the song on repeat from 10am.”
“We somehow still made mistakes in the song, I don’t know how,” says Edwards.
“By 4pm or 5pm we were delirious,” adds Hussey, “and we posted a photo on Instagram that basically summed up our mood. Our eyes are completely conked out.”
While in lockdown they also wrote the six tracks on their new EP, Reverie. It includes the singles What’s a Boy To Do, Holding Out for a Win and Higher Than Before, a collaboration with the Australian singer Mali-Koa. “She’s someone I’m a huge fan of,” says Carruthers. “She released an album a couple of months ago and she’s absolutely phenomenal. We just reached out and she was up for it. She really liked the vibe.”
“I’d met her at a friend’s release party at a studio,” says Hussey. “We ended out figuring out that we both live in east London. I’ve followed her music since then and she fit the bill perfectly, she did such a good job on the song and her voice works perfectly.”
In contrast to their album, which was made at some expense in traditional recording studios, all six tracks on the EP were recorded on set-ups at home. “It was an interesting process,” says Carruthers. “For the album and all our previous stuff we’ve gone to these big, fancy studios that cost a fortune every day to hire out. This time we all did it at home and we learnt watching all these YouTube videos about mic placement and ringing up every producer friend that we have in our phone books for tips and tricks and how to get the best out of recording. It was quite a fun view. I don’t know if we’ll go back to recording in big studios again because we know we can do it (ourselves).”
Reverie is out now. www.flawes.com