Credit: Sequoia Ziff

We can barely contain our excitement for Boardmasters now, especially as it looks like the sun is going to prevail!

We spoke to Wovoka Gentle ahead of their set on the weekend about their recent videos, their sound and their upcoming weekend in Newquay.

Hey, guys, you quite possibly have one of the most interesting sounds to have come out of this year, what drove you toward the powerful alt/folky sound that we have come to adore from you?

When we first met we were playing in more traditional folk and Americana bands; we wanted to explore some new sounds and textures and influences, and how those might work together in a kind of folk sub genre I guess, so when we formed Wovoka Gentle it felt like the natural opportunity to do that.

The video for ‘Mercy Seat’ is very cool, tell us more about it, we hear it was filmed in Ho Chi Min?

Our great friend the talented dancer, choreographer and visual artist Olivia Norris made the film whilst she was in Vietnam.


You’ve been wowing fans at quite a few festivals this year so far, any particular highlights?

Blue Dot Festival at the Jodrell Bank Observatory was incredible! Along with seeing some other great bands, there were science talks, a planetarium and this massive space telescope looming over the whole festival – it really made it something special.

The live rendition of ‘When Cameron Was In Egypt’s Land Let My Cameron Go’ is phenomenal, tell us a bit more about this track?

This song was written as part of the Wovoka Gentle EP [Red] which came out at the end of last year, on Yucatan Records. It was produced by Gareth Jones and is one of our favourites to perform on stage.

You’re playing at Boardmasters this week, looking forward to it?



Is there anyone you’re particularly excited to see at Boardmasters?

Laura Mvula and Flaming Lips.


If you could collaborate with any artist on the lineup, who would it be and why?

Probably Childcare, we know Ian but have never played with him. His showmanship is incredible.


What can people expect from your Boardmasters set? Any new material appearances?

We’re playing a mixture of songs from across our EP’s, as well as the new singles, and some pieces you won’t have heard before.


How does playing festivals compare to your own gigs? Do you have a preference?

Playing festivals is like a whirlwind – you travel, set up and play the gig straight away. It feels spontaneous and high energy and the crowds really respond to that! We love playing our own gigs too because the sets can be constructed to have longer periods of light and shade – for example, parts of the set can perhaps contain more space and sit in a groove or breathe for a longer time. Playing festivals, your sets tend to be shorter and it’s a great opportunity to play to a whole new audience, so the focus is mostly about impact!


Have you got many other festival appearances planned for us to get excited about?

We have a few more left this year, including Sea Change in Totnes, and Pitchfork’s Avant Garde Festival in Paris in November.


What are your top festival survival tips?

Bring plenty of cash so you don’t have to give all your money to the man.


And finally, for those lucky enough to be going to Boardmasters, in a few words, why should they come see you play? Think of this as new music speed dating, no pressure, 30 seconds, GO.

Because we are all excellent surfers.

For more information on the festival and its lineup here.