Folk, alt folk, indie folk. In recent years, music fans have seen the genre split and mutate, taking many different forms. For The Cadbury Sisters though, they've made their name on their pure, honest vocal harmonies, amalgamating this with an edgier sound. Recent highlights for the band have included working with Blur's Dave Rowntree on a remix of their single 'Milk' plus the band have an array of shows and festivals booked throughout summer, only fresh from playing Brighton's Great Escape Festival. Their EP 'Close' is out on June 16th via Fear of Fiction Records - Lucy Cadbury took some time out of their busy schedule to talk to Contactmusic.com.
Contactmusic: When and why did you decide to form the band together?
Lucy Cadbury: The idea of forming a band begun after Jess came home from uni one summer and told us she'd started jamming with some friends. At the same time, I had been fooling around on guitar in my bedroom, playing covers of Dire Straits and The Stranglers. Me and Jess decided to go sing at a local open mic night and enjoyed it so much we continued doing it whenever we were back home, and Mary wanted in!
CM: What's it like being in a band of sisters?
LC: I love being in a band with my two best friends. There is something special about a sister relationship, but I think that's also what makes it pretty challenging sometimes, especially when it comes to song writing. When one of us brings a song idea to the table, it usually comes from real emotion and experience. There are a couple of songs on the new EP where we have used our lyrics to tell each other how we are feeling, and I think that comes across in our live performances too.
CM: It's been mentioned quite often you're related to Lord Cadbury - are you sick of hearing this being mentioned now?
LC: Not yet! We're really proud of our family heritage - people have always asked, 'Are you real Cadburys?' - I guess now it's just happening a bit more often. Family's really important to us, so we'd never resent the association and there must be something in the blood 'cause we're all a pretty dab hand at making sweet treats.
CM: Tell us what 'Milk' is all about?
LC: It's about growing up as a female. When it was still a work in progress we referred to it as 'Slow Down'; we feel quite strongly about how fast girls have to mature these days. Watching our cousins (one of whom features in the video) growing up before our eyes has made the subject become even closer to our hearts. The journey from a young girl into womanhood is a complex and delicate one, and all this expectation to 'be like the celebrities' we find really disturbing. Growing up brings enough pressures of its own, but taking into account all the over-sexualised media, the ridiculous, unreachable 'perfection' of what a woman 'should' look like makes us want to scream, and I think 'Milk' portrays this frustration inside of us well, especially in the live show.
CM: How did the Dave Rowntree remixes come about?
LC: I think Dave heard the track through his DJing on XFM; he liked it and thought the Rowntree/Cadbury thing was too good to ignore, so he got in touch and we jumped at the chance! It's weird hearing your song remixed but we like what he's done with it.
CM: What are your live shows like?
LC: We love performing live and we want to make each performance as electric and intense as when we are all sat in that room writing the songs. We want to let the audience into our relationships and our experiences as three sisters. If you come and see a show, you'll get blood harmonies, fragile and intimate vocals and big full band crescendos as well as a bit of sibling banter in between.
CM: What are you up to over the summer?
LC: We have loads going on this summer. We are launching our EP 'Close' on the 12th June at The Louisiana, Bristol, before that we play at The Islington, London on the 11th June. Then we have lots of lovely festivals lined up including 2000trees, Dot To Dot and Blissfields. We'll also be doing a few radio sessions and writing our next EP which we are recording in November.
Summer definitely started for us after The Great Escape Festival in Brighton last weekend where we played three shows. It was amazing.
CM: What influences the way your write your songs?
LC: Musically, our biggest influence when we were starting out was Laura Marling. We really connected with her first album 'Alas I Cannot Swim' and that whole new-folk scene. From there our own style naturally developed. Since then, bands like Daughter, Dry the River and First Aid Kit helped us branch out and experiment more with instruments and harmonies. We're big on lyrics, and all our songs are from what we have felt or done or experienced, either as individuals or together. It can be a wonderfully cathartic activity for us to do together, but at the same time it can be quite painful and emotional. But that's good - it all just adds to the songs.
CM: Is there a theme behind your EP 'Close'?
LC: We were working on the songs from 'Close' for a long time, trying to get to a sound that reflected the darker side to our lyrics. We've have been given labels such as 'folk' with 'sweet harmonies' which is fine, but we wanted to show people that we are not just singing sweet songs about sweet things. We want people to feel this record, and feel all the things we felt whilst writing it. It's a coming of age EP for us; we've grown up, and we want to sing about serious stuff.
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