Noisemaker and guitarist for High Wycombe band Only Sun, Ed Miguens chats what went wrong with their EP, album talk, just why are they releasing one song a month and who is Leila..? Well if you stick around you might just find out…
After coming towards the end of their university careers, Euan, Aabid, Taylor and Ed converged back on their hometown of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire to get back into writing and creating music. Later joined by Daz after finding him on Join My Band – which Ed describes as “band Tinder” – Only Sun formed as a fresh indie-pop band.
Since then, Only Sun have been releasing single after single until their debut EP, ‘Late to the Party’ where things changed, Ed had a lightbulb moment. Why not release a new song every month? Well because it’s something different and simple why the Hell not? “I came up with the idea on the train and it was just a fleeting thought. I was actually talking to our old manager at the time and I was just talking about our latest EP release.” Ed explains. “‘Long Distance’ was the big song off that EP and the rest of them didn’t do so well and I thought that the other tracks were potentially bigger – well in my opinion better and they hadn’t done so well in comparison.”
I agree, sometimes when bands release an EP or LP, fans tend to pick a favourite track and stick to it. I am a culprit myself. But it’s not just a one-way street, streaming services need to level the playing field. “I was kind of in the train of thought with Spotify and how streaming gives a lot more focus to singles and a lot lest to EP’s or a piece of art as a whole,” added Ed.
Unless you are the next Arctic Monkeys or the next ‘big thing’, a single will get more of a reaction than they would in an album and Ed seems to agree with me. “I think so and just generally how people listen to music now days is more a ‘we wanna know what’s the big song, we wanna listen to that song’ and sort of get a reaction as to what it is like from that.”
It’s just so easy to skip tracks or make a playlist just so you can listen to your favourite song which puts all the sweat and tears that goes into creating these songs. “I think it’s so easy to skip tracks on a streaming site like Spotify and it’s so easy to create playlists that people just wanna know the best songs.” Explains Ed. “It’s favourable for singles to come out, so it just seemed like an interesting way of doing it.”
And Ed has a very valid point, by releasing a new single every month it will keep fans on their toes rather than waiting for eight-months for an album. The chemistry between the lads is incredible, whoever comes up with an idea they will all sit down and talk it through as the idea could be completely stupid or a stroke of pure genius. Luckily for Ed, the guys loved the idea: “When I first suggested the idea, it was to just literally focus on singles and there weren’t any other points to it and then after talking to the guys they came up with so many different good suggestions as to why we should do it.
“One of the big things for us was that we could write throughout the year, so we wouldn’t be stuck on 12 songs and then be releasing them 8 months later and being like ‘actually that doesn’t represent us as a band now’. So, it allowed us to just keep writing and creating new stuff – you just get to see the development of it all really.”
The first track of twelve, ‘So It Goes’ set a bold mark for the band as it’s sticking two fingers up to the music industry. As Ed tells me: “‘So It Goes’ is written by Euan and it was at a time when he was quite disillusioned with how the music industry worked as a whole and how a lot of people were earning money of off artists. It was a very angry towards the music industry and people who don’t necessarily write and don’t have that creative side to them earn money of the creatives and the creatives don’t earn as much. I think it’s a very punk song in that sense that’s just anti-establishment with the recording industry.”
By channelling their anger, the single connected with the fans. “We had quite a few people messaging us afterwards just saying that they felt the exact same way and it was just nice to connect with a track like that.” When a song goes down so well with the listener it’s a great sense of achievement, especially when it’s personal to the writer. Ed added: “It was really fun to hear that all come out as it was just such a release of anger towards it and that was really cool to release.”
This month’s new single ‘Song For Leila’ is a song that goes back to the bands original roots. “It’s kind of more like the older stuff that we’ve done. It’s more relaxed, it’s a bit sort of slower tempo and a bit more anthemic. It’s nice because the last two, well actually the last three releases have been a bit more experimental and a bit different from our older stuff so it’s quite nice to go back to something a bit more Only Sun in a way.”
With a slower rhythm, and an upbeat guitar riffs the track goes out to someone rather special as Ed explains. “The title has nothing to do with the track, which is a fun one. We were writing it with all the melodies, Taylor came up with a lot of the guitar parts and a lot of the melodies and Aabid’s mum – whose name is Leila – commented ‘that’s a particularly nice song. I really love all the guitar parts and all the melodies for it’ so even before we had lyrics or anything we sort of just given it the working title ‘Song For Leila’ and that just stuck. So it’s actually dedicated to Aabid’s mum.”
Going deeper into the song, Ed tells me that the lyrics can be a mouthful. “It’s really funny with all the vocals and stuff because the way Euan wrote all the vocals, he would fit so many words into these lines, so they’re so rushed out. There’s so many lyrics in this song it’s rather remarkable to listen to as well. It’s kind of like he’s just spitting out sentences at a time.” This will certainly be an interesting one to hear live.
Ed, Euan and Taylor all share the song-writing duties, but what gets them ticking. Every songwriter has their own methods of thinking, and for Ed, there’s so many ways. “One of us will come up with an idea and then we’ll elaborate on it together and sometimes it can be literally a fully formed that just need tweaking and sometimes it’s literally words and a couple of cords and no chorus and stuff like that. So, it really does come from every sort of angle.”
What’s next for Only Sun. Ed said there are no plans yet, but “wouldn’t be surprised if we went out and at the end of this and decide to record all the songs that didn’t make it into these 12.” I put forward the idea of making a compilation LP and Ed said it could be something they would look into. “It will be nice to have something as a collection. I think we would like to have something physical to show for the end of this to be able to give to fans who’ve stuck with us through this whole 12-month thing. But afterwards is anyone’s guess, we’ll probably end up releasing loads more – probably another EP.”
If Only Sun do make an album, I hope they thank me for the idea!