The London based four-piece, consisting of Catrin, Jack, Naomi, and Max, formed through the common ground of Goldsmith’s University, where the four studied music. Since then, the band have been sharing their magic with us, releasing a string of exceptional singles in anticipation of their debut.
Catrin Vincent says of the album:
‘I Slept On The Floor documents the childhood rejection we carry with us into adulthood. The album is about only understanding a place once you’ve left it.’
I can confirm that the album is, without a doubt, a stunning debut. The album’s lyrics are poetic and masterfully touch on sensitive issues with a great deal of thoughtfulness and integrity, made all the more vulnerable and authentic through the lens of Catrin’s powerful vocals. With her androgynous tone often being described as a weapon, it acts as an absolute tour de force across the album.
Sonically, Another Sky has an established sound which is pleasurable yet experimental. From indie and alternative to electronic music, the band cite a vast range of influences on their musicianship, which has helped to craft a debut that is nothing short of spellbinding.
We were also fortunate enough to speak with Catrin and Jack about I Slept On The Floor. Keep scrolling for a candid chat about musicianship, climate change, literature and toxic masculinity.
Rosie: Congratulations on an incredible album! I imagine the release was quite an experience in the current circumstances, how did you navigate that?
Jack: Yeah, it’s been very interesting. […] The music industry has been guessing and working it out as it goes along. We had the plan to release the album this summer, and there was a moment where we were like “should we?” but then we thought “yeah let’s carry on”. So it was quite simple really, we just stuck to our plan.
R: How would you say that your sound has evolved since the really early days of the band?
Catrin: I guess just like anyone, we’ve gone through a musical journey and a lot of it is unconscious. But along the way, we’ve picked up Jon Hopkins’ Immunity which was a huge inspiration and electronic influences like Four Tet. And then there’s still the classics like Tracy Chapman. But sonically, we just want to experiment all the time, which means that a sound will completely change too but we’re quite excited for that. And I guess the thing tying the sound together is just our instruments, we’ve created our own sound through that. A piano will always sound like a piano, Jack’s guitar will always be its own thing, Naomi will always put her bass through different pedals so it always sounds like us. But we definitely don’t wanna be held down by anything.
R: Yeah, absolutely. You can definitely see the sonic journey you guys have been on, every track on the album is different. I also discovered that your band is named after an Emily Dickinson poem, how did that come about?
C: So we actually wrote a song, and usually I get my inspiration from poems and that poem was the inspiration for the song and it was called ‘Another Sky’. When we were deciding on band names, someone just said ‘Another Sky?’ and it just suddenly fit. I think for everything we’re talking about, it’s a really nice metaphor, thinking of another sky where things are better *laughs*.
R: That’s really interesting and it struck a chord for me ‘cause I’m a massive bookworm myself! Would you say that literature inspires your lyrics? I certainly find them very profound.
C: Oh thank you! That’s a big compliment. I wanted to be an author growing up, so I think that books say what I’m trying to say but better. A lot of the lyrics are taking quotes that have really affected me and putting them into the music.
So yeah, literature is literally the number one inspiration for the lyrics.
R: Did you have any favourite authors growing up?
C: Growing up, I didn’t actually read that much. It was probably Harry Potter, JK Rowling, Philip Pullman… But now, I’ve got some friends who are poets and write books. They know a lot more about it than me, so I just steal their reading lists. I’m reading a lot of women authors at the moment and delving into more queer literature, just to read what I didn’t grow up reading. I read ‘The Black Wave’ which really resonated with me, it defies all expectations because it’s dystopian but not conventional dystopian fiction. And I read ‘Paul Takes The Form Of A Mortal Girl’ which was really interesting.
R: I definitely think you can sense a dystopian influence in your lyrics as well. Tracks like ‘The Cracks’ really hit home for the current generation in the wake of climate change.
C: I guess it’s always been on my mind because I grew up with a dad who knew a lot about global warming. My family always try to keep it at the forefront of everything we do. My dad got solar panels, my sister started a bag company which uses renewable stuff so it feels like it’s been in our family. I’m in a really interesting perspective of not having the wealth to buy solar panels or make a renewable bag company. So from the perspective of music, I’m always trying to navigate how we can help. We haven’t done enough yet, but we’ve got big plans.
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R: Your title track ‘I Slept On The Floor’ stood out to me as different from other songs on the album. What drove you to make this the title track?
C: You know, it was just a conversation of what to name the album. Naomi said “What about ‘I Slept On The Floor’?”, and you know when something just clicks in your head? I felt like that resonated the most with me, to sum up what the album was about. And there was a lyric that got taken out of the song: ‘In the ground lies the most honest view, in the roots of a world built for you’. I was just changing this narrative of something bad that had happened into something that gave me power. And I feel like that’s all anyone tries to do- rewrite their own stories from a position of power to give themselves hope.
R: Do you guys have a favourite track on the album?
J: It’s different for each band member, but I think a fair few of us would agree that one of our favourites as a collective is ‘Only Rain’. There’s a lot of reasons behind the way we made that song. […] It took about three hours to make, and we like working like that. It’s one of the only songs on the album that was captured in that way that we really enjoy, where everything happens quite fast and natural.
R: A track that really struck a chord with me was ‘Riverbed’, I was wondering what this song means to you?
J: That’s a good one for Catrin!
C: Lyrically, it’s interesting for me how people perceive that song because I’m trying to say that anger is cyclical and that everything that’s happened to me, I can inflict on someone else. A lot of people think it’s just an attack, but what I’m trying to do is play into a wider metaphor. I can be whatever I hate and we’re all capable of hate, basically. But that song does mean a lot to us and it’s one that we recorded live as well, we didn’t multi-track.
R: I think sonically you can definitely feel the emotion as well, it’s a great blend!
C: Thank you so much!
R: I know you also feel strongly about toxic masculinity, both in the industry and beyond. I think ‘Avalanche’ really displays that. What do you think needs to be done to implement change?
C: I’ve been struggling with this question. I think I’ve come to the conclusion that we need to attack systems, rather than groups of people. I’m really interested about how men are dealing with this. I still think the priority should be on victims, but I’m really interested in the abuse that everyone faces; men get sexually abused too. But there is this huge statistical imbalance that affects women more. […] It’s something that I want to eventually figure out for myself to make peace with everything that’s happened to me in my life. It’s a really good question, I just don’t know what the answer is. But I know that we should keep trying, and we’ll figure it out collectively.
R: It’s certainly a complex issue. I’ve noticed that your vocals, Catrin, have been considered as quite androgynous. How is it to be a frontwoman in the industry with a non-gender-specific voice?
C: It’s been interesting for sure. I think lately […] I want the privilege of not being a spectacle. It’s so funny to me that everyone is like “Oh she’s a woman!”, I just don’t think it’s important. I think it’s important to have that representation for people who don’t fit into gender binaries, but I am starting to wish that people would focus more on the music as well! I think we’ll get there. It’s our debut album so it’s going to be a talking point.
R: To finish up, I just wanted to ask if there’s anything you wanted listeners to especially take away from the debut?
C: We always get this question and never know how to answer!
J: I’d just say hope-
C & J: But that’s cheesy!
R: Cheesy is okay!
C: We said, “you are not alone”. I think we’re trying to bring our own experience of being a misfit, people usually don’t talk about it because it’s shrouded in shame. So I think we wanna say “you are not alone”. A lot of people have grown up in towns and didn’t understand what was happening to them. So yeah, you are not alone!
R: That’s very touching, and a very fitting summary of the album.
C: Thank you very much!