New Blood: Endorphin & Lyla

Photo by Hannah Owens.

There is a lot of new music around these days, so much so that it’s getting tiresome sifting through various myspace pages of ‘the next big thing’ only to be once more disappointed.  Let me introduce you to Endorphin & Lyla, a two piece hailing from London who really do have that certain something. The band is composed of Loz Keystone (guitar and vocals) and Ellie Quinn (cello) who I sat down with recently for a quick chat.

So how did you two first me and Endorphin & Lyla first start playing together?
Loz: I met with Ellie on gumtree a few months ago, and it was after then that we started to play together. I was already recording a solo record last year which was mainly just guitar and vocals. When it was nearly finished I decided to find a cellist to record some melodies over the top.

Ellie: I had just started at university and hated playing in the orchestra there. I decided to put up an advert and try something new. Loz got in contact and I liked his sound and that’s how it all began…

So how would you typically describe your music?
Loz: It’s difficult to sum up in a one word genre. It’s quite melancholic. The songs are written on acoustic guitar and the vocals and cello melodies twist and turn around each other. It’s too dirty and lo fi to be considered “singer songwriter” though. I hope so anyway. We’ve been called folk. But folk can mean anything.

Who would you say are your biggest influences?
Loz: I think CocoRosie are the musicians who made the biggest impact on me. My friend showed me them about 3 years ago and after that my musical interests became very different. Before CocoRosie I was really into dirty rock music. I mean, I’m still “into” that but I just don’t really listen to it anymore. My love for music is in a more soulful emotion at the moment; Devendra Banhart, Casiotone For The Painfully Alone, The National, Burial… Speakers Corner Quartet. Electronic beats feature a fair bit on our demo CD.

Ellie: The avant-garde cellist Zoe Keating is a massive inspiration to me. Her arrangements show the raw, mechanical aspects of the instrument which are often lost with popular sweeping romanticism. Loz also forgot to mention that in one point in his life he also wanted to be Buddy Holly!

So how did you guys get about to making the demo CD?
Loz: It’s the same recordings that I was working on when I found Ellie. But since we finnished it we’ve added more melodies to the songs, cello parts mainly – so the record doesn’t sound exactly as we do if you saw us at a show. But it has the same intention. I like it when bands sound different live to how they do on record.

Finally, do you have anything planned in the next for months?
Loz: Our main aim at the moment is to work on the live show. We recently played a set in Camden with two of our friends. One of my favourite songwriters, called Finn Ryder was singing with us and instead of the electronic beats from the record we had our friend Suren (Seneviratne) beatboxing. I’d quite like a bassist as well. And live rhythm.

Ellie: I want to start looping my cello. It’ll be like having my own cello orchestra!

You can listen to Endorphin & Lyla’s latest single ‘The Garden’ below, or visit their myspace for more info.