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The Umlauts

Musicians — London

Name, where are you from?
We are The Umlauts’ vocalists Maria Vittoria Faldini from Monaco and Annabelle Mödlinger from the Austrian Alps.

Describe your style in three words?
Everything is cake.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
Definitely The Raincoats at EartH - we went to see them after we’d pulled an all-nighter and just really enjoyed the atmosphere in the crowd and how relaxed and nonchalant they performed on stage, laughing at their own mistakes. You could see how much they were enjoying themselves, it made the space feel like a really comfortable community gathering - so heartwarming! The most perfect antidote to a very long day…!

If you could be on the line up with any two bands or artists in history?
The Fall, because we’d love to see Ollie and Alf’s faces (the other 50% of the band) upon receiving the news. Plus we’d hope the amount of conviction Mark E. Smith performs his lyrics with would rub off a little. And Prince - because Prince.

Which Subcultures have influenced you?
We’ve been influenced by genres such as post-punk and Neue Deutsche Welle - for their music, but most notably for the influence, they had on culture, bringing around 3rd wave Feminism. The non-conformist spirit of Punk gave women the opportunity to participate as equals - although one should remember that they did lack intersectionality. To be fair, we find any womxn that do their thing pretty influential. Other than that most of our influences come from the arts and projects that exist amongst the blurred borders of music and fine art. Being part of a band and participating in making music has been and still is very new to us (as opposed to the other two members of the band Ollie and Alf), so the things we have been doing as visual artists seem quite important.

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
A: It would be amazing to go back to the Palaeolithic Age and watch somebody gathering plants or making stone/bone tools.
M: Jessica Rabbit.

Of all the venues you’ve been to, which is your favourite?
Sister Midnight is a venue that has been very kind to a lot of friends. They sadly had to give up their space in Peckham due to Covid-19, but are working on becoming a Community Benefit Society and raise capital to buy and save a disused Pub in Lewisham.

Your greatest unsung hero or heroine in music?
Joseph Beuys. His song 'Sonne Statt Reagan' is hilarious.

The first track you played on repeat?
A: 'Fred vom Jupiter' by Andreas Dorau. I seem to have a gap in my memory for that one but I can remember always singing it in school - I rediscovered it recently and it feels quite important to what we are doing as a band at the moment.
M: 'Everytime' by Britney Spears. 7 year old me, plugged into my walkman CD player, wearing my favourite sportswear, dancing/singing dramatically in my living room.

A song that defines the teenage you?
A: 'The Softest Hard' by Easter. I was and still am obsessed with how Stine Omar writes lyrics, they are so abstract but don’t fail to convey complex weird feelings.
M: 'Etre Aussis Ou Danser' by Liasons Dangereuse. I still remember discovering them and my disappointment in finding out they had only released one self-titled album… We want more!

One record you would keep forever?
Both of us instantly said 'Post' by Björk, it’s so diverse and we never seem to get bored of it. You’ll find a song in there for every kind of mood.

A song lyric that has inspired you?
A: "I had my cutoff shorts on right cause it was crazy hot
I walked past these dudes when they passed me
One of 'em felt my booty, he was nasty
I turned around red, somebody was catching the wrath
Then the little one said (Yeah me bitch) and laughed
Since he was with his boys he tried to break fly
Huh, I punched him dead in his eye and said "Who you calling a bitch?"

From 'U.N.I.T.Y.' by Queen Latifah. I can only dream of packing so much empowerment into a song.

M: 'La Rage' by Keny Arkana - all of it, every word. It talks about the infamous 2005 French riots and is packed with so much force and violence. It feels very relevant at this time.

A song you wished you had written?
A: 'Free Will And Testament' by Robert Wyatt.
M: 'Colouring of Pigeons' by The Knife, MT Sims, Planningtorock.

Best song to turn up loud?
A: 'A Mí Me Juzgan Por Ser Mujer' by Pelada.
M: 'Breathe' by The Prodigy.

A song people wouldn’t expect you to like?
A: 'Fergalicious' by Fergie, will.i.am. I know the lyrics to it better than any of the ones I’ve written. It’s so silly - but that might be exactly why I like it.
M: My sister recently showed me Pavarotti’s version of Caruso and I've been having it on repeat ever since. What’s better than an English breakfast to the sound of Pavarotti?

The song to get you straight on the dance floor?
A: 'Pump Up The Jam' by Technotronic.
M: 'Ti Voglio' by Ornella Vanoni.

Best song to end an all-nighter?
A: Be Thankful For What You’ve Got (2012 Mix/Master) by Massive Attack.
M: 'On ne change pas' by Céline Dion. Some friends of mine played it at the end of a special pre-lockdown rave and I think nothing will ever beat that moment.

Any new bands you are into at the moment?
Shygirl, Deli Girls, LEECH, Nuha Ruby Ra and SAULT.

Name, where are you from?
We are The Umlauts’ vocalists Maria Vittoria Faldini from Monaco and Annabelle Mödlinger from the Austrian Alps.

Describe your style in three words?
Everything is cake.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
Definitely The Raincoats at EartH - we went to see them after we’d pulled an all-nighter and just really enjoyed the atmosphere in the crowd and how relaxed and nonchalant they performed on stage, laughing at their own mistakes. You could see how much they were enjoying themselves, it made the space feel like a really comfortable community gathering - so heartwarming! The most perfect antidote to a very long day…!

If you could be on the line up with any two bands or artists in history?
The Fall, because we’d love to see Ollie and Alf’s faces (the other 50% of the band) upon receiving the news. Plus we’d hope the amount of conviction Mark E. Smith performs his lyrics with would rub off a little. And Prince - because Prince.

Which Subcultures have influenced you?
We’ve been influenced by genres such as post-punk and Neue Deutsche Welle - for their music, but most notably for the influence, they had on culture, bringing around 3rd wave Feminism. The non-conformist spirit of Punk gave women the opportunity to participate as equals - although one should remember that they did lack intersectionality. To be fair, we find any womxn that do their thing pretty influential. Other than that most of our influences come from the arts and projects that exist amongst the blurred borders of music and fine art. Being part of a band and participating in making music has been and still is very new to us (as opposed to the other two members of the band Ollie and Alf), so the things we have been doing as visual artists seem quite important.

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
A: It would be amazing to go back to the Palaeolithic Age and watch somebody gathering plants or making stone/bone tools.
M: Jessica Rabbit.

Of all the venues you’ve been to, which is your favourite?
Sister Midnight is a venue that has been very kind to a lot of friends. They sadly had to give up their space in Peckham due to Covid-19, but are working on becoming a Community Benefit Society and raise capital to buy and save a disused Pub in Lewisham.

Your greatest unsung hero or heroine in music?
Joseph Beuys. His song 'Sonne Statt Reagan' is hilarious.

The first track you played on repeat?
A: 'Fred vom Jupiter' by Andreas Dorau. I seem to have a gap in my memory for that one but I can remember always singing it in school - I rediscovered it recently and it feels quite important to what we are doing as a band at the moment.
M: 'Everytime' by Britney Spears. 7 year old me, plugged into my walkman CD player, wearing my favourite sportswear, dancing/singing dramatically in my living room.

A song that defines the teenage you?
A: 'The Softest Hard' by Easter. I was and still am obsessed with how Stine Omar writes lyrics, they are so abstract but don’t fail to convey complex weird feelings.
M: 'Etre Aussis Ou Danser' by Liasons Dangereuse. I still remember discovering them and my disappointment in finding out they had only released one self-titled album… We want more!

One record you would keep forever?
Both of us instantly said 'Post' by Björk, it’s so diverse and we never seem to get bored of it. You’ll find a song in there for every kind of mood.

A song lyric that has inspired you?
A: "I had my cutoff shorts on right cause it was crazy hot
I walked past these dudes when they passed me
One of 'em felt my booty, he was nasty
I turned around red, somebody was catching the wrath
Then the little one said (Yeah me bitch) and laughed
Since he was with his boys he tried to break fly
Huh, I punched him dead in his eye and said "Who you calling a bitch?"

From 'U.N.I.T.Y.' by Queen Latifah. I can only dream of packing so much empowerment into a song.

M: 'La Rage' by Keny Arkana - all of it, every word. It talks about the infamous 2005 French riots and is packed with so much force and violence. It feels very relevant at this time.

A song you wished you had written?
A: 'Free Will And Testament' by Robert Wyatt.
M: 'Colouring of Pigeons' by The Knife, MT Sims, Planningtorock.

Best song to turn up loud?
A: 'A Mí Me Juzgan Por Ser Mujer' by Pelada.
M: 'Breathe' by The Prodigy.

A song people wouldn’t expect you to like?
A: 'Fergalicious' by Fergie, will.i.am. I know the lyrics to it better than any of the ones I’ve written. It’s so silly - but that might be exactly why I like it.
M: My sister recently showed me Pavarotti’s version of Caruso and I've been having it on repeat ever since. What’s better than an English breakfast to the sound of Pavarotti?

The song to get you straight on the dance floor?
A: 'Pump Up The Jam' by Technotronic.
M: 'Ti Voglio' by Ornella Vanoni.

Best song to end an all-nighter?
A: Be Thankful For What You’ve Got (2012 Mix/Master) by Massive Attack.
M: 'On ne change pas' by Céline Dion. Some friends of mine played it at the end of a special pre-lockdown rave and I think nothing will ever beat that moment.

Any new bands you are into at the moment?
Shygirl, Deli Girls, LEECH, Nuha Ruby Ra and SAULT.

The Umlauts | Boiler Suits & Combat Boots (2021)

The Umlauts | Energy Plan (2021)