With it being a matter of days until they furnish the music world with debut single ‘Falling Down’, the wonderfully named Floreal Tunnel currently stand in that interesting position of having everything to prove and nothing to lose.
Perhaps it’s precisely that which emboldens the leftfield nature of their material – one of the first things you notice listening to these guys is just how long it sounds like they’ve been at this.
But what is it makes these North London parvenues tick? We caught up with Penny, who fronts the band alongside Joe, to attempt to quickly eke out some more deets on the fresh and ever-so-slightly mysterious four-piece:
So, who, where and what gave birth to Floreal Tunnel?
I think it was about two years ago now. I’d just gone through a breakup and decided to take some time out in a Buddhist monastery in Tuscany. For the first time in my life I spent about 3 or 4 weeks without listening to any music and then one day it just hit me ‘Fuck this – I need to play’. At about the same time one of my friends in Italy called me and asked me if I could play keys for one of his projects so I went and spent the a night working on his songs in his garden. Just watching the garden, I decided to start Floreal Tunnel.
It’s a bit of an evolution of something I was working on in the monastery called ‘Karma de Mort’ which was much more ambient. I moved to London to focus on the new project and that’s where I met Joe. Things just clicked. We both had the same vision and belief in the songs so got together some musicians and here we are.
Your upcoming single ‘Falling Down’ flirts with shoegaze, psychedelia and even a bit of post-rock in terms of sound – where would you say those dark influences come from?
I’m not sure I’d call it Shoegaze. I think ‘Falling Down’ is much darker. Like a black canvas with coloured paint splattered on it. But I’m not sure where the influences came from really. It was just in my mind and that’s how it came out I guess.
Your material is a little more on the abstract side – how does translate in terms of the song writing process?
When I wrote the songs, I didn’t have any musicians so it was quite difficult. I took my keyboard and laptop and started with a drum loop. I didn’t really have anything in mind at the time and just wanted to find some new sounds and a new way to write.
Let’s just say I was in another dimension at the time [laughs]. When I listened back to the instrumentals I’d made I thought ‘Fuck this is good’. It’s the sort of thing I’d like to hear on the radio. The lyrics came later when I was thinking of leaving the monastery. They sum up my experience there. The contrast between the chaos and the calm.
What’s different about Floreal Tunnel compared to previous musical projects you’ve been involved in?
It’s quite simple really. With my last band, I was trying to do my music but now we are doing my music. I guess that’s the difference.
Would you rather be onstage for a good gig or in the crowd for a great one?
I don’t think there are many good gigs now around London. So, the only thing I can do is play my music and be on stage.
What can we expect from you guys in the near future?
Because of how I wrote the songs there’s a lot of writing and deconstructing going on to translate them into something a live band can play. For now, it’s just going to be that and hopefully we’ll be in the studio soon to get some new tracks ready. What else is there? We should have a video for ‘Falling Down’ coming soon too and we might have a few small gigs too actually, nothings confirmed yet, so keep an eye out.
Floreal Tunnel’s debut single ‘Falling Down’ will be out soon.
Header photo by Francesca Blakeburn