On: Weedipus — Places to Go + a chat w/ Zach Duvall

Zach Duvall & Olivia Thawley, trying to see the forest for the weeds.

Zach Duvall, Olivia Thawley, Giannis Kipreos and Josh Hinds are Weedipus, a self-detailed dream pop project which as if intently springing from the current fever pitch in social tension, abject economic frustration and the looming threat of a second wave of viral misery - seeks to caress the listener and serve as an antidote to chaos rather than a supplement. Demo Tape is the forthcoming project the band expects to release around late August/early September, and on June 26, dropped the first single Places to Go.

Places to Go departs from Duvall’s earlier vocal and guitar contributions to Regional Creeps certainly with the introduction of a hazy, spectral female lead vocal, but an unmistakeable trace of his tone and palette can be heard amongst the jangly patchwork of the new single, particularly when placed alongside the slacker-pop of RC tracks like Friends Don’t Wanna Leave. Instead, the playful breeziness of the former has been doused with an element of mystery and melancholy.

The gruff and steady chords tread more of an ode to the airy codeine fuzz employed by a plethora of those turn of the 90s bands (think 4ADers like the Amps), turning in quite an infectious riff which sets the brooding tone. This operation fuses well with Olivia Thawley’s washy nu-gaze vocals - providing a familiar velveteen accompaniment to the midtempo brushstrokes comprising layers of cavernous guitars.

Throughout the central stretch of the duration, the band finds room to adjust and makes delicate alterations to the dynamic of the track, allowing Olivia’s vocals to breathe for a brief moment before a flurry of silky and spacious guitars reintroduce themselves and the track opens back up the engine department of Giannis Kipreos and Josh Hinds.

Hopefully on the coming EP, Weedipus intend to expand and play around with the palette explored on this first track, more expressive and moody guitar tones, driving riffs, the tight looseness of the rhythm section, and not least the massive, ghostly vocals wrapping everything up in a neat indie pandora’s box.

Listen on soundcloud here:

On the afternoon Places to Go was released, I spoke to Zach on behalf of Weedipus, here’s what he had to say about the new project, upcoming music from his other outfit Regional Creeps, and coronavirus:

Tom: I think to begin, I have to start right at square one which is asking you how you arrived at the name Weedipus, is it simply an amalgamation of weed and oedipus?

Zach: Close! Weedy is a nickname that Olivia’s mum used to call her as a child, because her hair was really wild and resembled weeds! But it is also a play on Oedipus!

Tom: Ah, okay — it says on Facebook you’re a 5 piece — I was just wondering how the band formed and who the other members are?

Zach: The band was formed between Olivia and I during lockdown. We live together so it felt inevitable that we would create something new and exciting! As for members, all we could do was send a few messages and calls (Covid-19 — 2m go outside, stay inside) the current group is: Olivia Thawley — vox, guitar, Zach Duvall — backing vox, guitar, Giannis Kipreos — bass, and Josh Hinds on drums. We have plans for the fifth member but now lockdown is easing and practice rooms are opening again we can look into it.

Weedipus’ second single is expected by around late July/early August

Tom: Actually that brings me to the next thing I wanted to talk about, I imagine it’s been pretty tedious trying to organise all this stuff during lockdown, how have you been coping with all the cancellations, etc? Also could you tell me a little bit more about Demo Tape, forthcoming as it is — was that finished before lockdown began?

Zach: It’s been really tough yes, obviously gigs haven’t been happening and even some radio stations have had time away so it’s sort of back to the good old fashioned way — word of mouth haha!

The demo tape is literally the first 4 tracks me and Olivia wrote together during lockdown. One of them being Places To Go that came out today. We recorded it all at home. Andrey Pavlovic from Allusinlove looked after us with the mixing as always. Most things we do we send to Drey as he’s really good at understanding whatever you’re after and then delivering.

Acid swirls and technicolour ether courtesy of Sam Horton

Tom: Do you see things getting back to normal fairly quickly after lockdown or do you think startup bands are going to struggle? I wasn’t aware that it was all recorded at home — where is home for you guys, is it Barnsley or elsewhere?

Zach: It’s hard to say, we certainly hope it can get back to normal ASAP. Saying that it’s hard to see it happening in 2020. So many bands rescheduling tours and gigs at the same time from top to bottom. It’ll be messy but we’ll get our foot in somewhere down the line. As long as we can get together and jam we’re happy — and we live in Barnsley yes.

Tom: Have you given a date for the EP yet? and if I may ask, what’s the situation with the second Regional Creeps LP?

Zach: We’re looking at late Aug/early Sep for the EP. Also, we’ll be following up with another single from the EP “Demo Tape” late July/early August and looking to release a live session in the near future.

With RC, we’re mixing it now, we’re still looking at a release date for that but it’s sounding great. Once again — Drey is a wizard with the mixes.

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