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On Deck: The Guilty Ones

By ; July 24, 2013 at 12:56 PM 

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London’s euphoric pop group The Guilty Ones are gearing up for the release of their debut EP, Conquer The World, which is due out sometime in October/November of this year via Auditorius/BMG Chrysalis. Deftly combining their love of shimmering 60’s melodies with the psych-pop punch of the 70’s, the band unravel their communal influences in an attempt to get at the heart of what made those artists so memorable. And while these influences do guide the band in their musical endeavors, there is never a sense of obligatory homage or purposeful imitation. The rhythms and harmonies may be familiar but the execution of these traditional sounds never falls into any sort of easy categorization. And it would be quite easy for the band to suffer through comparison, but their often surprising and engaging approach to their music keeps them from ever feeling tried down to any one genre or influence.

Singer Liv Slania’s gently lilting voice evokes the airy delivery and weightless melodies of her Summer Of Love forebears, while guitarist Jo, bassist Oded, and drummer Manuel create the ideal backdrop for her confidently imaginative lyrics. Alternating between warm and inviting and hesitant and foreboding, the band continuously swings through their musical influences at every opportunity. And with their extensive run of recent shows, it seems that they are determined to share their musical proclivities with as many people as possible. Having signed to BMG Chrysalis (home to Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Frank Ocean and Fleet Foxes) for their forthcoming EP, the band has their eyes set on releasing their first full-length sometime in 2014.

Recently, Liv and Jo sat down for Beats Per Minute to discuss some of their favorite records. Eschewing the typical “greatest hits” list, they’ve opted to discuss artists and records which they’ve OD’d on lately. Ranging from Pharrell Williams to Fleetwood Mac, the two cover four decades worth of musical history in a short period of time. As they describe why they favor these particular artists, it’s easy to see where these artists fit into The Guilt Ones’ overall sound—yes, even Pharrell Williams. Check out their full discussion below in the latest installment of our On Deck series.


Jo: Both Liv and I have often thought about what our favourite all time albums are and every time we have reached the same conclusion. It is a little easier to talk about your favourite artists than your favourite albums. I mean, which album would you choose from the Rolling Stones, which one would you choose from the Beatles or the Beach Boys or Dylan, or even from Massive Attack or Bjork, etc, etc? Instead we’ve decided to talk about some of the albums, artists or songs we’ve both heard in overdose quantities from some of our favourite artists.

Fleetwood Mac - Rumours
Jo: Fleetwood Mac – Rumours

Simply one of the greatest albums ever written. With all the relationship drama surrounding the recording one could make a movie about it. Over the years, even as I discover new music, this is that one album I always keep going back to. In other words, this album is infinite. Since critics have already dissected this album back to front exhaustively, there is not much more one can add to it, so all I can say is that whatever your age and background, if you never had the luck to come across this masterpiece go and check it out. If you’re into reality shows, this was the first one, made with music and lyrics… So fuck Geordie Shore and get your drama fix from Fleetwood Mac.


Kate Bush - Wuthering Heights
Liv: Kate Bush – “Wuthering Heights”

This song appeared in Bush’s first album The Kick Inside in 1978 and I just simply have to mention it on its own for I must have listened to it in astronomical quantities. This song, to me, just simply illustrates the ultimate pop song from all possible angles. It’s beautiful but dark, it’s dramatic yet hopeful , it’s complex yet fluid and all the adjectives you could cram in a sentence. From a songwriting point a view one can only start to wonder what kind of drugs you would need to write something as magical as this and yet I’m pretty sure Kate’s only drug was to read the book “Wuthering Heights”.

In a world of songs like Lennon’s “Imagine” or Brian Wilson’s “God only Knows,” this is still one of the few songs I would take to a desert island.


Radiohead - OK Computer
Jo: Radiohead – OK Computer

That moment in the 90’s where you realised a new style of music had been invented. All of a sudden, if you were a teen in this decade, you understood your rebellion days were coming to an end. Rage Against The Machine, Pearl Jam, Nirvana or even Guns ‘N ‘Roses stopped being the oxygen that made you tick. They stopped being the reason why you wore ripped jeans or let your hair grow and all of the sudden you and your mother became closer and more understanding to each other. That is OK Computer, it’s that moment! From the moment you listen to it your musical taste will expand and you’ll start appreciating things you never thought you would come to love…like Wham! Ok Computer is not Pop. it’s not Rock, or whatever genre you can think of, it’s simply just a musical bridge to a new world. In my view this album has changed not only the record industry but also the way teens in the 90’s thought about what was to come!


Silverchair - Diorama
Liv: Silverchair – Diorama

As I’m writing this I cant help thinking what a cosmic injustice I’m committing here. I wanna talk about U2’s The Joshua Tree or Achtung Baby, I wanna talk about Simon and Garfunkel, The Clash, The Stone Roses, The Police, Bowie, Michael Jackson… ahhh, it’s endless and truly an impossible task to name all your favourite albums or artists. So instead i chose this album by Silverchair because even though it was a highly acclaimed album in its home country it has never reached the gigantic proportions of its predecessors in the rest of the world and it definitely should have. This is a grunge band that ended up recording classical masterpieces like “Tuna in the Brine” or “Across the Night”, supported by The Beach Boys’ orchestral arranger Van Dyke Parks. This two particular songs have changed the way I look at musical arrangements. Suddenly, I understood how a band can sound larger than life using soundscapes and all variety of instruments without detracting from the core of a song. There is only one word for a song like “Tuna in the Brine” and that is “EPIC” with capital oomph. The rest of the album is as eclectic as an album can be full of heavy and not so heavy rock pop songs and even the odd ballad. If you stopped listening to Silverchair after “Freak” or “Neon Ballroom” or just dismissed Silverchair as Nirvana wannabes, maybe it’d be a good idea to go back and revisit the gem that is Diorama or even its sequel Young Modern.


Pharrell Williams
Jo: Pharrell Williams

I choose not talk about a single album here. I’m also not gonna talk about N.E.R.D. Instead I chose him as one of my favourite artists because if there’s anyone who can make shit bounce it’s got be Pharrell Williams and the Neptunes. Much like other idols of mine, Quincy Jones or Nile Rodgers, Pharrell has the ability to turn everything he touches into gold so I put him in the same category as some of the greatest producers of all time. Since Britney’s “Slave 4 U” Pharrell has dropped bags of next level productions that as a musician made me wonder how the hell such simple arrangements can sound so fucking great! A genius of modern music able to cover all styles of music and who at the age of 40 still collaborated in what will probably be this year’s summer hits, “Get Lucky” and “Blurred Lines”. Gotta love mister Uber- Cool!

The Guilty Ones’ debut EP, Conquer The World, is due out later this year on Auditorius/BMG Chrysalis.


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