Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Feature: Juneau (22/07/15)


Juneau are a band from Derby/Notts in England. The duo, Layla Remeikis (vocals) and Shauna Stapleton (guitar), have so far shared one self-recorded demo 'Spit It Out' - with more ready to record and share in the future. These girls are only at the start of what I'm hopeful will be a long, successful and rewarding musical journey! Here's a Q&A with them both, talking all things music...

General Questions:

1. How old were you when you started getting involved in music and how?
Shauna: I started playing guitar when I was 8, then I heard 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' and had to learn guitar. 
Layla: I was 7 years old - I started having piano lessons.

2. What is the most inspiring gig/concert/festival you've been to?
Shauna: The first gig I went to - The Veronicas, they made me want to be in a band. 
Layla: The most inspiring gig I've been to was at Splendour Festival in Nottingham a few years ago, where I saw the band Amber Run. They were so talented and yet so humbled to be playing there - I was so inspired by both their music and personality. 

3. Who have you been listening to lately?
Shauna: Chui Wan, they're an experimental band from Beijing, but they should like Can. 
Layla: I've been listening to everything from Pop Punk to French Indie music lately! At the moment, I love the Irish band 'Walking On Cars', who play quite relaxed, alternative rock, as well as an all-female band called The Beaches, who have been such an inspiration to me! 

3 Questions for Juneau:

1. Who influences you and inspires you in the musical world?
Shauna: Patti Smith and Kim Gordon in the way they combine art, music and poetry. 
Layla: For me, the most inspirational musicians write poetry as lyrics - when writing for Juneau, I find musicians such as Patti Smith and Alanis Morissette to be the greatest inspirations. 

2. What would be your dream festival to play at and why?
Shauna: Glastonbury, only so I can say "I've played Glastonbury". 
Layla: We've played some brilliant local festivals, but I'd love to play a festival like Latitude in Suffolk - it seems like such an amazing atmosphere then. 

3. What process did you go through writing 'Spit It Out'?
Shauna: I wish I could say something more interesting than "I came up with some chords that sounded nice together". 
Layla: It started off as a collection of lyrics I'd written in the style of music from artists such as Hozier; relatively simplistic and quite conventional. I didn't have the intention of finishing the lyrics, to be honest! But then, I had the inspiration from bands such as HAIM to write a chorus, and Spit It Out was born! I guess the song is like a stream of consciousness, representative of how things never seem to work out, yet we still want what we can't have. 

Random Q:

Three things you couldn't live without? 
Shauna: My vinyl, my guitar and garibaldis
Layla: Couldn't live without my iPod, my guitar for songwriting, and Twitter! 

'Spit It Out' Review:
'Spit It Out' reminds me of Kate McGill's lullaby-esque songs with sharp snippets reminiscent of Courtney Barnett. It's nice to hear bands keeping it simplistic, as it shows the real talent they hold, musically, lyrically and vocally, Juneau are definitely not lacking raw talent. The chords do sound great together and the lyrics build imagery and a story. If this demo is anything to go by, I'm excited for the future of Juneau and you should be too! 


Juneau's Links:

Check It Out!

1. Show Me Love - Sam Feldt ft. Kimberly Anne
Talented Dutchman, Sam Feldt and English singer/songwriter Kimberly Anne, have re-made the 90's hit 'Show Me Love'. Originally by American recording artist Robin S., the track was her biggest hit to date. However, Sam Feldt's musical magic and Kimberly Anne's vocals have stepped it up and their version of the song is currently at #4 in the UK Singles Chart - and I wouldn't be surprised if it gets higher! 


2. Tiny Crumb - Mammal Hands
Mammal Hands are a trio of fantastic musicians, Jesse Barrett (drums and percussion) met brothers Nick Smart (piano) and Jordan Smart (saxophone) in 2012 while busking in Norwich. They've gone on to wow audiences from the Norwich Arts Club to Mostly Jazz Birmingham, King's Palace London, Band On The Wall Manchester and most recently Montreal Jazz Festival 2015. This is 'Tiny Crumb' from their album 'Animalia', on the BBC Introducing stage at Montreal Jazz Festival, sit back and enjoy!


3. Back To Black - Amy Winehouse
Written and recorded by the wonderfully talented, Amy Winehouse, 'Love Is A Losing Game' was the fifth single from her album 'Back To Black' and was the final single released in her lifetime. Although it wasn't the most successful in the charts, it did win an Ivor Novello for 'Best Song Musically and Lyrically'. As I went to see the film, 'Amy', recently and tomorrow is the anniversary of her death, I felt it only right to include one of my favourite artists as the classic this week. 


Thanks for reading!

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