From concocting cinematic airport scenes to drawing influence from Enya, the London pop trio shed light on their recent single…
Evoking warm and fuzzy nostalgia via its pulsing bassline and pangs of longing through its deftly plucked guitars, Banfi‘s recent single ‘June’ makes for compulsive listening. Taking a rose-tinged detour down the audible soundscapes of rom-coms past, the London trio have created a three-minute cinematic spectacle reminiscent of all your 80s pop greats. There’s no guilt to be found here; dive in and discover more about ‘June’…
You stated on social media that ‘June’ “is a love song based on those classic ‘run to the airport’ scenes near the end of films, only this time he’s too late.” Can you expand upon what was inspiring you at the time?
Well the lyric “You need to breathe, honey” came unconsciously when I was murmuring falsetto parts to the chorus chord progression. It felt like a pretty powerful line because it implies urgency and loss. And then it was just a matter of building around that with whatever I had to offer to it.
The music is quite cinematic and – with the airport scene in mind – you can’t help but picture that narrative happening. What sort of atmosphere were you aiming to create with the music alone?
We wanted the atmosphere to orientate around shadows creeping into a beautiful setting. We were watching the first series of True Detective at the time which has a great way of portraying that luscious, green part of America that is also swampy and scary, with evil creeping around under the surface. We wanted ‘June’ to sound like that, where the relationship is the luscious green part, and neglect has crept in like a shadow that can’t ever be turned back.
‘June’ feels quite different in comparison to your previous releases. Were you experimenting with your songwriting? Did the track come together seamlessly?
Yeah it was quite seamless. Banfi is a fun band to be in because our sound is very broad at the moment. When you come to a Banfi show you get to see how that broad range of influence all comes together into a single sound and energy, and you’ll also get that once the album is released. But I suppose that if you just approach Banfi based on the recordings released so far without coming to a show then ‘June’ must seem different next to the other releases.
It reminds us of the best bits of 80s pop! Did you draw upon any influences of that era?
There are pop and new wave artists from that era whom we love to listen to – Kate Bush, the Police, Springsteen. There’s also a lot of Enya influence in there, not just falsetto lines of the chorus, but also the chords – if you keep the chord progressions simple then you can build a lot of drama and size around the chord changes.
Why do you think musicians are drawing from that era so much in 2017?
There was some beauty to that era because there was a freedom of expression that has been lost since the whole irony-obsessed Family Guy era (where it’s cool to be cynical and detached) kicked in. Music is at it’s worst when it’s trying to sound aloof and hip, without something human and real to say. Morrissey does cynicism tremendously well, but he’s an anomaly! Luckily there’s not as much of that around now but it was really bad about five years ago.
People fall in love with bands like The War On Drugs and Bears Den because people are sick of empty narcissism and they want to hear something with depth and hope to it.
You’ve recently shared the video for ‘June’. Was shooting the video a fun experience?
Yeah it was great – the crew were lovely to be around all day. There’s a lot of bits where as we were filming, we performed the song in slow motion so that the footage could then be sped up in the edit to make the camera spin around us super fast, and it was fun to perform the whole song like that – it’s got a great groove when it’s slowed down!
You’re just wrapping up a UK tour! What was the highlight for you?
All the shows was really special for us – we can’t believe so many people came out to see us. We massively want to thank everyone who came and made all those shows so much fun.
‘June’ is available now.