Mano's Daughter are musical pairing and real life couple Sarah Carter and Matthias Garrick. Last year, the duo tentatively released some videos and tracks while playing live shows around London but with their EP 'Smart' about to be released and second EP 'Shiver' hot on its heels, they're upping their game in 2014 - they mean business. Sarah's powerful vocals together with their intelligent synth pop sound heralds a new wave of electro infused acts that are more about the heart and soul of the sound rather than the shiny veneer. Sarah and Matthias chatted to Contactmusic about their plans this year, why they decided to make music and how comedian Tim Minchin became one of their biggest fans.
Contactmusic: What is your latest EP 'Smart' about?
Mano's Daughter - 'Smart' is a collection of songs about life, love and the world we live in. 'The Machine' is an observation of society and the way we are part of something bigger than we know. 'September' is a simple love song but about the harsh but beautiful truth of someone being there for you unconditionally. All my lyrics are usually based loosely around love in some way. It's such a driving force.
Contactmusic: What sets you guys apart from other female-driven, electro, synth-pop bands out there at the moment?
MD - We have always had an inherent desire to create real songs. Lyrics are a big part of what we do and we always work from the idea that the song is the most important part. We wanted to combine the electro sound but with a depth of real classic songwriting, songs that perhaps don't just rely on their production to carry them through. We feel that a great song can be performed with just a piano and vocal too and still sound great.
Contactmusic: How did you both meet?
MD - We actually had a group of friends in common but had never met each other. We finally met at a gig in New Cross. I can't remember the band. We started chatting about music and the rest is history.
Contactmusic: When was the first time you thought, 'We really need to start making music'?
MD - Both of us have been making music since forever, I think.
I started playing the piano from about the age of 8 and remember writing my first songs at about 12. Matthias was born into a musical family so creating music was the norm for him. We started this project after writing together for years. We wanted to create something blending technology with nature. Matthias' love for analogue synths and creating soundscapes blended perfectly with my songwriting and we began to develop Mano's Daughter. It's a real passion. We love the creative process. I think it's something that's in your blood.
Contactmusic: What have been your best and worst live experiences?
MD - We performed at an awesome little festival last year called Hogsozzle. It was great fun. They had a huge inflatable paintball course and a powder paint fight right after our set.
Once we had a guy reveal his todger at a gig in Brighton. I can only imagine he was so moved by the music [laughs].
Contactmusic: Comedian Tim Minchin is a fan - how did that come about?
MD - Matthias has been working with Tim on his live shows for the past few years. He heard some of our songs and loved them and has been a great support and avid fan ever since.
Contactmusic: Influences like Portishead and Moloko have been mentioned but what are you guys currently tuned into?
MD - I absolutely love the new Bombay Bicycle Club album. There's some really beautiful and interesting stuff from them. Also, the new Beck album is sublime. He's such a great writer. The Foals album 'Holy Fire' has also been a staple in the car on the way to and from gigs. We like a lot of different stuff. Good music is good music.
Contactmusic: There will be more releases this year - EPs, videos and hopefully an album - what's in store for us with the next EP and what will it be called?
MD - The next EP is called 'Shiver'. It's a bit colder that this EP, if you get what we mean. The songs on it deal with more of the darker side of love and life; heartbreak and being an outsider in society, rather than trying to be a part of it, like in 'The Machine'.
Contactmusic: Where can we see you play live next?
MD - Ooh yes, we are excited to announce that we have an EP launch party on 27th March at Hysteria in Dalston.
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