Welcome to our first “Exposure” feature for Gig Addict. Exposure will be a weekly feature sharing the music and stories of the best up and coming musically talent out there. We kick things off with the some folky goodness from Bristol four-piece, Circe‘s Diner. Offering up dreamy vocal harmonies with tales of love, loss and friendship
With an impressive back catalogue of original material and performances in some of Bristol’s best venues including The Fleece, The Folk House and The Thekla, Circe’s Diner have just released there EP entitled ‘October‘.
The band have a nostalgic folk-pop charm that shines through on their EP. The seven tracks are entirely self-written and self-funded through the bands relentless gigging and innovative kick-starter campaign. Wearing their hearts on their sleeves for every second of ‘October’, Circe’s Diner give voice to their own world of stories and will continue doing so with their uniquely honest songwriting, infectious melodies and dreamy harmonies for a long time to come
Circe’s Diner Members: Rosina Buck – Vocals/Guitar
Bronte Shande – Vocals & Shakey Eggs
Ben Tunnicliffe – Double/Electric Bass
Pete Catada – Drums & Twinkly Things
We talked to the band about their influences, kick-starter campaigns, women in the music industry and their future plans:-
What inspires the band when making music?
Rosina: my experiences, my relationships, friendships, the sea, and the outdoors, the feeling that I get inside my chest at a certain time. I live in a fantasy a lot of the time so I guess I am also inspired by my daydreams! We are all country bumpkins at heart and I think that comes across in our music; it’s quite earthy!!
Bronte: I tend to write more from an outsider’s perspective; I apply a lot of my songwriting upon other’s experiences then blend an element of what I’m feeling. I’m a big daydreamer too and always have vivid dreams; I think they can reveal certain feelings inside – which I tend to write about too.
Do you feel your mood at the time can influence the songwriting?
Rosina: Absolutely, you can tell if I’m in a happy place or a sad place when I write. Writing songs is like therapy, it’s the only way I can clear my head and express what I’m feeling. I find it much easier than actually talking about things. Everything I write is directly influenced by my personal experiences, mainly about my experiences of being in love and being heartbroken! I’m an absolute car crash when it comes to relationships!! This is why I will always continue to write. There is always a bittersweet element within the songs and I think becomes apparent when people have listened to the lyrics a few times. ‘Let’s Go Sailing’ was written for my brother who suffers from MS, when you first hear it it sounds like an uplifting song about the sea but it is actually about imagining him not being with me anymore and that there is nothing I can do to make him better, we must always hold onto the memories we share and remember that place where everything is that little bit easier…sailing out at sea!!
Bronte: Definitely, both Rosie and I are open books and it’s pretty clear to see what we’re feeling. It’s taken me a long time to reveal my personal feelings through songwriting but it has always been implemented in the way I sing. Songs can change meanings so easily and can be applied to how you’re feeling on a specific day. Your emotions affect your voice also, even if you don’t want them too!
How was your experience with your Kickstarter campaign? Would you recommend more bands use crowd funding / kickstarter campaigns to fund albums and studio time?
Bronte: The kickstarter was a great thing for an unsigned DIY band like us. It was so wonderful to see how much support we had and how many people wanted to hear our music, which gave us confidence. It was also really lovely to have a group of people backing us and coming along for the journey!
I’ve noticed the band have added the EP to Spotify. There is a lot of discussion in the industry about whether streaming services do more harm than good. Do you feel they benefit new / up and coming bands?
Rosina: Yes this was a tricky decision and we did discuss it at length. As an unsigned DIY band we felt that our priority at this time was to reach as many people as possible. We want people to hear the music and then (in true Circe’s positive thinking form) we hope that they will then purchase it, tell friends, put it on a playlist and most importantly come and see us live!!! We just want to build up as big a fan base as possible!
Emily Eavis (Glastonbury Festival co-organiser) recently reignited the debate on women and the festival / music industry. How acts and bands with female leads seem to get over looked by the industry, and are missing from festival line ups. As a band how do you feel about it? Do you think Emily has a point?
Rosina: I do agree! We study at a music university and it’s even apparent there, I think men are taken more seriously. Sometimes it seems that male fronted bands are given more of a leg up, whether this is because the men (and it is mostly men) giving the leg up find it uncomfortable working with strong minded women or because they just don’t connect with our music?! Saying that we have some amazing male fans who are incredibly supportive! I also think the industry can be massively ageist, I’m 32 and I’m pretty sure that if I was 22 my songwriting would be treated a lot differently.
Bronte: Things are changing though! There are some great new organisations that are giving women in music more support and backing. In Bristol there is a group of female musicians/artists called The World is Listening who are doing great things for us gals! Our EP was produced by Annie Gardiner, (of The Hysterical Injury) and our artwork was by Ursula Freeman so we are all about the ladies!! It’s great that we have all come together and we will are incredibly determined to make our mark on the industry!
Having just finished your tour, how have you found it, has it felt different to tours pre EP? Looking forward to the summer, any more tour plans or festival appearances in the pipeline?
Rosina: It’s been the best experience ever, better than I could have ever imagined!! We have belly laughed every single day and its been so much fun! We just want to go and do it all again right now!!! It’s definitely addictive, and I feel incredibly blessed to be in a band with such an amazing bunch of humans! They really are the funniest, kindest, silliest, most wonderful people. We had such an adventure and visited some incredible places, met amazing people and played our hearts out! The response to us and our music was overwhelming, we are incredibly proud of what we have achieved!
Bronte: Completely agree with Rosie – Couldn’t have said it better myself! It’s been an incredible experience – a pleasure to meet so many wonderful people and musicians also from many new places. Seeing people’s reactions to our songs for the first time was really refreshing and receiving so many lovely comments – We’ve been spreading lots of Diner love!
Rosina: We are always busy bee’s and always have many plans! Recording the next album is definitely something on the to do list! We have so many new songs that we’re so excited to showcase – being on tour has given us a lot to write about.
Bronte: We’d like to do a summer Seaside Tour as we didn’t venture to Devon and Cornwall on this tour, hit as many festivals as possible (we have sent lots of applications out so fingers and toes crossed), record our first music video, do loads more gigs everywhere and we want to do a tour around Australia, we think they would love us over there!!
Where can you find Circe’s Diner?