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Lewis Del Mar interview: The sound of Rockaway Beach

Henry Lewis chatted to New York based duo Lewis Del Mar ahead of the release of their self-titled debut album.

Ben Smith

Last updated: 4th Oct 2016

Image: Lewis Del Mar

The first thing you need to know about Lewis Del Mar is that there are two of them. Hailing from Rockaway Beach, New York, they comprise of singer/guitarist Danny Miller and drummer Max Harwood who also produced their forthcoming record.

Their first single 'Loud(y)' (listen below) dropped last year and immediately ears pricked up at the sound of delicate acoustic guitars married with squelching bass lines and electronic percussion - including our Skiddle Sound of '17 playlist

After the track was featured in the number one spot on Hype Machine, it had labels in a spin for their signature and an soon EP followed at the start of 2016. Eventually Columbia secured their signature. 

Support dates for the likes of Foals and Glass Animals have followed since and the release of their debut album is set for Friday 7th October. If that wasn't enough, their track 'Painting (Masterpiece)' features on the FIFA 17 soundtrack, spreading their name to fans far and wide.

A short tour follows the release of their album and we caught up with the duo to talk more about the busy months ahead.

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Firstly, Where does the name come from?

Both of our fathers are named Lewis. My father's Nicaraguan, Max's parents live in Panama and we live down the street from the ocean and 'del mar' means of the sea in Spanish.

You released an E.P earlier this year and the album is coming out soon, did the momentum from writing the E.P continue into the album? 

The album explores a little more territory, it paints a fuller picture of the band and what we are capable of doing. That's why we're so excited for it to come out, because people can get a full spectrum of the kind of music we're making, and we'll be able to judge the project in a new light. 

A lot of the material that was written for the full album was written after we'd already begun to play live, at least a little bit, so I think that we tried to infuse the album with some of the live energy and some of the dynamics we've created as we've brought some of our music to the stage.

There's some interesting sounds on the album, what influenced it?

We're more influenced by things that are outside of music - artists, visual artists and authors for example. Max and I both studied literature and really love to read. We also try and draw a lot of inspiration from our surroundings. We live in Rockaway Beach in New York which is a beach setting up against where the city frays and begins to decay a bit and we think of our music as that mix of industrial and natural elements.

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What have you experiences been like when you've played in England?

We had a wonderful show, I think it was in Manchester at Dot to Dot. All the Dot to Dot shows were really fun actually and so was the Great Escape. We really like the UK actually, we've had some of our best shows and the audience is just really receptive to us playing new material. It's great. 

Is there a notable difference between US and UK crowds

I don't think anything too drastic, and I also don't think that we've played enough at either place to really make an overall assessment. I definitely always imaged that it would be more subdued here but I was totally wrong about that. We played one of the craziest shows we've ever played last time.

What made you think UK crowds were more tame?

I think that when we were younger we saw a show in Amsterdam. We saw a couple of shows in Europe, that weren't in the UK when we were younger kids and they don't dance or do anything. The crowd was very, very tame. They were definitely into it, but the crowd just waited for the band to finish the song and then clapped.

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Are your shows pretty high tempo?

We try and shape every show to the room that we're playing in and to the audience that evening. I'd say for the most part they're pretty high energy and the songs really come to life in a live setting.

Some of the stuff we're playing is off the new album so obviously nobody has ever heard it. It's really interesting to see the variety of reactions to material people aren't familiar with at all. Quite frankly it's been really cool to see people get so excited about songs they haven't heard before which bodes well.

You have your own shows towards the end of the year, how rewarding will that be?

It'll be fun to come back and do a headline show where we can showcase the new album and hopefully people will have had a chance to digest it a little bit. It's always a special moment when you get to see a song live that you've already connected with in your personal life - hopefully that's what's going to happen.

Lewis Del Mar's self titled debut is released Friday 7th October via Columbia Records.

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