A new electronic/ post-rock project has emerged into the UK music scene in the form of Aelius; a duo from London who bring with them some breath-taking soundscapes and off-the-scale electronic vibes on their debut EP.
Aelius are Martin Roberts and Lee Tyler who met in 2012 while studying at university and subsequently began producing ever-evolving, genre-defying tracks after discovering each other's talents. Since then they have been compared to 80s pop duo Pet Shop Boys and the more recent electro/indie band Friendly Fires; they do cite plenty of influences, including M83, Foals, Pink Floyd and Jeff Wayne's 'War of the Worlds', but really they're out to do what they want to do. 'We just kind of wanted to make music for ourselves if that makes sense, so not to really please anyone else', Martin told us in a recent interview. He added that after they enlisted drummer Hugo Simpson and guitarist Ian Lancaster into production, the sound transformed considerably.
'When we first started, it really was just me and Lee and it was really was very electronic', Martin says. 'Then we got Hugo and Ian on board, and then it became more of what it is now.' Thus, while we have the almost exclusively synth-laden 'No Way Out', their upcoming EP's lead single 'Echoes' proves to be somewhat different with Martin describing it as having a 'post-rock feel'.
Listen to 'No Way Out' here:
Despite it leading their debut EP, Aelius hadn't intended 'Echoes' to have much of an impact. '[It's] one of our strongest, but at the time of writing it we just thought it was an album filler', Martin admits. His reveals that his personal favourite Aelius track is actually from their upcoming album (set to follow the EP release) and is entitled 'Young Hearts, Fragile Minds'; a song which he thinks is a good example of what the band stand for musically.
Listen to 'Echoes' here:
Creating the EP hasn't been easy for the duo, who have spent the last year and a half working on it 'due to how pedantic we are about how things sound'. They take a hands-on approach to making their music, doing everything from recording to mixing and mastering and, although Martin admits it was 'difficult, annoying and frustrating at times', he thinks it would be a strange state of affairs to enlist an external aide to produce for them. He explains, 'With us and our background of producing and writing, it kind of makes you a little protective over everything; and of course nothing is ever finished and mixing takes forever.'
But whilst it's taken so long for them to complete production on the EP, the band have still found the time to put together an hour-long mixtape of all their influences over the past few years entitled 'Origins'. 'It was really good fun, because we haven't DJed together for years and gave us a great chance to compile the songs we love and make them work', said Martin. The eclectic mix includes snippets of James Blake's cover of 'Limit to Your Love', Breakbot's 'Baby I'm Yours', Swedish House Mafia's 'Leave The World Behind' and Crookers' 'Hip Hop Changed' among plenty of others.
Listen to the 'Origins' mixtape here:
After all that hard work in the studio, Aelius hope to hit the road this year with a mini-tour and are currently planning an EP launch party - though no word yet on any solid dates for the upcoming months. Meanwhile, make sure you grab a copy of the EP which is set to be released on March 17th 2014.