Lejon Brames Interview: Dream pop has a new dog in town

lejon brames

Okay, Listen Close EP out now.

As musical canines go, Lejon Brames is a really, really good boy. Despite still being very new on the scene and still puppy-sized, Brames has already managed to dig up an impressive EP; three courses of sublime indie pop with a dinstinctly Old Western feel. With generous helpings of surf, psych and soft garage, any cool cats who generally find themselves on the smoother side of alternative music should stick this in a playlist. A friendly Canadian inflection and a sunny aura runs through the entirety of the project, and although a closer listen reveals a collection of sadder tunes, the general feel of the EP is one that should get any self-respecting tail wagging.

I sat down with Lejon (he was already sitting, good boy) to have a chat about where the project began, The Office, new music and how the next Nirvana is in a pub near you*.

When and why did you start being Lejon Brames?

Well, to begin with, my summer-time plans took a bit of a turn for the worst in the early weeks of August. I was supposed to be travelling abroad and hitting up a bunch of festivals, but ended up being semi-homeless for a month. Not very fun man. Once I had a place to stay for more than a few nights, I sat down with my guitar and started writing some songs about the whole situation. It didn’t really make me feel any better, but I just couldn’t stop writing. It was a weird little thing. But yeah, in the end I had three tunes that I thought were pretty bumpin’ so I decided to toss ‘em together in a small EP. I didn’t really know which name to release it under — ‘cause the songs didn’t really fit with my other projects — so I just started a new one, and I guess that’s how Lejon Brames was born.

Where did that (pretty damn) awesome name come from?

Hey thanks — glad ya like it. The truth is, in the midst of my misfortune, I often turned to The Office (U.S) for my daily dose of distraction. In one the episodes, Dwight (who I’m not even gonna try and explain to non-Office watchers — you just gotta experience it for yourself man) builds a really shitty gym in the office for one of his co-workers Daryl. In an attempt to encourage Daryl to sign up, he looks him dead in the eye and says “I’m gonna make you look like LeBron James”, to which Daryl responds “It’s Lejon Brames”. Now, I’m both a sucker for The Office as well as basketball, so when I heard that, I just knew it had to be. You can hear that little snippet at the end of the second track on the EP (but just on Soundcloud).

There’s a really cool Western feel to the song ‘Why Do I Hate Summer So Much’, where the hell did that come from?

Man I honestly don’t know! I didn’t go into it with any specific style, I just kinda wrote what came to me — which was really nice, cause with my other projects I feel like I’ve gotta stick to a certain sound or genre. It ended up being pretty similar to my other stuff in the end, but apparently with a Western twist? I dig it! I was listening to a lot of Twin Peaks before writing that one, so maybe a little bit of their sound seeped in? But I don’t know if they’ve got that ‘Western’ feel either… so who knows… it’s all a mystery.

Who would you credit with having the most influence on this album? Apart from your glorious self of course.

There was one person that kinda inspired these songs I guess. Well… not ‘I guess’… one hundred percent haha. Don’t wanna go into too much detail though. We’re cool now. Just gotta move forward, learn your lessons, and keep on truckin’ really. Shit happens. Shitty shit happens man. What can ya do.

What are some of your favourite new artists that Overblown readers might not know about?

For sure. There’s this wicked garage-punk kinda group called YOWL who I’m loving right now. Their tune ‘Saturday Drag’ is money. I can’t stop listening to it, you’ve gotta check it out. Also Baywaves, Honey Moon, and Hers’ — all very very solid groups. There’s so much good music in the scene right now. It’s super overwhelming, but also super exciting. Music just keeps getting better and better man. I don’t get what all those ‘I-wish-I-was-born-in-a-different-generation’ people are on about. “I wish I could see Nirvana live” — DUDE! The next Nirvana is supporting some random rock band at your local pub! Go check ‘em out! Let’s go!

This isn’t your only music project is it? Tell us what else you do.

Well I’ve got what I’ll call my ‘main band’ Dazy Crown, which used to be my solo project last year but has since turned into a four piece. That’s who I play live with, and it’s a barrel of laughs. We just supported The Big Moon on their latest headline tour which was lots of fun (well, we supported them on their stop in Norwich). My other group is Doctor Bruce’s Goose Parade, which is just me on drums screaming into a mic while my good friend Conor Baker shreds some gnarly garage-y/psychedelic guitar. We don’t have any tunes out yet, but we’ve played a couple of shows in Norwich and… oh mama… it’s the most fun I’ve ever had playing live. If you like King Gizz, Thee Oh Sees, and other stuff like, that you’ll definitely dig our sound. Be on the lookout. We’re coming back soon.

What are your plans for this project?

Honestly, I have no idea. I haven’t really thought about it. I don’t think I’ll play any of the songs live, but who knows? I’ve written some more tunes that ring ‘Lejon Brames’ bells in my head, so maybe another EP? Or a single here and there? Again, it’s all a mystery. I’ll just take it at my own pace.

Lejon Brames (Thomas Little) is also a member of the band Dazy Crown. Listen here.

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*to clarify for readers, Lejon Brames is not a dog and Thomas answered the questions by email. Bloody cheating, lying media at it again – I know.

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