With the weather turning glorious it seems the perfect time to introduce you to the summery pop perfection of Synne Eileen & The Sunbeams. Hailing from Norway but currently based in Liverpool, Synne Eileen has just released an infectious double A-sided single ‘Cuckoo/Kinda Perfect’ on Northampton based Lazy Acre Records. We already loved the tunes and have now been totally charmed by the lady herself. Readers please give a warm welcome to Synne Eileen & The Sunbeams.
Firstly I want to ensure we address you correctly! Should we call you Synne Eileen, Synne, Eileen…. please help us out so we come across as the gentlemen we hope we are!
Well that depends! I use both of my names, Synne Eileen as my artist name, so in the interview it will probably look best if you use both (most people call me Synne, but my English-speaking mates usually call me Eileen, as it’s easier for them to pronounce. Synne has a tendency of coming out as “Sin”…)
How are you, where are you and what are you doing?
I am good, on holiday at home in my parents’ house, doing almost nothing!
You are based in Liverpool – how did this come about?
It was a bit random to be honest. I did a gap year after high school because I was unsure of what I wanted to do further. I applied and got into law school in Oslo, but I wasn’t sure it was for me. Then after having had an inspiring chat with a lovely woman I know, she convinced me to try and do something about the music I had written so far. I decided to do just that, after all I would only hate myself for not trying, and I didn’t have much to lose. One evening I came across an article about a Uni in Liverpool (LIPA), with a music degree that focused mostly on industry and practical performances. It seemed different than all the other Unis I had looked at, where most of them seemed to have a lot more focus on the theoretical aspect of music (which I am rubbish at). So anyway, I applied, got an audition, and luckily for me, I got in.
I was lucky enough to meet a lot of awesome people and talented musicians. I met all my bandmates there, even though most of us didn’t live far away from each other in Norway.
What is your background in music?
I have always loved music, and my mom used to make me sing for people ever since I was around 4 years old. I don’t know for sure when I started writing songs, children make up songs all the time. I was one of those kids who never stopped singing, to my brother’s great annoyance. I guess I started seriously writing them down when I was around 12. It was kind of my way of keeping a diary – I wrote a song every day instead.
Please tell us about the fab new double A-sided single.
What’s there to tell! It’s a bit cuckoo, yet kinda perfect. Evidentally as those are the song titles! Ha! The first single “Cuckoo” is a very happy and upbeat song, with slightly weird lyrical content. I usually introduce it in gigs as a song “about a psychiatrist who falls in love with her patient”. It’s one of our less serious songs, I think it’s important to have a few of those as well.
It actually started out in minor, and was a pretty melancholic sad song, which you will find hard to believe when you listen to it. I love listening back to early recordings from the songwriting process, it’s always fun to hear where the song started out and compare it to where it ended up.
I wrote “Kinda Perfect” when I was 15 years old. After a friend of mine had had a family emergency, she told me she envied my “perfect life”, which then inspired me to write the song, because nothing is as perfect as on the outside.
Are the Sunbeams your fans, like Marina’s Diamonds? Or are they your group like Buddy’s Crickets and Neil’s Crazy Horse?
The sunbeams are my wonderful band. They always shine like sunbeams on stage.
The name sort of started out as a joke, but then I discovered my name Synne actually means “Sun – gift” and Eileen means “light”, it was such a weird coincidence that we decided to keep it.
If they are your band, how did you all meet and how does the song-writing process work in the group?
We all met in Liverpool at Uni. I usually have the basic chords, lyrics and the melody line ready, and then Marius (keys player) and I work on it together and he adds some more of his musical geniuosness in the chord structures. Then we present it to the rest of the band, and they each add their bits and pieces of sweetness in it.
What is happening for the band after the single?
Another single, probably. And possibly a music video. We are going to do some recording in Liverpool in September/October. We are also going on a UK tour with Bellman in November, which we are super-stoked about!
You have a distinct style/image – is it something you have developed for the band or just ‘you’?
Hah, well, I like colours and ribbons. They’re pretty. I don’t know. I guess it’s mostly natural, I admit that I occasionally force my boys to wear a bow tie or a funky tie for gigs. I can’t have them looking like chavs, you know. J
Who are your musical influences?
All good music influences me in some way or another, musically or lyrically. I guess the sound we aspire to is something like that of Regina Spektor, A Fine Frenzy, Lenka, Feist, Marit Larsen, Belle&Sebastian, or Emiliana Torrini. (Those are just a few, I could go on forever.)
What can people expect from a Synne Eileen & The Sunbeams live show?
Quirky music, ribbons, dry jokes from Hal, a very happy band, sing-a-long songs, and my awkward dance moves. Not to be missed out on!
Do you have live dates/tour in the pipeline – are you coming Brighton way?
Yes, as mentioned earlier we are in the midst of planning a tour in November with Bellman. We haven’t confirmed a show in Brighton yet!
You are releasing the single with the lovely people at Lazy Acre Records. How did this partnership come about?
I think it started when I started following them on Twitter, and they saw our promo pic and checked out our webpage. Then Benjamin sent me an email asking about us and I replied and sent him our track “Cuckoo”. And he went cuckoo too, so we kept in touch.
What are you reading at the moment? Any good recommendations?
At the moment I’m reading “the wind-up Bird chronicle” by Haruki Murakami. So far, it’s pretty good!
What are your dreams & goals for the rest of 2012?
Just to keep this lovely thing going and growing!
What has been your favourite tune/record this year?
Gah, how can I choose!
This summer I’ve listened over and over to Beirut’s “Postcards from Italy”. I love the part when the horn section comes in. It makes me want to go run outside with rain splashing in my face…
I also love Laleh’s single “Some Die Young”. And I’ve had Lenka’s “The Show” stuck in my head since December.
Please share with us your top 3 Liverpool bands!
Tricky one. There are so many! Well you should definitely check out my mates Highfields. Also check out Tibi & her Cello, (don’t know if they count as a Liverpool-band anymore, Tibi is currently located in Spain), and The Wretched Pearls.
Thanks so much for chatting to us – we love the single and wish you all the best.