The highly talented musical minds of Femi Fadero and Mark Jones have been making music under a number of guises over the years, but now they have finally cemented their sound, culminating in the creation of their latest project, Gulf, and the new single ‘Talk’, taken from their upcoming EP, Polyphony.
Gulf are no strangers to the scene though and their music has undoubtedly been causing waves, earning them exposure with Amazing Radio, XFM, BBC Radio Merseyside, NME, Clash magazine and even Huw Stephens’ show on Radio 1. Not only this, but The Guardian praised their song writing abilities, awarding them the accolade of ‘New band of the week’ and humorously defining ‘Gulf’ as ‘the space between all other rising guitar bands and Gulf’ (Paul Lester).
The Liverpudlian production duo have been playing together for six years now and whilst their musical monikers may have changed, their approach to writing has never wavered. Mark and Femi are constantly aiming to push boundaries with their music, whilst pushing themselves at the same time in order to write material not just for others, but themselves too. As Gulf state: ‘We are two guys that operate as one when we create’.
With a funk-infused, dance pop sound that oozes an instant element of groove, Gulf embody a throwback aesthetic to the vibrant sounds of the 70s and 80s, which has often seen them compared to the likes of Tears For Fears and funk legends, Chic. However, the term funk implies a heavy bottom-end of bass, whilst the music of Gulf floats wistfully over streams of bright and light guitars and seas of trippy soundscapes, moving their style increasingly towards the dream-pop genre. ‘Indie-disco’ is another term that can suitably describe the band’s eclectic, yet niche sound and they create this swirling kaleidoscopic style with the simple set up of guitar and bass plugged straight in, a basic drum kit and a generous helping of synthesized keys.
Gulf told us that ‘After some success with a handful of released demos, we decided to take some time to really explore who we were as musicians. It was clear to us that we hadn’t reached our full potential, so we started writing songs without any thought to releasing them; just as exercises to see how far we could stretch the scope of what it is we were capable of. We set up our own studio and with each new song, ended up with a clearer idea of our sound and also how to produce it. With the album we’re currently working on, this EP is the link between who we were at the beginning of our journey and who we have evolved into.’
The band also discussed the concepts behind their new music stating that it is ‘themed around a desire to explore our own creative universe. The songs reference our influences, personal experiences and dreams, but taken out of context and thrown into new settings. It references many aspects in modern life and looks to the future to pose more questions about the limits of our souls.’
In the past, Gulf have also been drawn parallel with modern psychedelic pioneers, Tame Impala, and they have supported a host of big name indie acts including The Flaming Lips, Echo and The Bunnymen, TOPS and Dutch Uncles. When it comes to the production of their music, Gulf have stuck with the same engineer, Darren Jones, from day one, who has also worked with the likes of The Maccabees and Bill Ryder-Jones.