Beauty Sleep

Belfast supergroup make super pop music.


Photographed for State's Faces by Olga Kuzmenko

How did the idea for the band come about?

We were all drunk at a party and chatting nonsense and it just kind of happened. I think we had all been wanting to make dreamy electronic-y music separately and that night it just all came out and all our ideas seemed to make sense together, which was serendipitous timing! Within a week we were sending demos to each other and hitting the practice room. We talked a lot about what we wanted it to be and we were always on the same page, it felt very natural. We were laughing recently that we weren’t even a band this time last year and it seems absurd, it’s such a big part of our life now!


Belfast seems to be an extraordinarily fertile environment for musicians at the moment....

It definitely feels like Belfast and the entire NI music scene is on an upswing at the moment. There’s lot of new and exciting music coming out and we’re all really excited for each other! It means there’s a lot of collaboration too, it’s so much fun to play gigs and plan fun things with bands like Strength, Brand New Friend, Bad Fit… we got to play a ridiculous gig called Murmur in The Mac this year. It was a mad Jools Holland style psychedelic explosion created by Goldie Fawn with AE Mak, New Portals and ourselves. There were dancers, artists, stage designers, costume changes and everyone playing music together onstage at the one time. That was a really special night, with everyone on stage and so many musicians we knew in the audience (and at the after party!) supporting it. I remember taking a mental snapshot at the time and thinking ‘wow, there is so much talent here’, so many wonderful people, we’re so lucky!


Does playing with so many other people have a positive effect?

Between the three of us we have been a part of so many bands over the years! Wonder Villains, Pleasure Beach, BeeMickSee, A Bad Cavalier, Duke Special to name a few… it’s way too much fun to play music with other people. Seeing how other people approach music making is so interesting and you learn a lot from being around that. It really energises and inspires you to see these different musical stories play out and to be a part of them, even for just a little bit. Plus it’s made us better players, better performers, better songwriters, it’s been hugely positive all round.


What was the highlight of 2016? 

Other Voices in Dingle was magical! We have always wanted to go to and to get invited in the first year of the band was so surreal. We played our second gig a little bit after midnight and to see this little Irish pub full of people dancing and cheering to our songs was crazy and brilliant. We loved every minute of it, it was a wonderful way to end the year.


And what was the strangest moment?

All of it has been pretty strange! Getting blogged about in different countries has been bizarre… we did an interview for a magazine based in Brazil, we got a couple of New York/LA reviews and one from Japan. That’s just so strange to think someone on the other side of the world heard your music and thought enough about it to write something. But a fantastic kind of strange.