Birmingham quintet Troumaca is comprised of Geoffrey Foulkes, Samuel Baylis, Tom Gregory, James Nayak, and Matthew Campbell. Troumaca excel at creating electronic-indie as layered vocals and airy synths flourish over mellow yet dynamic melodies. Troumaca’s first single Layou will be released August 12th, and their debut record The Grace is set for release on August 26th. To see what’s been keeping Troumaca busy, AMBY caught up with Samuel Baylis of the band to talk about lions surveying territory, filming at their local pool, and how a member is a reptile!
AMBY: Thanks for taking the time to speak with AMBY, TROUMACA! What’s the band been up to?
TROUMACA: Hi AMBY, what’s happenin,
We’ve recently finished recording our debut album – out August 26th! So, for the last month or so we were holed up in our studio most days/nights doing our thing, the process was great though because we demoed a mountain tracks then pick out the ones we were feeling, I’d say the album comes close to what we are trying to achieve.
Other than that we’ve been sipping on Guinness Punch, playing a few shows in between recording and now we’re prepping the live set for our festival shows.
AMBY: Your EP Virgin Island is outstanding. Which song off the EP is your favourite and why?
TROUMACA: Thank you! Wow, my favourite? I’ll go with My Love because on the EP it’s really laid back, but when we play it live it bangs!
AMBY: What’s the story behind your wicked song My Love?
TROUMACA: It’s about having sex and the dreamy hazy, bliss afterwards. We used an island paradise as the metaphor. Writing this down has made me realized how strange it sounds, but who doesn’t love the beach?
AMBY: Between the five of you, what’s the songwriting process like?
TROUMACA: What’s the songwriting process like? It’s like a Lion surveying his territory on the savannah, his pride in view, he glares at the setting sun as if to remind the amber god that this realm is his. His roar resonates through the grass and sings up to the advancing stars, they beat back, glowing in the gloom. For a moment you feel the silence, the infinite space that holds the universe together. And then, in the twilight, you hear the faint, terrible, rumble of drums.
That’s what it’s like in my mind at least.
What actually happens is we get a chord progression and melody together then we flesh out the track and draw out more of the vibe. Then when the mood of the track if solid we look at the lyrics. That’s been the process during the album sessions and it’s worked really well. It’s a rare thing to have five people all feeling the same way, and we feel blessed for that.
AMBY: Does hailing from Birmingham have an influence on your sound? If so, how?
TROUMACA: Yes, definitely. I think it’s impossible not to be influenced by your surroundings. The question is whether you fight what’s around you, or embrace it. We love the city, to soak it up and it seeps through into our music. It’s the home of Black Sabbath, Steel Pulse and UB40. There’s a wonderful mix of musical heritage and a rich underbelly of differing sounds. We are a guitar band that makes bass led electronic music, so we are definitely influenced by what’s around us. Also, we have the best accent in the country.
AMBY: The video for Lady Colour is really neat. What inspired the swimming pool idea?
TROUMACA: Why thank you AMBY. Lady Colour has a dream like quality, the melody floats along, and we wanted to convey that. So we shot it in our local pool. It was quite funny; the life guards were hanging around looking at us in a very bewildered manner.
AMBY: If you weren’t in a band what would you be doing?
TROUMACA: I’d be an architect, designing zero energy social housing.
AMBY: What’s the funniest thing to happen to you at a gig?
TROUMACA: We played a show in London recently, a nice intimate show and there was a group of girls we’d never seen before were at the front. About three songs in one of the girls smile became more intense and her friend was gesturing for her to get on the stage, so she did. No one noticed at first, probably because of the lighting and her strategically placed hair, but this girl had taken her top off. She stayed on stage for a while, just doing her thing. There were a few slack jaws at the front but she didn’t care. That was funny.
AMBY: If you could tour anywhere in the world, where would it be and who would you tour with?
TROUMACA: AMERICA! There are a lot of places we’d like to play and this year we are lucky enough to be doing a tour in France. But we’d love to play in the States.
AMBY: What’s your favourite release of the year so far?
TROUMACA: Inc. – No World. Neo Soul white boy R&B and it’s excellent.
AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about TROUMACA that nobody knows yet?
TROUMACA: Matthew’s a reptile.
Thank you Troumaca, for giving us your answers!