(The following article was written for ARTROCKER MAGAZINE, issue #124, October 2012)
Hands up – who even remembers My Space?
Joe Walsh does. No, not the ageing rocker, but Joe as in the founding member of Tooting based, dream-pop five-piece, Dignan Porch. And with good reason too:
“Back around 2009 / 2010 I had tracks from what was to become the ‘Tendrils’ album on the My Space player. Somehow, it caught the attention of the Captured Tracks label out in Brooklyn. As I knew of their founder Mike Snider from Blank Dogs and he was happy to release the album just the way I had recorded it (on a basic Tascam 8-track recorder) I went with them.”
“Although ‘Tendrils’ was written and recorded as a solo project, it was always my intention to get a full band together, and so prior to the subsequent release, the ‘Deluded’ EP, my younger brother Sam and friends Hayley, Ben and Stephen added their talents.”
The band’s second album ‘Nothing Bad Will Ever Happen,’ was released in early September, so how has the sound developed from the first?
“Well, we’ve tried to keep the essence and vibe of ‘Tendrils,’ which was quite introspective and personal. However, I feel it’s bigger, better and has a more confident sound to it now that the band’s involved. We worked with (amongst others) our friend Henry Withers from Lovvers and he introduced us to analogue reel-to-reel recording. There weren’t too many sessions involved and a good bit of the recording was spontaneous, so I think it has the genuine feel of a band playing ‘live.’
The song-writing is still mainly down to Joe – at least the initial idea is and it is then expanded upon by the band. The intention is to keep things distinctly simple.
“‘Pink Oil’ for example utilises the same three chords throughout,” explains Joe, “and some may condemn this as ‘unambitious.’ But I like repetition and I think this helps the listener become surrounded by the sound.”
Although Dignan Porch remain steadfastly DIY in their approach (they produce their own videos, artwork, T-shirts etc.) there is a certain kudos and some several little benefits to be gleaned from being the only UK band signed to such an iconic and respected label.
“Yeah – we’re currently awaiting our Visas which will allow us to tour America for a month around October, and we’re in the course of booking a European tour for around February of next year,” says the obviously excited Joe.
My Space, huh?
How about we just ‘watch this space,’ instead?