7 Questions with Half Formed Things
Half Formed Things made a name of themselves after the release of their debut EP in 2016. The trio class themselves as “Cinematic, mortific pop” and continue to win over live audiences with their enchanting sound. They play Voodoo Rooms on 5th May with support from Made of Glass.
How did the band come to be?
Matthew: I met Morgan through mutual friends back in 2012 and had heard that she was looking to put a band together. At the time Stewart and I were in a band called A Fight You Can’t Win, and when that band called it quits in 2014 I asked Morgan if she wanted to get together to try out some ideas. After several months of writing we both decided that Stewart would be the perfect person to complete the line-up, as he’s a spectacular drummer and producer.
Stewart: I remember hearing Morgan and Matthew playing an early version of one of our songs on a friend’s piano at a house party, and thinking “I really need to get in on this”. We’re very much drawn to the same musical and emotional territories.
Your music is very unique, do you take influence from anyone in particular?
Matthew: It would be quite hard to pin down a unified list of influences as each member brings their own to the melting pot – our common musical ground includes Fiona Apple, Kate Bush, PJ Harvey, Talk Talk, Radiohead, Elliot Smith, to name just a few.
When songwriting, is it a collaborate process from the beginning or do you all bring something to the table individually?
Matthew: It can vary – sometimes one member will bring along a verse and chorus and then as a group we’ll build a whole song around it. Songs such as “The Tower” from our first EP are an entirely collaborative affair, with the song being completely written by the whole band from scratch in the practice room.
Morgan: Our day-to-day lives intertwine completely with our work and we all have a very close, loving relationship. The original versions of a number of our songs are sometimes more than a decade old and it can be a risk to bring something so well-worn to the table for the rest of us to pitch in. I believe it’s the nature of our relationship that allows us to produce re-invented versions of pieces of our lives that are sometimes far more honest and concise than the original. There’s a safety and trust here that I think is integral to the music we make.
Do you have any particular live show that stands out for you so far?
Stewart: Our EP launch last year was pretty magical. It was a sold-out show and we were surrounded by friends and family, some who had flown in from the other side of the world. The wonderful Kapil Seshasayee and Alex Auldsmith opened for us, and everyone had a fantastic night. We felt truly lucky.
Are you playing any festivals this summer?
Morgan: We were just announced for Kelburn Garden Party (Sunday at the Pyramid Stage), and we have a couple more announcements to follow. I can’t wait to meet some of Scotland’s best.
Who are you all listening to at the moment, anyone you can recommend?
Matthew: A band called Slothrust from Boston and another called Wyvern Lingo from Bray, Ireland are on continual repeat on my Spotify. Closer to home I’m getting pretty excited about the new Fatalists album coming out this year.
Morgan: I’ve got the new Bonobo album on constantly. Benjamin Clementine and Sheep, Dog & Wolf are also favourites.
Stewart: The new Arca album is absolutely devastating. I’m also completely in love with the new record from Dutch Uncles, a band I’ve been a huge fan of for some time.
What’s next for Half Formed Things?
Matthew: We’ve got a new music video in the editing process as we speak, we’re really excited about letting everyone see it.
Morgan: It’s for a really dark, odd song that was an outtake from the EP. Sounds a bit like the new Nick Cave record being performed by Imogen Heap. It also features my incredible sister as guest vocalist which was a gorgeous addition.
Stewart: We also begin pre-production for our debut full-length very soon. The new material very much picks up where songs like “The Tower” leave off – more lush harmonies and a whole load of diverse sounds and textures. We’re all really excited to start threading it together.
See them live at The Voodoo Rooms on May 5th. Buy tickets here.