> Brontës' Amelia Haldane chats about their new 'Elements of Revival' EP, physical releases, and escape in subculture - SNACK: Music, film, arts and culture magazine for Scotland

Brontës’ Amelia Haldane chats about their new ‘Elements of Revival’ EP, physical releases, and escape in subculture

Brontës, a five-piece from Glasgow, have been classed as indie-rock, post-punk and funk, but as is usually the case, they are all these things and more.

Things are tough for many of us these days, and while being in a band should be fun, it’s difficult. The cost of the endeavour, not to mention the struggle in arranging practice at a time that suits all members, means it’s harder than ever for young and emerging acts to flourish. So, when a band does rise above these challenges, it’s to be celebrated, and Brontës are doing it in style, with an EP and live gig before the end of April. 

SNACK caught up with drummer Amelia Haldane to discuss the EP, the live show, physical releases, and escape in subculture.

You’re gearing up for a busy spell, how are you doing?

We are a big mix of excited, optimistic, and knackered! But in the best way possible. Since recording the EP in november, we have really knuckled down on rehearsals and have never written so much new music. All of us are so motivated to push the older tracks to the next level and bring the new ones up with them.

Elements of Revival is your first EP, and your first release of 2024. How was the recording process? 

We recorded the tracks down at Green Door in Finnieston, which we love as the space is so small we get stuck right into it. Ronán (Fay, producer) who recorded the EP with us is great in the sense where we can be experimental with the music-we changed the whole second half to ‘Don’t Ask Why’ on the day, and we were so chuffed with the turn out. 

The EP has a theme about music as escapism. How much of the EP is autobiographical and were there specific challenges you were trying to capture?

The band go out together to the same gigs, same events and have similar jobs in areas like hospitality/office where we struggle to take time off to fulfil our musical aspirations. 

We all got tucked into the theory of escapism through the use of subcultures, one that stuck out the most was the Northern Soul scene. The EP captures our own hardships of being in underpaid jobs whilst trying to pursue music and filters into the idea of ‘living for the weekend’ and partaking in nightlife culture together in a tribe like form.

Do you have a typical songwriting process?

Our song writing process has always been questionable-– the band started off with a drummer and a bassist, so we would always kick off a track starting with drums. Now we group at my flat and make an evening of it, usually starting with a catchy guitar riff. 

Lyrics are typically written by Eva [Watt, singer] (or everyone together), however the earlier songs and some current ones are written by me. We group write every time, I like the idea that every song, lyrically and musically, we all relate to as everyone contributed.

You’re releasing a physical version of the EP, Elements, which includes your previous releases. Is this something you’ve wanted to do for some time?

Yes! We love physical copies of our work, we previously released our AA of our first two singles, and are still ecstatic about people purchasing our music. All of us are very big on artwork for music too, it’s really great to see other peoples work be included in ours in a physical form. Also, CDs are making a comeback!

Vinyl gets most of the love when it comes to physical music, and there’s been a perverse cassette revival, what’s your thinking behind the CD release?

Our first physical release was vinyl, and we can’t wait to release more one day – the cost I think sets us back for releasing more so soon. I think cassettes will be next for us, definitely.

Brontës – Photo credit: Brian Sweeney

Collecting songs is a great way to get new fans up to speed, but it can also help a band move forward. Can you say what’s next with respect to recordings?

We are booked into Green Door again in May to record a couple of new tracks. They are both brand new ones that will make their debut at The Rum Shack this month. The new material we have been writing is very high energy, and with hopes to release in summer it should get some traction.

On the same day you release the EP, you headline The Rum Shack, on Glasgow’s southside. How are the new songs sounding live?

We’re going to kick off the set with the first track of the EP, ‘Radios’ and the last few rehearsals the band have had together have been a whole new level of energy. I think it helps when your 4 best friends are in the band with you-everything is sounding great in the studio – I’m sure bringing them to the stage will only lift them higher.

Hometown gigs are fun, but they can bring a lot of pressure you don’t get from other shows. How do you cope with that?

We definitely feel the pressure from playing in Glasgow, I think this just gives us that extra push to bring it up that one extra step. As a band we don’t really drink before playing, so to calm the nerves there’s always a game of chess going on between us somewhere in the building. 

You’re on the bill for Party At The Palace in Linlithgow.  Does playing to a different audience change your mindset or attitude going into the gig?

I suppose it is different to be playing a bill that isn’t labelled as your own, it adds a different kind of pressure. We played George Square last year for the Cycling Championships, and weirdly weren’t nervous for it; most likely as nobody bought tickets for us – there was only room for us to impress new people. 

What’s your aims for the rest of the year?

Definitely to keep writing, we are so pleased with what we have been spitting out the last few months, and smash the shows we have booked. We ideally would like to play outside Glasgow for a few shows by the end of the year, it’s difficult for smaller bands with no management/money behind them to get out of our little circle here. However, I think this is the year where we grind really hard, to seek out opportunities for spring/summer 2025.

Brontës release Elements of Revival on 26th April, and play The Rum Shack the same evening 

Photo credit: Brian Sweeney

You May Also Like

Track by Track: ‘Bedroom’ by bdrmm

It is rare for a debut LP to maintain a thematic soundscape without it ...

EP review: Loup Havenith – Bring Yourself to Completion

Over the summer, Loup Havenith (Supercloud) has been recording and experimenting with cassette tapes ...