Off the back of their impressive self-titled EP, and live dates supporting the likes of Jarvis Cocker and Pavement (including an appearance at All Tomorrow's Parties), Horse Guards Parade are ready to release their debut album, 'Ten Songs' on the 11th April. It's been a few years in the making, but the Hull based band has lovingly crafted these songs into nuggets songwriting gold.
For Horse Guards Parade the song always comes first, as the band explain the decision behind the album's title; "The song is always the most important thing and that is why we called the album 'Ten Songs'. There were other titles knocking around, but they all seemed to detract from the main focus: tunes, harmony and lyrics" explains singer and guitarist James Waudby.
Indeed, it's the strength of the band's songs that have attracted regular airtime on BBC 6 Music and BBC Radio 2 among others, completing sessions for BBC introducing and Simon Mayo along the way. The band was also asked to play for the Pavement at a festival curated by All Tomorrow’s Parties, as well as supporting the iconic band for a show at Glasgow’s Barrowlands. There’s certainly something of Stephen Malkmus' lyrical sharpness to the new record, although Waudby claims he is just as inspired by literary influences; "It's mainly writers such as Henry Miller, Charles Bukowski, Brett Easton Ellis and Larkin who inspire my lyrics, but I also get inspired by the work of artists, film makers and musicians from Chuck Close to Lars Von Trier to Neil Young. They're all people who create uncompromising, beautiful and exciting art. They all make you feel something, whether you like that feeling or not."
Like those artists mentioned, 'Ten Songs' also evokes a range of feelings, often tinged with sadness but written with a light comic touch. This is the case whether it be straight love songs in the first person like 'Since You Fell Off My Axis', or light hearted stories and detailed observations as on 'She Looked Like A Henry Moore'. These variations in style are also reflected in the instrumentation, which can be suitably delicate when the band reach their most tender, or full of life as on boozy rock number 'The Lies'.
Yet what’s constant about the record is quality control, as the band channel vintage indie rock influences through these highly individual and fascinating songs. After all, as the band themselves insist, "The song is always the most important thing."
Horse Guards Parade will be on tour in April and May (dates of which can be found on their website) and the band are always giving away a free download of 'She Looked Like A Henry Moore' from their SoundCloud page.