Yorkshire three-piece Flawes released their new album, Highlights, through Red Bull Records on January 31, 2020. Following the release, we sat down with the band and spoke to them about the album, the pitfalls of social media, and the emotional subject of mental health.
So, the album is finally out, how does it feel and what can fans expect from the album when they pick it up?
Huss: “It certainly is out! We’re so happy, it’s such a surreal feeling that we’re still getting used to for sure. Fans can expect an uplifting journey through the album (hopefully)... that’s what we get from it anyway!”
The new single “Highlights” talks about relationships with Social Media. What prompted the need to write about that aspect of your life?
JC: “I guess social media is all around us in 2020. For me, I have a very on/off relationship with social media. ‘Highlights’ is all about navigating through that world and overthinking people’s behaviour on it. A lot of things you see on Instagram are exaggerated and enhanced making it sometimes really difficult to tell what is real and what isn’t. ‘Highlights’ is a cynical look on the situation with tongue in cheek lines such as ‘Living out my best life’ and culminating in the big singalong line ‘Nothing’s real but no one needs to know.’”
Do you believe the influence of Social Media has reached a point now where there will never a return to normality?
Freddie: “I think living through social media has become the norm now. I find it sad to see people experiencing things in life through their phones. I always like to try and enjoy those cool moments rather than filming them to share online!”
Have you ever tried to go cold turkey where social media is concerned?
Huss: “I’ve not gone cold turkey, but I’ve definitely started to use it a lot less (I actually moved all the icons off my home screen) trying to value what’s happening in the now, actually talking to my friends instead of liking a picture. My head feels a lot clearer.”
Moving onto the rest of the album, what can you tell us about the influence behind the material, is it all written from personal experiences?
JC: “I find inspiration from loads of places, some of the songs on the album are about previous relationships, relationships and problems friends have gone through. The album also features a series of open letters to myself as well as a few songs about love and heartbreak. I keep the lyrics fairly ambiguous as I like to let the listener attach their own sentiment to the song.”
Highlights was released on January 31,2020 through Red Bull Records and you can pick up your copy here.
What do you get out of writing from a personal point of view?
JC: “I guess it’s a form of therapy, I feel super fortunate that I have an outlet to vent what I am feeling and what I am going through. Having said that, though, sometimes I get my inspiration from something as simple as overhearing a phrase or conversation on the tube. I then go off and create a whole made-up world and storyline around that.”
Mental health with musicians has been a hot topic in recent years. You’ve toured extensively for the last three years, how do you cope with living such an unpredictable lifestyle?
Huss: “It’s a topic, in general, we’re very mindful of now, in every walk of life. I think we’re actually quite fortunate in Flawes because everywhere we go, we go together, so we have each other to talk to and pick each other up if anyone’s feeling low. That’s the best coping method I’ve found personally, talking to someone openly. It works wonders.”
Leaving the last three years now, what about the future, what are your plans for the next couple of years?
Freddie: “We’ve not stopped the writing process since finishing Highlights, and we’re already really excited about a lot of the new material. The plan is to keep releasing music we’re proud of, and touring those songs to as many people as physically possible.”
You’ve got a few intimate shows coming up, what are you expecting from those? It must be nice to get back into smaller venues.
Huss: “We grew up playing in smaller venues all over the place, so we love them just as much as big ones, it’s a different kind of show altogether. I think we’re excited to meet the fans and hear their thoughts on Highlights. It’s always cool to play those songs stripped back to the bare bones too, so that’s exciting.”
Thanks for your time and good luck with the album, just to finish what are your plans for 2020? More touring, festivals?
Freddie: “Thanks for having us! Yes, the plan is to play some headline shows and then get out on to the festival circuit, we can’t wait!”
03/31 – London - Omeara
04/01 – Manchester - The Castle
04/02 – Poetry Club - Glasgow