Music Q&A: Sylvette

The Manchester band, named after Picasso's muse Sylvette David, have just released their debut album Waiting in the Bliss on their own label

Hero image

What informs your music and songwriting?
All of our songs are inspired by specific experiences and concepts. For example, Waiting in the Bliss is about meeting loved ones in the afterlife, Mars Song is about the possibility of the human race destroying the earth and having to inhabit Mars. Sweet Sound is about finding the childlike joy you lose in adolescence in music. Rebirth is the story of a man moving from limbo to being reborn as a baby boy. There are similar specific concepts for all the songs on the record. These ideas help us create music that we feel takes people out of their everyday world and into the different worlds we create.

How have you evolved as a band over the years?
When we started we had quite a clear idea of what our sound was. We wanted to be very stripped down, emotional alternative indie with a violin. During the first six months as a band we fulfilled this aim but we quickly wanted to move on to explore different ideas. Our later work has been inspired by psychedelic and Eastern spiritual music. Artists such as Tigran Hamasyan, Nusrat Fateh Ali Kahn, Boards of Canada, Tune Yards and Love have shown us how far out you can take musical ideas while still keeping the songs relatable and emotional.

What are you up to at the moment artistically?
At the moment we are touring our debut album Waiting in the Bliss. We have loved the challenge of playing hour-long headline gigs and really showing audiences across the UK what we are about. We are also in the process of integrating a fifth member into the band. This is hugely exciting as it’s giving us so many more options sonically and he is another strong musical voice that brings a lifetime of experience into the studio.

What’s on your rider?
As a fairly unknown band we are more than happy to just have a dressing room with a few beers in it. I’m sure as we get more known our egos will grow suitably and it will be no time before we demand exclusively hand picked blue M&Ms!

Tell us your most embarrassing or surreal experience.
Our most surreal experience was definitely supporting The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. Fifty years on from his hit single Fire he is still mad as ever and it was mindblowing to watch him dance to our music in full face paint with a red bowler hat and colourful clothing from head to toe!

What song do you wish you’d written?
The song I wish I had written is Oh Comely by Neutral Milk Hotel. It is simultaneously beautiful, disturbing, intimate and profound. The lyrics transport you through vastly different worlds with powerful imagery from verse to verse. By the time it finishes you feel as though you have experienced something unforgettable. That is what a great song does to you.

What’s your worst lyric?
My worst song lyric is probably from a song I wrote when I was 16. We still occasionally play it live because the Manchester audience enjoy its energy. The lyric is: “Tap tap tapping on my shoulder, I hear you say my name. Tap tap tapping on my shoulder I hear your pretty voice again.” After this tour we will let it go for good, because we will never put out records with lyrics we aren’t proud of.

If you liked this article, we think you’ll enjoy these:

Interact: Responses to Music Q&A: Sylvette

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.