Founded in 2011 by singer and guitarist Tom Gourlay and keyboard player Chris Duffin – “Tom wrote loads of songs then I kind of coloured them in, that went on for a very long time,” says Duffin – they now include Tom Basri on bass and other instruments and Dom Dean on drums.
Where on previous releases their sound has ventured from alternative indie to chamber pop via shoegaze and college rock, their CPWM track The Talk is a slice of driving guitar pop. It may be an atypical but, says Duffin, the band are fond of it all the same. “We let Tom Basri have a guitar solo on the single which is a first for us,” Duffin says. “We usually shy away from such things but we thought, ‘Do you know what? Go for it’.
“It was actually recorded to be a B-side for some record releases but we thought ‘We really like this track, let’s submit it [to CPWM] and see what happens’.”
The song was recorded with MJ from Hookworms shortly after his studio in Kirkstall was badly damaged by last winter’s floods. “We lost a lot of gear in that flood, not nearly as much as what Matt lost, but there was this thrown together, DIY quality to the process,” says Duffin. “I know the song doesn’t really sound like it, because it’s quite a twee pop song, but there’s a sense of defiance I think that goes with it. We just thought, ‘We’re not going to let these things hold us back and we’ll just get on with it’.
“Also bizarrely not only did we lose a lot of gear in the floods but that recording was probably the last time we played a lot of those instruments because all of our gear got stolen, so it’s a bit of a time capsule for us because it was the last time we heard some of those things being played. In a way as horrible as it is to have things stolen it was nice that they were captured just before that happened.”
The song’s lyrics were inspired by the Thomas Hardy poem The Walk and the Paris Climate Accord. “The thing about Tom’s song writing that initially attracted me to working with him is that nine times out of ten I don’t know what it’s about at all but I get the feeling of what it’s about and is has this kind of ‘other’ quality about it,” says Duffin. “Something about it clicks but I’m not sure what. So when he tells us ‘this is about this and this’ I go ‘I would not have guessed that but now you mention it that makes sense’. I know that the climate change issue is something that he feels very strongly about. I love that the song reflects that feeling without it being so obvious.”
Deadwall will be performing at the CPWM single launch at Brudenell Social Club on Saturday with Her Name Is Calla, whose track Kaleidescoping is featured on the other side of the 7in single. www.facebook.com/ComePlayWith/
In March they’re due to release their second album, The Zero Cliff, on Hatch Records. More gigs are due to follow, at Hebden Bridge Trades Club and Hyde Park Book Club in Leeds, around the release date. For further details on the band visit www.deadwall.co.uk