East India Youth - who is responsible for the love-lorn synth pop of ‘Looking For Someone’ and the chemically-dazed rapture of ‘Heaven, How Long’ from the stunning Hostel EP - is actually one young man. William Doyle, a 22-year-old multi-instrumentalist from Bournemouth, cut his teeth in an indie group called The Fourfathers while still a teenager. Their demo was rinsed by Marc Riley on BBC 6 Music and they completed a couple of tours with the Undertones, but the frontman was already growing tired of the band format and frustrated with the slow progress of the group.
Doyle says: “My interest in electronic music, dance, ambient and noise was becoming more and more prevalent and I had been recording a lot of tracks on the side. That material later formed part of my demo. The day I finished this recording in May 2012 was the day I left the band.” The music that he had created was absolutely astounding, an original mixture of dark Detroit techno, lo-fi psychedelic noise rock, deeply romantic Pet Shop Boys-esque synth pop and ramshackle avant-electronica. Naming himself East India Youth after the location of his flat in London’s Docklands, he set about pressing the demo CD into the hands of wandering journalists.
One hack to be handed the demo was John Doran of The Quietus. He says: “I was watching Factory Floor when I met William. He was wearing a totally next-level shirt. You can’t go far wrong when you’re wearing a good shirt and I liked the band name as well. “I always listen to demos and, to be perfectly honest, they’re nearly always awful but this one was
just... brilliant. After about a month of playing it, I realised that it was actually my favourite music of the last twelve months. After weeks of breathlessly pressing the CD onto people it was Luke Turner, my co-editor at the Quietus, who first suggested that we should release some of his material.
“Now, I’d always said that I’d cut my own head off using nail clippers before we started a record label. I’d learned too much from watching other sites and magazines pour all of their time, money and talent into them, just to watch them spectacularly implode. It was, I said, like withdrawing all your money from a cash machine and setting fire to it while simultaneously flushing your own head down a toilet filled with goat’s piss. Therefore I’m probably more surprised than anyone to be asking you to lend your ears to the Hostel EP by East India Youth, the first release on the Quietus Phonographic Corporation label. But when you play this CD I hope you’ll understand why Luke and I made that nerve-wracking trip to the cash machine. To be honest though, I would have remortgaged my soul to get this music out there.”