Music Features

Southern (Interview)

Thom and Lucy Southern make the kind of music you might not necessarily expect to hear from a Northern Irish brother-sister duo in their early twenties; their sound ranges from crunching, country-tinged blues to gentle, whispering shoegaze, and all that lies in between.  And it's a sound that's proving popular too, as is evidenced by their rapidly growing fanbase.

Fresh from recent sets at Live at Leeds, The Great Escape and Dot to Dot festivals, Thom from the band took some time out to field questions from Craig Stevens relating to his and his sister's influences and recent EP Where the Wild Are, as well as discussing plans for the summer months and the band's upcoming debut album.


Craig:  What was it that prompted you and Lucy to start a band together?

Thom:  It was never really a conscious decision to start playing together.  We were both always surrounded by music in our house growing up so when I started writing my own music, Lucy naturally joined in and eventually we began writing together.  Our voices seem to blend really well.

C:  Growing up, did the two of you always enjoy listening to the same genres of music as each other?

T:  Yeah, we've always had similar tastes in music.  Our parents had us listening to a lot of great music growing up.  I enjoyed heavier stuff like grunge and rock music but we both share the same love for folk, country and blues music.

C:  Who are your biggest influences?

T:  There are so many but the main ones that have influenced the tracks on our debut album are Beck, The Rolling Stones, Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead, Joni Mitchell, Nick Drake, Lou Reed, Mazzy Star and Neil Young.

C:  Your second EP, Where the Wild Are, was released a few weeks ago. Have you been happy with the reception it's received?

T:  Yeah, really happy.  It was cool that people enjoyed the different styles on the EP.

C:  The EP showcases a very different sound to that of your previous EP, especially the track Oh Won't You Go, which is noticeably more stripped back than your other tracks and where Lucy has taken lead vocals.  Was it a conscious decision to try and showcase a different side to Southern on this EP?

T:  Yeah, definitely.  Lucy has a whole bunch of songs so this side to Southern is going to unravel as we release more songs.  She's got some really beautiful songs.  We were happy with this EP but definitely think we've found ourselves more with the next releases.

C:  You've played a huge range of gigs and festivals in the past couple of months, including Live at Leeds and The Great Escape and support sets for The Kooks, The Strypes and THUMPERS.  What's been the biggest highlight of the past few weeks?

T:  The highlight of the past few weeks has definitely been The Kooks tour as it was the first touring we've ever done as a full band.  We learnt a lot and have tightened up live.  The crowds were amazing as well and we were made so welcome by the audiences, and by The Kooks too.  Dot to Dot festival was brilliant as well recently.  Every show we played was packed so it was great to see we're starting to get some fans!

C:  I saw you posted on Facebook that all of the songs for your debut album have now been written.  How many songs did you end up writing?

T:  We've got about fifteen tracks for the album but we still need to decide which ones are going on.  We're really proud of this album, it's going to feature a lot of styles from stripped back folk acoustic songs and shoegaze to grungey atmospheric blues.

C:  Are they all recorded already?

T:  We've got a few of the tracks recorded but most of it is being done over the summer.  Can't wait!  It's so exciting to think we'll have an album.

C:  What have you got lined up for the next few months?   Are you playing many festival dates over the summer?

T:  We're playing a festival in the South of France called This is Not a Love Song Festival.  Brian Jonestown Massacre are playing so we can't wait to see them play.  We're also playing Boardmasters Festival and Sea Sessions Surf and Music Festival in Donegal, Ireland.  But this summer's mostly going to be spent working on our album.

C:  What has been your favourite album of 2014 so far?

T:  Has to be Beck's Morning Phase!


For more information about Southern, including details of upcoming festival appearances, check out their Facebook page -

Also, click here to check out the video for the lead track from the band's recent EP, Where the Wild Are.