Described on their Soundcloud as dreamy pop noise from Belfast, Beauty Sleep are everything we love about indie. Alive, expressive and bearing themselves with a coiling, contagious thirst for bigger and brighter horizons, the trio played a transcendental set at Belfast's Women's Work Fest. 2016's The Dark is a sensuous pop anthem that billows with pelagic synths, precise guitars and layers of vocals straight from these wild, wistful hearts. We chat to synth-meister and Beehive member, Cheylene ahead of their first Berlin showing.
BangOn Team: Tell us a little about your band. What’s your sound?
BS: Hi! Our band is called Beauty Sleep, its made up guitarist Ryan, bassist Aimee and myself Cheylene (I like synths, yay!) We all sing too! Our sound is synth-pop, indie-tronica, dream-pop, etc. Genres are hard. We try to write music full of dreamy synths, catchy melodies and bass and guitar riffs that make us want to dance. So, whatever genre you would call that!
BOT: How do you go about songwriting?
BS: We have a dropbox folder full of 30 second ideas: a riff, a vibe, a melody of some description. We all throw demos into that when we can, then we'll meet up and build on them together in the studio. Our Ryan is a producer so we're a little spoilt in the studio department with synths, plug-ins and general talent at making recorded noises sound good! We tend to write and make demos simultaneously. Most of that demo ends up in the final recording too. It's fun because you have all this recorded evidence of how a song progresses! We're a little slow at writing though. We'll usually have three or four songs on the go for a month or so and finish them all on the same day!
BOT: Who are your biggest influences?
BS: At the moment it's a lot of Tame Impala, LA Priest, Blood Orange and Solange. Those groovy, riff-tastic, warm sounds and odd-as-fuck structures really excite me. But you'd get different answers if you asked Ryan or Aimee, or me six months ago! I feel like we all have a bit of a punk-rock bone in our body too. We all love PUP, Sleater-Kinney, LaFaro and have all played bass in heavier bands in the past. We take that energy to our live show!
BOT: What’s been your lowest and highest point as a band?
BS: Highest point - Getting to tick some things off our band bucket list in the first couple of years like playing Other Voices & The Great Escape Festivals, and getting to come and play shows in Germany!
Lowest point - Any and every time we've had to resort to eating beans for a week so we can afford to release and tour music. It's always been worth it though!
BOT: What’s your ultimate aim?
BS: To be able to call this our job and do it every day. Write, record, practice and perform every, single day. Release an album and tour it every year. That would be the dream!
BOT: You have the chance to play one song for a legend of your choice. What do you play?
BS: I would choose 'Love on Top' by Beyonce, so I could actually meet her and just burst with happiness! But definitely with less key changes. No one can out-sing Queen Bey!
BOT: What does Berlin do for you musically?
BS: Live shows! I've been to Berlin a couple of times and seen some killer live shows in weird and wonderful venues. There seems to be 100 things going on every night! Label launches, DJ's, international touring bands, local DIY indie nights, pop-up house party shows. I wish I could go to all of them but I've only been in Berlin for a collective total of 8 days! Music performed live is the best form of music, and we come from Belfast where the live scene is just about hanging on. So that there are so many live music events makes me think Berlin is a magical place full of loud, inspiring, life-changing music and gigs.
BOT: What do we have to look forward to in the coming months from you?
BS: We have two more singles coming out this year and we're working with the amazing artist Megan Doherty on some music videos; a project we're really excited to explore! We're also in the studio finishing off our album, so probably a lot of selfies of us in the studio losing our minds at 2am.
BOT: Which member of your band would you put in the Human centipede?
BS: Aimee, because she loves bums.