Ah Thumpers. Fresh signings to the legendary Sub Pop record label, former touring buddies with Chvrches, a joyful sound of summer and destined for greatness in the year ahead. Yes, Thumpers may only be a duo but they are many things.
Just don't call them 'fun'.
"I hate it when people call us 'fun'," laughs John Hamson Jr, one half of the band. "'Fun' is too trivial and throw-away - say it's celebratory and uplifting. 'Fun' is just a surface level thing."
Beyond the insanely infectious hook-laden pop anthems that have been exciting the blogosphere and starting to dominate radio airwaves, Thumpers are a band with layers and a very considered approach to what they do. They're here for the long haul, and they worship at the alter of 'the song'.
It's hardly surprising, seeing as they've cut their teeth on the road with the likes of indie kids done good Chvrches and Friendly Fires.
"With Chvrches, the one thing that comes across live is the sheer power of their songs," admits John. "Seeing how crowds respond to the power of the song when all of the shows were sold out really reinforced our belief about the importance of songs."
A good song is what separates the men from the boys.
"A lot of new bands know how to get the right keyboard sound and they know how to look cool with the right haircut," says John. "We were at the Great Escape last year, saw loads of bands and so many of them just had no songs and forgot that it was supposed to be the most important thing. For us, we really focus on that. If a song isn't good enough then there's no point in even recording it or getting up on stage."
And as for Thumper's carnival-esque live show? Well, it seems that some of that famous Friendly Fires magic may have rubbed off on them...
"It was just amazing to see how much energy they put into a live show and how they put it together," smiles John. "Everywhere we went, whether he was ill or whatever, Ed never had an off day - he would just bring it and dance like a maniac every night. That was really inspiring. My Friendly Fires experience has really shaped many things about Thumpers - from who we want to work with to the general vibe. They're a riot."
So, they've toured with some of the best, signed with Sub Pop and have critics foaming over their debut album, Galore. Hard to imagine then, that there really hasn't been that much buzz or hype around them. If you ask us, they were criminally-omitted from the BBC Sound of 2014 poll.
"We don't dwell on that kind of stuff that much," shrugs John. "If you constantly wish that you were doing something else then you're never going to be happy. You'll just be complaining to your manager about why you aren't in the NME or whatever, but it's not my job to worry about that. From experience, you just can't force that sort of thing.
"However," he laughs, "the BBC Sound Of thing could have been really helpful! We've been readying so much work and have a lot of fans already, but the timing would have been right."
Saying that though, they would have stood out like a sore thumb had they made the shortlist. Their anthemic indie would have hardly sat well among the savvy pop of Banks, Sampha, Sam Smith and that lot. We find ourselves in a rare but refreshing year where there's been no 'return of guitar music' talk - and Thumpers are well aware of the climate they find themselves in.
"That list, I think it's interesting that it's really pop-focused, but those people are backing winners," continues John. "That list is not risky. The biggest indie bands of last year like Bastille and The 1975 weren't on it, and I feel like the way pop is pushed as mainstream these days, no one will do that for a guitar band because no major label is going to spend a shitload of money on them. It needs to happen naturally, like it is with us."
He goes on: "I think there are a lot of really interesting alt-indie bands coming back like Metronomy, Wild Beasts and Bombay Bicycle Club who are all established and on their fourth album. That's going to be really good for new bands like us and Jungle who are considered a little more than jangly guitar music. I hope mainstream ears will turn to that, but if you don't like what they're doing there are so many other avenues."
Not that Thumpers need any 'other avenues' - not for a band that had Sub Pop, the iconic alt-rock label that first signed Nirvana, chomping at the bit to release their music in America. So much so, that Galore is already out and making waves in the US, while us pastey Brits have until 19 May until it hits shelves.
So, how does the Stateside buzz and becoming labelmates with Kurt Cobain feel?
"It's a headfuck," laughs John. "I did an interview with Rolling Stone the other day, which was ridiculous to think that something like that can happen to me.
"People have discovered it really naturally and Sub Pop have given things an interesting twist because it hasn't been shoved down peoples' throats. We got sent the record and it was really emotional to see that logo from the back of Bleach on the back of our record. Sub Pop was the first label I'd really heard of, so to be with that list of bands is just insane."
But fear not, Europe - our mix of the album has some exclusive tracks, and is more fitting for our delightful summer months. It's going to sound epic at festivals throughout the season, but don't assume this was all part of the plan...
"A few friends have asked us 'what are you doing?' But there's no plan, basically," says John. "If Sub Pop had their way then they would have put it out last summer, so it's just boring stuff about the UK industry catching up and needing to do so much more which is why we haven't released it here yet. I don't think anyone knows if it's going to benefit, we just want to let SubPop do what they do.
"Ideally, some kind of buzz will happen but there was no grand plan. The album will sound better in summer anyway."
Yes it will, and whether they like it or not, Thumpers are going to help us all have a pretty damn FUN year.
Thumpers' already announced UK tour dates are as follows:
17th Feb – Soup Kitchen, Manchester
18th Feb – Louisana, Bristol
19th Feb – Cavern Club, Exeter
20th Feb – The Lexington, London
21st May – Green Door Store, Brighton
22nd May - The Scala, London Tickets
23rd May – Hare & Hounds, Birmingham
24th May – Leadmill, Sheffield
28th May – Cluny, Newcastle
29th May – King Tuts, Glasgow
30th May – Library, St Helens
31st May – Epic Studios, Norwich
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