Haiku Salut, the acclaimed trio from the Derbyshire Dales, share Cold to Crack the Stones, the first taste of their forthcoming third album, There Is No Elsewhere, due out on 7 September via PRAH Recordings. Consisting of multi-instrumentalists Gemma Barkerwood, Sophie Barkerwood, and Louise Croft, the band are quite clearly influenced by Yann Tiersen, and between them, Haiku Salut play accordion, piano, glockenspiel, trumpet, guitar, ukulele, drums, and melodica.
Gemma and Sophie spoke to The Fountain about upcoming gigs and working with PRAH as well as what inspired their band name.
TF: A third album release, how exciting, what can we expect this time around, more of the same ambient percussion?
Sophie: There are sounds of walking in the woods and there are twinkly sounds, sounds of the inside of lightning and sounds of a brass band, there is tribal drumming, twitchy beats and sounds that sound like dreams, there is brass, brass and piano and brass and beats and haze and pop again. When we began writing the album we were working with ideas of existing on the periphery, occupying your space and celebrating community. We wanted to write a party album that addressed the notion of living according to a predefined cultural landscape.
TF: And do you have anything more scheduled for the year, summer festivals, live gigs in Scotland, when can we look forward to that?
Gemma: We’re playing a few festivals over the summer and will be touring our lamp show across the UK in September and October. We’ll be performing at The Great Eastern in Glasgow on 21st September.
S: We tried to work in another Scottish date in Aberdeen but it didn’t work out. We have fond memories of Aberdeen!
G: We’re also working on a project as part of the Hexagon Project for Brighter Sound where we have written a piece to be performed in collaboration with a robot orchestra. We’ve been experimenting with our own self-playing instruments and they will be showcased for the first time. That will be performed at the Centre For Life in Newcastle on August 10th.
TF: How has it been working with PRAH Recordings rather than How Does It Feel To Be Loved this time around?
G: It’s all been very exciting! We’re really happy with how feedback for the album has been going so far, it’s been very encouraging.
S: We still work very closely with Ian from How Does It Feel To Be Loved? who is our manager so it feels like we’ve extended the family rather than moved on. PRAH have some very interesting and explorative artists on their roster, it feels good to belong there.
TF: And where did the name Haiku Salut formulate, it sounds great with a Scottish accent?
G: We wanted a name that hinted at some of our influences. When we began we listened to a lot of Japanese electronica and multi-instrumental bands such as Serph and Shugo Tokumaru and French bal-musette style accordion like Yann Tiersen (I can’t imagine there’s any accordion player after Amelie that isn’t inspired in some way by this music)
S: Yes! It does! Much better than in a Derbyshire accent.
TF: What has been your favourite gig to date?
G: We’ve been very lucky, we’ve had some corkers! Playing in an old colonial style stately home in Kobe, Japan is definitely up there. We were supported by two amazing women making analogue electronica called Turtle Yama, it’s a night I’ll never forget. Performance wise it would have to be the first lamp show we did in St John’s in Bethnal Green. The building is glorious, we were so nervous before we played it was a very cathartic experience!
S: Mine is the lamp show we did in Westminster Reference Library, such a wonderful place for our lamps and music to exist for short time.
Photo courtesy of Elly Lucas.
Haiku Salut will perform in Blue Arrow, Glasgow, on Friday 21st September