Artist Feature: Laminate Pet Animal
Laminate Pet Animal compose an organic blend of hazy soundscapes, clean electronica and subtle melodies. Their understated sound has been used alongside the performing arts, contemporary dance and other media. Listen and license here.
"We wrote lots of (rubbish) music together and gigged for a while, until we wrote a track called 'Eve'. We decided it needed a female singer, so we got our friend Charlotte Jones to sing on it. We literally never looked back..."
What is your story in music to date?: Well we all met at university in Leeds in 2015, but only formed as a proper trio at the start of 2017! Originally LPA was an outlet for myself (Thomas), to experiment with electronic music. I'd always done singer/songwriter acoustic stuff, but then I became really bored with it. I felt like I couldn't add anything original with just a guitar. So I began to experiment with sampling and making music on the computer.
I met Tom Bradshaw in the last week of university, and we played one track together live for a final performance. It was very last minute but it became very clear that LPA needed Tom! I'd always done it as a solo project, but Tom is a genius on the drums and also an amazing song writer.
We wrote lots of (rubbish) music together and gigged for a while, until we wrote a track called 'Eve'. We decided it needed a female singer, so we got our friend Charlotte Jones to sing on it. We literally never looked back. Charlotte adds so much to the band it was natural to carry on with her. She can write these amazing melodies and LPA would be nothing without her!
We gigged a lot in 2017, supporting some of my idols like Gold Panda, Emancipator and Nathan Fake. We've been so lucky in that respect! We did some work with polish artist KARI, so we got to fly out to support her on a few dates of her Poland tour which was awesome!
We released our first EP as a trio in May and are currently working on a new EP at the moment.
Who are your influences in music? And what are you currently listening to?: We all have very different tastes in music, which is what gives us our sound I think. Personally I am mostly into instrumental electronic music, so artists like Jon Hopkins, Bonobo, George Fitzgerald etc. The biggest influence for me is definitely Gold Panda. His first record, 'Lucky Shiner' is what inspired me to create electronic music! I remember listening to it with headphones on in my bedroom and just being blown away. I was captivated by the sounds. I literally knew nothing about electronic music, so began to dive into sampling and sound design pretty much straight after that!
Tom and Charlotte are definitely more 'pop' focused than myself. I live with Tom and he is always blasting out feel good music. Bands like Half Noise, Parcels, Men I Trust - more upbeat energetic music. He is the most optimistic, positive person I know so his music definitely reflects that! Charlotte is into all sorts and is a blend between Tom and myself I think. She listens to everything from Four Tet to John Mayer! She's just really cool.
We are all listening to our friend FAVELA. He released his debut album a few months ago, 'Community'. It's such a beautiful record and can't recommend it enough!
How does it feel being part of the independent music scene?: It's great! We love the independent scene, especially up north in Leeds. I think that's what has kept us here for so long. I think the role of the record label and being signed has definitely changed drastically in the past few years, with companies like AWAL making it super easy for artists to self release.
We actually wanted to give back to the scene in Leeds by created our own community. We noticed all our friends were releasing such great music, but there was nothing to tie it all together. So we created a community collective called 'bibliotek' which is essentially a not-for-profit label where we release all our friends music. We run it with one of our closest friends and it's been so great to take a step back and work with other musicians. We do a lot of releases with College Music Records too who are great to work with.
What's been your career highlights to date?: Definitely flying out to Poland to support KARI on her tour. Playing shows in Europe was such a great experience because the audience seemed to really appreciate the music. It was so humbling. The audience were literally silent, which is bizarre when you are used to rowdy English crowds!
As I said earlier we've also been really lucky to be able to support some of our idols. A stand out would be playing with Shigeto this year. He's such a down to Earth, chill guy. It's always nice when you meet your idols and they are sound haha!
Also just self releasing music and putting other artists' music out through bibliotek has been super rewarding.
What would be your dream collaboration and why? : That is a tough one! I can't speak for the rest of the band, but for me it would have to be someone non-musical! Someone in a different field because I think that's when something interesting can really happen! It would be amazing to work with a visual artist such as Dan Tombs. I remember his visuals he did for Gold Panda and they were amazing. Electronic music live can be a bit bland to watch, so interesting visuals can really make a huge difference. I know he has worked with artists like Luke Abbott and Jon Hopkins, all people I really admire!
What's the story behind your releases to date?: Well our first release as a trio was a track called 'Eve'. We released that track with a local non-profit label called 'Come Play With Me'. They basically release a split 7" vinyl of two local bands every few months. It's run by a guy called Tony Ereira, who is literally one of the nicest dudes in music! They also work very closely with artists too to develop them.
After that, we self released all our tracks under our own label, 'bibliotek'. The latest EP we put out in collaboration with College Music Records who are also great. They are a big YouTube channel who also run a label. We actually met the guy who runs it at one of our shows and became friends.
What do you get the most out of? Studio or Live performance?: This is where there is a big split in the group haha! So personally I prefer the studio 100%. I love to just create music and I could happily sit in the studio all day. Whilst I do enjoy live performance,I kind of see it as a necessity. It's amazing to be on stage with two of your best friends and share our music with people, especially when you really connect with the audience. However, I am just a naturally introverted person so find the studio much more welcoming than the stage.
Tom and Charlotte, on the other hand, are natural performers! They are so great on stage, their energy is really special. It's so amazing to have those two with me whilst performing because you can really connect with one another.
What would you be doing for a career if music hadn't come a knocking?: I really wouldn't know! Probably still something related to the arts. Me and Tom have joked about starting up a music coffee shop when we're old. That would be pretty cool. Charlotte is also like an embodiment of Mother Nature and is amazing with animals, so she'd probably be saving all the animals haha.
What's next for you? Future plans?: We are just finishing up our next EP. We're really excited about it because its much more upbeat and energetic than our previous stuff. Our last EP, Panama, turned out to be really chilled and downtempo. I think our music will always be chilled, but this newer stuff is definitely more 'vibey' if that's even a word!
We also have lots of stuff coming up with bibliotek. We put on a gig on the 6th November at an amazing collaborative arts space in Leeds called Duke Studios. It's this huge space with a massive LED screen. We managed to book Anchorsong, on the tour of his new album, 'Cohesion'. We also had 3 other bibliotek artists performing and the whole night is in collaboration with Sansuke, who put on really cool electronic gigs in Leeds.
We also had another gig two days later on the 8th November at The Brudenell Social Club, which is the best venue in Leeds hands down haha! It was sort of 'bibliotek presents' with ourselves playing alongside Amber and Imi, two amazing electronic acts from Leeds.
You can find more from Laminate Pet Animal over at northnote.com