Jumping about from textbook dreampop to meat and potatoes indie rock, Smooth Ends are a young South London four-piece whose eclectic – and I mean genuinely eclectic – grooves flit between a handful of styles: disco, lo-fi, and funk to name a just a few of their favourites.
Formed in 2013 by Kevin Erlicher (vocals/guitar) and Luca Oliva Knight (guitar), both from Argentina, and later joined by Benjamin Vallejos (bass/Chile) and Nico Ariza (drums /USA) – the band have really hit a stride in the past year; touring Spain in the summer of 2016 and releasing their 2 singles to great acclaim. This spring the band will be heading out for a string of live dates, including a West Country show in Swindon this Friday (February 17th) and a Camden show on March 1st.
We caught a word with Luca to see what they had to say about themselves:
Overlown: Okay, so for starters, how would you describe your sound to someone whose never heard you?
It’s sexy, fresh, disco & vintage: we call it cream-pop.
O: How did all of you meet and get started?
We’re all from different parts of the world and we met unexpectedly in London. Kevin and Luca met first through mutual friends, and instantly clicked with very similar musical aspirations. Benjamin followed shortly after he met Kevin through music Uni. Nico joined when Benjamin approached him after he was desperately looking for a drummer when their original drummer cancelled the day of their first important gig.
O: You’re from all over the world – USA, Argentina, Chile – and somehow you’ve all ended up in London making music. How does your diversity change that process?
At the beginning, it wasn’t easy to choose a musical direction because we all had different backgrounds and ideas. We had to sack many good songs because they didn’t fit the style we were going for. However the cool thing about this is when we get tired of certain genres, it’s easy to change direction. We’re not exactly sure how our diversity changes the process; it just comes naturally.
O: One of my favourite things about you is that you throw around great genres really effortlessly; disco, dream pop and more classic alt. rock stuff too. Was that always the plan?
It wasn’t always the plan but just came naturally because of how we create together, and it’s what we all enjoy so it comes easily. Although there was a point where we had to pick a specific genre and sound.
O: Winter is usually considered a pretty bummy time of year. No money after Christmas, it’s cold and everyone’s still hungover from December, unless of course you’re a genius and you don’t drink at all. What artists and tracks would you recommend Overblown readers cosy up to in these cold times?
We thought it best to each give you a track.
Luca recommends ‘Khmlwugh’ by Homeshake.
Nico recommends ‘Shock Horror’ by Shy Luv.
Benjamin recommends ‘Suave’ by Luis Miguel.
Kevin recommends ‘Tout est Bleu’ by Ame Strong.
O: 2016 was a really good year for you guys. How’s 2017 going to go?
2k17 has started off really well so far, and it’s about to get even better. We have a new single coming out March 1st and we’re having a big release party at Proud Camden with our favorite local bands and friends. After this, we have a Spain tour planned for late March, which we’re very much looking forward to. When we come back to London we have some very cool UK & EU festivals booked.
It’s going to be a busy but fun year, and we’re all very excited.
Find Smooth Ends on Facebook.