The funky Oxford four-piece dig into their latest single ‘Nightbus’…
Let’s be honest, there’s not much funk that comes from Oxford, but BE GOOD are about to change all that. The four-piece have broken from the academic slumber with a deft swagger and groove, their latest single ‘Night Bus’ conjuring a hazy and lazy late night setting in the rose-tint of romance. Watch the video below.
Enchanted, we want to know more. We asked the band to delve into the track, the music they’re loving and their highlights of 2017…
We loved the low-key funk of ‘Nightbus’! Can you tell us a little about the track?
The song was meant to have this dark, slightly wonky pop element of the R&B and old funk records we’d been listening to. Lyrically we wanted to capture the feeling of what it’s like to live in the suburban small towns that we’ve all grown up in. In those places there’s a sense that the world is happening somewhere else, so anything that does happen in your town takes on a new kind of significance. That’s what ‘Nightbus’ is about really: when the mundane and unglamorous is transformed into something enticing and romantic.
You’ve previously said that you make ‘awkward pop music for midnight walks and dancing nude’. Have you ever done either of those things to any of your own songs?
Definitely the first one- we moved back to our hometown to finish off the recording for the latest batch of songs and we did a lot of night-time walking during those few weeks. And there’s something beautiful about dancing naked alone in your room. It’s intensely private and atavistic. We don’t do it to our own songs though.
The track talks of young love on the aforementioned nightbus. Were any of your own romances inspiring the track?
It was inspired by a mixture of moments from a previous relationship. I kinda see the groggy romance of a nightbus as a shitty modern version of an American drive-in cinema from the 50s.
Ash and Charlie met at a ceramics class, whilst Patrick was a mutual friend and James was a customer of where Charlie used to work. Having met in the most scattered manner, how did you all come to make music together?
Yeah we did meet in a rather scattered manner, but we all had an interest in similar music and the local scene so it meant that it all got going quite easily when the four of us finally got in a room together. James is a synth wizard and Patrick is smooth-as-hell on bass, so that helps.
‘Nightbus’ is the third of your singles to be released as part of Communion Music’s Singles Club of 2017. Can you tell us a little about the project and what it’s been like to have been involved?
It’s been really great – the guys at Communion have been super good to work with and really supportive. We’ve followed the singles club for a while and there have been a few bands that we really like that have put things out through Communion.
Your sound has quite the throwback feel! Were there any artists that you loved growing up that have had a lasting influence?
There was a lot Paul Simon growing up and he’s a pretty constant presence in the way we write songs. When we first met we were listening to a lot of doo-wop and old soul artists like Sam Cooke, The Chantels, The Impressions. Also, a fair amount of funk and R&B, bands like Tower of Power, Chaka Khan and Parliament.
Growing up around Oxford has had a big impact too; there’s a real legacy of bands making smart pop and rock music with the likes of Radiohead and Foals, which is pretty great considering the size of the city.
What artists are you loving right now and why?
Really enjoying Alex G, Willie J Healey, Her’s, Nao and Sam Evian at the moment. They all have interesting sonic palettes and slightly off-kilter atmosphere and production styles, whilst underneath everything there’s just really great songwriting and that’s what hits you deep.
Do you have any gigs lined up? What can people expect?
Yeah! We recently had a show in London with Cousin Kula on the 30th of November and have a headline show in Oxford on December 14th with Magique, both rad bands. Expect sexy pop bangers, some karaoke, and in-depth reviews of whichever car we will have rented to get there.
What has been your highlight of 2017?
A big highlight was playing on the BBC Introducing stage at Latitude festival which was set back in a clearing in the forest surrounded by huge pine trees. It was our first big festival but we were really happy with our show and the audience seemed to enjoy it – felt pretty good.
Be Good’s latest single ‘Nightbus’ is available now.