As Liverpool’s new lo-fi surfgazers Echo Beach premiere their debut EP Greetings From Echo Beach in full Getintothis’ Jake Marley speaks to the band.
“We’re like power rangers, when we unite we can easily defeat Rita Repulsa.” They’ve barely come into view on Liverpool’s underground radar but Echo Beach are already plotting a Power Rangers reboot and dream collaborations with Rick Astley.
Their origins come from corners of the Wirral and banks of the River Mersey, but Echo Beach take musical inspiration from many climes, stretching as far and wide as North America’s surf-gaze scene. Inspiration which is there for all to see on their debut EP Greetings From Echo Beach, out on June 17 on Hail Hail Records.
The Merseyside quartet streamed surf-pop jaunt Streets as the EP’s lead single last week to instant approval of radio stations in Chicago and Glasgow and will play a DIY EP release show in association with Hail Hail Records at Bumper in Liverpool on June 24.
Direction was never an issue for the album, in fact synth-man Connor said things got that relaxed it nearly ended up featuring a Human League remix. “We heavily considered and played around with the idea of doing a cover of Don’t You Want Me by The Human League on the b-side as a bonus track.”
“We wanted to make wacked-out summer jams to the concept of re-soundtracking Zardoz” Connor continues. “If you haven’t seen it, go and watch it, it’s basically Sean Connery running round in speedos for a good two hours haha.”
Unfortunately The Human League remix didn’t make it on this occasion but influences from a lot of other beat, new wave and lo-fi groups did, samples, voice-overs and synths galore take the helm with a rather wacky original concept idea, as the band explains.
“The inspiration for the samples came from Connor who would send me stuff and say [find a way to make the music sound like this], the more electronic elements kind of just happened though,” explains drummer Jack.
“I was listening to a lot of Beach Fossils and John Maus at the time and I think that comes through in the recordings” says vocalist and guitar man Adam. “Our collective love for Rick Astley was the main inspiration though, obviously”, he jokes before Jack chips back in, “There was normally something like Wild Nothing or Beach Fossils on in the studio but from a drumming perspective I was going for something more Metronomy esque too.”
Recorded in a home studio space the band quickly made their own, the six track EP proved a lot of fun to make for a group merely spreading their wings and letting creativity ooze out. “Recording in a home studio environment helped [this record]a lot, it meant we didn’t get too bogged down with stress and just had a lot of fun” explains bassist Joe.
“The Choose Goose was our [Echo Beach] mascot throughout recording, the backbone to our band, long days, long nights, beer and pizza, shout out to the Wood household” adds Connor.
“There’s been plenty of fun moments along the way [which has kept things lighthearted] chirps Adam, although I’d say making a punk jam ‘dog in a restaurant’ is probably our greatest and certainly funniest achievement to date.
“To call the recording process an enlightening combination of rage, enjoyment and cabin fever whilst locked in my own bedroom, would sum it up nicely I’d say” concludes drummer Jack, who’s home turned into a budget Abbey Road studios for a few periods over the last couple of months.
Echo Beach announced in the run up to the EP release a limited batch of cassettes for pre-order alongside the digital versions. (We later hear there’s only 8 cassettes left at the time of writing so be quick if you want to grab yourself a piece of nostalgic glory.)
When quizzed on the inspiration behind the idea and a potential cassette revivial similar to that of vinyl in recent years Joe and Adam stuck right behind the concept, “I think cassettes are very cool, lo-fi music such ours sounds best that way” says lead singer Adam, “I certainly think they [ cassettes] are on the way back with artists like Drenge, Mac Demarco and DIIV fronting the revivial. Ours are transparent blue too which is great” – adds Joe.
Short and long-term goals for bands are often crucial, Echo Beach certainly aren’t hanging around as Adam explains. “Playing SXSW is certainly a long-term goal. This year we want our EP launch show to pack out [it’s on June 24 at Bumper in Liverpool so come down], then it’s just a case of playing more shows and potentially touring our songs, before [continuing the cycle]and recording more music.”
Echo Beach have certainly put down a marker for DIY bands with this album and had a shit-load of fun doing so, we’ll be seeing a lot more from these four chaps over the coming months and years for sure, but for now go and get your hands on their EP and team it with a good cocktail. Summer’s well and truly arrived. Signed, sealed and delivered by Echo Beach.
Echo Beach play Bumper, Liverpool, June 24, entry OTD is £2 and you can stream Echo Beach’s debut EP exclusively below.