Sourface has today released their new video for the track ‘Now And Then’ from their upcoming album ‘The Eternal Summer’ dropping March 22nd.

With vintage style songwriting and a musical within the music flair about it, this lends me to believe that ‘Now And Then’ is part of a bigger story. An ‘eternal’ story, possibly. And that really sells it, to me. It actually makes me want to see them live. That is where most artists shine.

A combination of fanciful and unconventional, Sourface eschew the conventional and present their own brand of music to the delight of this writer and, hopefully, the welcoming masses.

About ‘Now And Then’

Ahead of the release of debut album The Eternal Summer next week (22nd March), eclectic Anglo-Parisian quartet Sourface share the final album teaser ‘Now and Then’.

The band’s most whimical and carefree track to date – sounding like a cross between The Muppets (2011) soundtrack and the Kinks, The waltzing ‘Now and Then’ grins from ear to ear with sunshine sax, twinkling ivory, and choral chants. Paired with a typically cinematic, road-movie inspired music video, this closing track from their forthcoming debut The Eternal Summer provides the listener with an all’s well that end’s well fairytale ending, as vocalist/guitarist Ludo Aslangul explains:

“Now and Then is a song about embracing love, leaving regret behind and stepping forward into the next adventure. It’s the last scene of the movie – everything worked out in the end as the four protagonists ride off into the distance…”

About ‘The Eternal Summer’

The debut album from Anglo-Parisian quartet Sourface ‘The Eternal Summer’ is, in one sense, an album about discovering freedom from depression and adversity. In yet another, it’s about Sourface making an album in a closeted Parisian paradise – via an eclectic buffet of Yacht Rock, post-punk, french jazz and disco-house; with side orders of the Charlie and The Chocolate Factory soundtrack, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, a Fender Rhodes, and The Doors’ ‘Celebration Of The Lizard’…

“The dominating moral narrative of the album is ‘if you pour enough positivity into a situation, you will defeat your lizard king’”, drummer Tom Waldron explains, “it directly reflects on our experience of making this album – just pouring enough positivity into a situation so the album just ended up getting made.”

Oh yeah, ‘Lizard King’. More than a Jim Morrison reference, in a final, fantastical Marvel sense, The Eternal Summer is set in a fictional world where sunlight is the source of energy feeding everything with life. The band’s evil manager Tony Bossi, AKA ‘Lizard King,’ builds a machine to control the sun and, in turn, the entire population. As a consequence Sourface righteously conspire to charge the machine with so much sunlight that this machine explodes – as told on dramatic penultimate track ‘Vin Rosé’ – and all that solar energy surges back out into the world. This ushers in ‘The Eternal Summer’ and allows the city to prosper once more. Are you following? It’s a story that the group have also mapped out in comic book form.

This flair for expansive, multi-disciplinary creativity first brought Sourface together, in fact. Ludo Aslangul (guitar/vocals) Matt Isles (Keyboards), Alex Brunstein (bass/vocals) and Tom Waldron (drums) bonded during their first year at University, filling their spare time with various creative projects – short films, illustrations, a ‘failed’ covers group. In fact, the list of covers they haphazardly performed reads like the future Sourface blueprint for The Eternal Summer: ‘Indian Food’ by Dumbo Gets Mad. Serge Gainsbourg. Thundercat. The Doors. “We did a Beach Boys song, which was terrible”, says Ludo, “that’s what finished us being a covers band.”

Almost as soon as they began working on original material, the dark curtain of lockdown was drawn over them. As a result, the band were forced to write their first two EPs – Daytime’s Past, and Sourface – in isolation, meeting for writing sessions when restrictions permitted. And when they were finally able to perform live, it was mostly to sat down audiences:

“That definitely stimulated the desire to move from the first 2 EPs, which were quite indie, bedroom’y – to making something that was completely going against that and trying to get someone out of their seat; to have a smile on their face. Laugh. Dance.” Ludo explains. “Our music is definitely a response to a kind of gloominess, a reaction to negativity, us trying, manifest an uplifting spirit.”

Positivity, hopefulness, joy – these are the buzzwords for the Sourface sound, bent both sonically, and philosophically towards escapist, uplifting frames of mind. In fact their very name harks back to their carefree student days – sneaking up to the rooftops of their university building, soaking in the views of night-lit London, letting their inhibitions go – “We had a phrase for this”, says Tom, “being on the surface – being on the surface of life.” It’s a catchphrase which morphed quickly into the more enigmatic ‘Sourface’.

And true to form, The Eternal Summer is an album that fails, miserably, at wiping the grin off its face. It’s as giddying as musical theatre in the way it shifts so eclectically from scene to scene in a flurry of sunshine melodies and grinning orchestrations. In a mere 10 minutes a listener may be exposed to the zesty post-punk of the ‘Lizard King’, the gleeful yacht-rock of ‘Careless Love’ or the shuffling jazz-whimsy of ‘Sonny’.

A proud expression of their Frenchness too – those many francophonic artists that found success beyond their native country – Cortex, La Femme, Serge Gainsbourg – all embed themselves in The Eternal Summer’s many French language tracks. ‘JMCF’, ‘Lacher Prise’, or the album opener ‘Solaire’. The band even sent a couple tracks to Cortex frontman Alain Mion, reportedly to his approval.

France – more specifically the suburbs of Paris – was the site of the album’s unique recording too. During the heatwave of the summer of 2022 the band spent seven weeks in a family house tracking what would become – and must have felt like at the time – The Eternal Summer. With a self-professed ‘can-do’ attitude, the band converted a home-cinema into a makeshift studio. They made their own soundproofing, gathered the fewest mics they could plausibly get away with, and called it ‘Babylon’. Crowd-funding what they could, skimping on quality was simply not an option here. Saxophonists, trumpeters and cellists were invited over from England; two thirds of the budget was spent on renting a Fender Rhodes: “We didn’t want it to sound ‘garage’ at all – we really pushed ourselves to make it sound professional”, Matt notes. “This links back to the positivity of the whole album. ‘You can do it!’, you know?”

Indeed, the album’s loose narrative thread becomes a metaphor for the album’s very creation. The Eternal Summer is, in a very real sense, the of a band trooping on despite the limitations to produce the brightest, most bedazzling sequence of music they could: “Deep down it harks back to the origin of Sourface, about this one positive energy, really loving what we’re doing it and celebrating with the audience” Alex explains.

“It links to our Mediterranean side. It’s always been a part of us, wanting to have sunny, flowery landscapes.” continues Matt, “That’s where the escape comes from. We want to find some paradise land amidst the greyness. So many people approach songwriting as being about what they don’t have or can’t reach, or what to aspire to. What the hell is the point of that? If it’s not fun, why would you do it? We’re not playing our instruments to cry about it.”

About Sourface

Formed at University in London right before the rupture of the pandemic as a means of channelling hope, manifesting their lives and looking to the future, the four-piece, now split between Paris and London, regularly perform in both cities, sing in both respective languages, infected by the spirit of both distinctive cultures.

Recorded at the band’s self-made Babylon Studio in Paris during the heatwave of 2022, The Eternal Summer – due for release on the week of the 2024 Spring Equinox – offers an eclectic 11-song sequence celebrating sunlight, abundance and positivity, while exploring the dangers of having such things stripped away from us. It’s a story that has been brought to life by the band in comic book form.

Marbling yacht-rock, jazz, funk, post-punk, and disco-house, the quartet fail, miserably, at wiping the grin off their (sour) faces. As giddying as musical theatre in the way they shift so eclectically from scene to scene in a flurry of sunshine melodies and grinning orchestrations, the band have already garnered the favour of indie press stalwarts Rough Trade, The Most Radicalist, God Is In The TV, Still Listening, Clunk, Joyzine, Rodeo, Wax and Last Bus Magazine, as well as support slots for Cassia and Boyish.

Selling out their last London headline show at Paper Dress Vintage in January, the band have also garnered a reputation for inventive, cinematic music videos – with clips for recent singles ‘Careless Love’ and ‘Vin Rosé’ each achieving upwards of 200k views on social media on their respective release dates.

Featured image by Louis Oliver Byrne.