Blue skies outside Topshop HQ have got us dreaming of ice cream, lazy days in the park and finally going tights-free. Summer is just around the corner and we cannot wait. What’s more, LA band DWNTWN has added to our sunshine-will-be-back-soon vibe with their new track ‘Til Tomorrow.’ Taken from the group’s upcoming EP, sun-soaked pop and dreamy synths merge together though breezy boy/girl vocals to create a sound that was made for driving through the Hollywood Hills with the windows down. We caught up with girl-in-the-group, Jamie, to talk fashion, tacos and break-ups. Oh and a bit about the music too…
How was DWNTWN born?
A few years ago Robert and I were both going through break-ups and my ex just so happened to be his brother. We would hang out together and write songs about our heartache!
How would you describe your sound to someone who’s never heard it before?
A friend once told us that our songs “make you dance to words that should make you cry.” I’ve always loved that description.
Where did you write ‘Til Tomorrow?’
We were house sitting a mansion in the Hollywood Hills and ended up with this song about feeling stuck in a stale routine while everyone around us seems to be moving forward, or living in mansions. Not that we want to live in a mansion… but maybe moving out of our parents basement would be nice!
What influences your sound?
Kurt Cobain’s pretty face, Bob Dylan interviews, Burritos from El Chato, Stevie Nicks’ voice and late night drives to see Crystal Castles.
You’ve been compared to bands like Postal Service and M83. Would you agree?
That’s a huge compliment! Those are both bands we really love, so it’s an honour that people are hearing similarities between us.
Any funny stories from your latest tour?
We always have a crazy night when we’re in Salt Lake City, Utah. I don’t know what it is about the place, but people go nuts, and we love it! Last time we played, everyone got on stage with us during our last song. They stole the mic from me and started yelling the lyrics, and then insisted that our drummer play a giant solo once the song was done. We can’t wait to go back!
Who’s your style crush?
Robert idolises Kurt Cobain and Johnny Cash, so he’s all about that grungy country look. I’ll wear anything that looks like Stevie Nicks might have worn it.
Any favourite outfits to perform in?
I love performing in floor length lace dresses. I have a handmade vintage one I can’t stop wearing. It’s got a beautiful embroidered high neck, and takes about ten minutes for someone to button me into it.
Hot tips for an LA trip?
You have to eat tacos in LA. Our favourite spots are El Taurino and El Chato, which are both super authentic. Get the Al Pastor tacos – you won’t be sorry! As for shopping, I’m going to be totally honest – our go-to spot is Topshop, so I’m pretty sure you know all about that!
If you could collaborate with any artist (dead or alive) who would it be?
Probably Mozart, it would be the most unreal experience ever! He’d be going on and on about something in German while we just nodded our heads and smiled at him. And at the end of the session chances are we’d end up with a hit song… I mean it is Mozart; the original hit machine.
‘Til Tomorrow’ will be released as part of the ‘DWNTWN‘ EP, due out 29 April.
When it comes to edgy popstresses, you’ve got to hand it to the Scandis. Lykke Li, Icona Pop, Elliphant and Say Lou Lou are just a few of the Scandi girls who’ve invaded our playlist recently, and now we’ve got a newbie to add to the never-ending list. Meet MØ – the Danish singer who’s got everyone talking.
So impressed were we with her electro beats and achingly cool style that we asked her to perform at our Berlin Fashion Week party this week. Performing to 600 fashion-fabulous guests wearing our textured bubble crepe tee, she got everyone dancing with material from her upcoming debut album, ’No Mythologies To Follow’. There’ll be more on the party later, but for now read on as we chat with her about all things MØ!
How would you describe your music to someone who’s never heard it?
It’s electro indie pop with vibes of hip-hop and soul.
What was the first record you ever bought?
It was the Spice Girls! I was 7 years old and I thought they were the most wonderful thing in the world. Buying their record was actually what made me want to be a musician – I started my first band the next day at school!
What can we expect from the album?
The album embraces the same elements as my singles and EP, but still brings something new to the table. The lyrics are very personal to me. I was inspired by young people being a bit lost and restless in modern society – about our struggle to find our own path through life.
Has your upbringing inspired you?
I come from the suburbs of Denmark and I’m very happy and nostalgic about that. Growing up in Scandinavian has definitely had an influence on my work – everything you experience in life is within you somewhere, and has something to do with your output in one way or another.
What’s on your playlist at the moment?
I’m listening to an LA based band called The Growlers all the freaking time!
What do you think of the music industry’s relationship with women?
I think it’s going pretty well for girls at the moment. Strong female artists like Rihanna, Beyonce and Lady Gaga are ruling the western music scene. Music has been dominated by men for a long time, for better or worse, but screw that – the girls are ruling now!
How would you describe your style?
I’d say it’s grunge-meets-street, and a bit sexy sometimes!
Who are your style icons?
Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth has been my style icon since I was 14. She seems like such a strong woman, and her style is just so cool and natural. She’s the greatest role model.
If you need a bit of a break from all the cheery Christmas tunes, (there’s only SO many times we can listen to Mariah Carey in one day) – we recommend getting some of Cults‘ new material on your playlist.
Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion’s second album ‘Static’ offers more of their sixties-inspired indie pop, full of chilled out bass lines and dreamy vocals. But this time around the mood is distinctly darker – perhaps something to do with the duo ending their in-real-life relationship recently. *Sad face*
Whatever the case, it’s made for some seriously powerful music, and we can’t get new track ‘High Road’ out of our heads!
We caught up with Brian Oblivion in between touring, who also provided us with his ultimate playlist for listening to by a crackling winter fire.
Hey Brian! What can we expect from the new album?
We were lucky enough to have a good deal of studio time, so went all out to get the sound just right. The title ‘Static’ was an overarching concept for the tonality of the instruments, and more loosely for the lyrical content. We’d even turn out the lights in the studio and hang out in the glow of the TVs we brought in to try and settle into the vibe.
Best lyric on the album?
The title lyric ‘I Can Hardly Make You Mine’ is my favourite. From the moment Madeline came up with it I was smitten. It feels like the title of some lost Otis Redding song!
What inspires you about living in New York?
Honestly I think it’s the spontaneity. There’s a kind of peace in knowing that you can do almost anything you want any time you want. It makes it easier to focus on your work knowing that you’re never really missing anything.
Favourite hangouts in the city?
If we’re not going to concerts or art events we’re usually around the same handful of dive bars. I live in Chinatown so I’ll often be at 169 Bar, which is a really bizarre New Orleans themed place with great music. Madeline likes KGB, Lucy’s, or Black and White. Any place with tables where you don’t have to battle to get a drink!
What’s been your career highlight so far?
We recently got to collaborate with Jim Jarmusch on a song for his new movie that we’re very proud of. Whenever we get to work with television or film we get really excited.
How would you describe your on-stage look?
We dress pretty formally on stage. I think it’s about showing a certain amount of respect for what you’re doing. There’s anonymity to dressing up; it can feel like putting on a super hero costume. I recently spilled something on my suit before a gig and had to play in jeans and a T-shirt – I felt naked up there.
Anyone walking down Oxford street last Wednesday may have struggled to pass through the huge crowds outside our Topshop flagship, as hoards of music fans and passing shoppers came to catch our Chlöe Howl gig instore!
Taking to a specially made (and super pink!) stage, Chlöe performed a chilled acoustic set, accompanied by two members of her band looking cool wearing Topshop. Along with her summer jam ‘No Strings’ and new single ‘Paper Heart’, Chlöe got us feeling all festive with the cutest rendition of WHAM’s ‘Last Christmas’.
With New Year just around the corner, everyone’s talking about the ones to watch for 2014. And while our NEWGEN designers are the latest fashion names to know, we’ve got our money on Laura Welsh as the next big thing in music.
Blessed with a mesmerising voice that could be described as Adele meets Jessie Ware, Laura’s minimal electro-pop has landed her huge props from music critics already, as well a support slot with Topshop band crush London Grammar. Following the release of her beautifully sounding EP ‘Cold Front’ (complete with an equally beautiful black & white video) – we chatted to the Staffordshire-born singer about her style and sound:
How would you describe your music?
There are two sides to my sound – one is more minimal electronic soul and the other has more of a euphoric raw feel.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
To trust your instincts and don’t be pulled about by other people’s opinions.
What’s the most flamboyant piece of clothing you own?
I’m drawn to the more minimal look so I don’t really own anything too flamboyant. I have some really cool patent crop trousers from Topshop that I wore for a gig recently – they are most definitely a bit of a statement piece!
Tell us about the first single you bought.
The first tape that I got was Michael Jacksons ‘Bad’ which I remember playing over and over. It was stolen from my sisters record collection!
If you could record a track with one person dead or alive, who would it be?
There are so many, but right now I would probably say D’Angelo. I love his records and the rawness of his voice. Every time I’ve been to see him play he just gets to me like nobody else.
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
Finishing my record was a definite high! Being able to work with some amazing musicians and producers has been a truly humbling and inspiring experience.
Tell us about the best gig you’ve ever played.
Playing the iTunes festival was amazing this year. It’s such a great venue and it was the first time I heard people singing lyrics back to me. My band and I felt totally locked in with each other and the audience that night.