Describing their music as “treading a line from ambient nostalgia to indie crunch”, Inland Murmur is one of the more interesting new bands from London. Combining the experiences of living in London with the roots of growing up in rural Wales (or at least a couple of them) results in introspective lyrics wrapped in warm fuzzy melody. We had a quick chat with the foursome about their single ‘Icarus’, future plans and much more.
Why did you enter the music industry?
I don’t think any of us ever made a conscious decision to ‘enter the industry’ really. We’ve all played at various levels for years, but you come to a point in your life where you realise it’s not a choice between ‘I want to do music’ or ‘I don’t want to do music’. You realise that regardless of how objectively successful your music is, there’s nothing you can do to stop yourself making music and being creative.
How did Inland Murmur form?
The project was originally started by Toby (vocals and guitar) who was mainly playing drums in other bands. We’ve been playing together as a three-piece for a good few years now and have racked up a lot of London gigs. Alan (guitar) joined more recently and has really helped fill the live sound out.
How did you decide on the band name Inland Murmur? Where there any other options?
We had been playing under the name ‘Toby Llewellyn’ for years which was Toby’s original solo project, but we wanted something that sounded more like a band. There’s also a really popular auctioneer called Toby Llewellyn. Kudos to him for being so prolific, but it sometimes got a little complicated online. Inland Murmur, although a Wordsworth quotation, actually came from watching an episode of The Trip with Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan. Brydon recites the line and we really liked it. So a little less highbrow than you might have imagined!
What can you tell us about your latest release ‘Icarus’?
We’ve released some music in the past, but I think ‘Icarus’ is the first track where the sound has really clicked for us. It’s very upbeat and direct and we’re really happy with the results.
What was the recording and writing process like?
Usually writing for me (Toby) is a process of extremes. I either get an idea which seems to come from nowhere and writes itself or I have to spend ages going back and revising an idea. Pedro, who produced and mixed the track was pivotal in getting it to what you hear now. We recorded at Hackney Road Studios which is a wonderful environment. It was all very relaxed which is always nice.
What do you hope people take from the single?
I hope that people feel energised and uplifted by the single and that it helps bring them 3:25 minutes of joy! The lyrics relate to change which is a key theme for all of us at the moment. There are some aspects of climate change in there too and we’d love for people to have that in mind.
Which is more challenging for you – melody or lyrics?
I find that lyrics are something I can work on systematically, but melody always requires a bit of inspiration. Max (drums) and I are both English Literature graduates so an excess of words usually ensues.
Describe ‘Icarus’ in three words.
Bright nuanced indie!
While you are London-based, some of your band members are from Wales. How did the move and living in a new culture influence you on a personal and professional level?
Hannah (bass and vocals) and Toby both moved up from very rural parts of Wales to live, work and study in London. Going from a place where you might see two other people a day to somewhere like London where you open your front door onto a street full of people was a huge shock. Ultimately though, it’s been inspiring to be immersed in such a varied culture and to have met so many wonderful people; but, we couldn’t have managed the change without the occasional long weekend back on a windswept mountainside!
What do you think is the best way to discover new music?
We’re obviously in an age where there’s so much music around online and discovering that music is difficult. I’d still recommend going out to gigs and festivals and catching a live band. It’s a great way to find new artists.
What does 2020 (and beyond) hold for Inland Murmur?
As I’m sure you can imagine, things have changed significantly for us and everyone else over the last six weeks, so we’re really just seeing how it all goes. We’ve been taking the time to write a lot of new songs which has been nice. We’ve got a few gigs lined up later in the year too and, hopefully, some more recording! We’re planning our first EP for release in 2021.
What advice do you have for any person planning to become a musician?
It’s really tough. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. We’re really lucky in that we all have other jobs. That said, if you enjoy playing music it’s just something you’ve got to do. Have fun, but give yourself enough credit to take it seriously. There will likely be someone out there who can’t wait to hear your songs.
Do you have any message for our readers?
Stay safe, stay home and stay happy! Listen to our new song and don’t hoard any toilet roll!