By Michael Cameron.
The latest installment from Weekend Debt, ‘Why Don’t you Realise’ (WDYR) has had an excellent release in the run up to Valentine’s day, which it turns out was deliberate, after some excellent content on the band’s socials. The main thrust of this piece however, is the story of collaboration and creative progress behind the record, and the beginnings of a clear trajectory for the boys taking shape.
‘WDYR’ is the third track that the band have worked on with producer Jamie Holmes (Recently signed to Manana Music Management), a relationship which has helped bring about the newfound definition and purpose that the band have found in their sound. I caught up with drummer Harvey on the phone, who told me that he fondly remembers Jamie on their first sessions turning round from the desk on the track ‘Legato’ (2020) and announcing that the track was indeed decent, and how the ubiquitous Gianluca Bernacchi (The Vegan Leather, and other various projects) had dropped in for a listen, ideas were apparently floating about the room in a freeform manner that could only bolster the strength of the music.
Harvey explained that the next two releases, ‘Pomposity’ and ‘WDYR’ were the natural progression from the foundations set with ‘Legato,’ yet there is still a healthy diversity about the sound of all three songs.
Weekend Debt’s frontman and lyricist Grant has echoed this himself in the band’s press release for ‘WDYR’:
“The song was written and recorded at the same time as Pomposity yet feels a different entity. It offered a lot of space to explore new ideas and ways of writing as a band, which has been absolutely beneficial in improving on all our abilities. The song was written during lockdown about the frustration and jealousy that comes with still ‘fancying’ someone, and seeing them with someone you don’t feel deserves them. We are exploring new ideas (probably due to all of the free time on our hands) and trying to explore new emotions in their lyrics.”
In reference to this sense of envy and furtive anger, lyrics I picked up on include, “He’s just a haircut and fancy shoes,” and “I used to think our love would last forever,” which I enjoyed, mostly because these kind of trivial lockdown dramas have become far closer to home for many of us, struggling at times to keep things in perspective.
Speaking of lyrics and the meaning behind the song, Harvey mentioned to me that Grant could at times be very set on structural elements of the track in rehearsals, vetoing the omission of any sections, such as alternate verses and alternate choruses. Also critical to Grant, the concept of changing any lyrics was out of the question, as they were equally essential to the narrative behind the song, as he has discussed above. The writing process for Weekend Debt sounds to be a healthy and collaborative one, as I was informed: Grant would arrive at practice with a full song structure and lyrics that he would perform on acoustic, from there the rest of the boys, Calvin, Russell, and Harvey would form an open court over how the song should grow into what would become a new option for the setlist.
On ‘WDYR’ specifically, there are multiple changes and transitions, which is slightly more unusual in the indie genre, but this represents well the strong sense of individuality that the band are striking out for. Harvey made a point on our call of asserting that the band wanted a refined and layered build up to a powerful big ending, which can certainly be heard on the record. The song is longer than most of its ilk in the indie scene, coming in at 4:21. This again demonstrates the resolve to honour a narrative, whilst creating a fun and compelling track that will certainly be well received by audiences once venues finally reopen and the pints are flowing.
In summary, it’s refreshing to see a band like Weekend Debt taking on quite a saturated genre of music, adapting their style as they go and improving their sound, but still retaining their own sense of identity.
Listen to ‘Why Don’t you Realise’
Keep up with Weekend Debt here.