An Interview with Oxford four-piece Be Good

We haven’t been able to get enough of Be Good’s EP Everything’s Alright in the Evening since they released it back in January. The six track record features a perfect blend of indie and feel-good pop tunes. We caught up with the band to discuss their single Young Strangers and the creative process behind their lyrics. They also told us about their influences as well as how Be Good met and formed.

1)    Hi guys! Firstly, how are you doing during these crazy times?

Some days are better than others, but we’re generally doing okay thanks. We’re all doing our best to keep busy. I’ve been making music, reading books and taking a lot of photographs. 

2)    You released your new EP Everything’s Alright in the Evening last month, which I absolutely love by the way! Can you tell us a bit about your favourite tracks on the EP?

Thank you so much. My favourite at the moment is the final track, Pink Sky (Can I Tell You Something?). My twin sister gave birth last year. She lives in Taipei so I haven’t been able to meet the new baby yet because of travel restrictions. Pink Sky was written as a sort of time capsule for my newborn niece to find one day, telling her about the strange state of the world right now, hoping that things will be better sometime soon. The music video for the song came out last week. For that, we connected with a director called Roberto Jimenez in Washington DC who worked with his young daughter to convey that sense of loneliness and distance between families. Her performance is heartbreaking and beautiful.

 3)    I think your sound has really evolved and matured over the years that you have been releasing music. How do you think that you have achieved this?

It’s tricky. At the core, we have always tried to build a world with our music that is linked closely to our lives and the places we have grown up but through a warped pop lens. In that sense, the mission we have as a band remains true to when we first started releasing music however many years ago. Around that core, however, we have explored different songwriting styles and expanded the areas of music and ideas we draw from, so I think there is a richer and more colourful environment surrounding our music now.

4)    Would it be correct to say that the lyrics to your track Young Strangers appear to delve into some personal emotions and experiences? Can you tell us more about how you reflect real life and raw emotion in your lyrics so successfully?

Young Strangers is a song that explores the situation after a break-up where you both still care deeply about each other but both know that it’s best for you not to be together. I spent a lot of time with Charlie trying to get the nuance and ambivalence of the lyrics right. It can be scary to be raw and specific with lyrics, but it’s ultimately so much more rewarding as a writer and hopefully more interesting for the listener. People often say that the more specific the lyrics are, the more deeply people relate to them, and I think that’s very true.

5)    How did you guys meet and what led you to form a band?

Charlie and I met at an evening class where we were making ceramic. He helped me repair a broken teapot. We connected over music and started making music in my bedroom. James was in an amazing electronica instrumental band with two drummers which happened to be breaking up around that time, so we poached him. We met Patrick through a friend to complete the gang.

6)    Who are your influences and also, what new music are you listening to and can recommend at the moment?

Our influences are constantly changing, but some of the constants have been Paul Simon, Frank Ocean, Brian Eno, Sade and Burial. I was listening to Emmy the Great’s new album April / 月音 this morning in the garden, I’ll recommend that. 

7)    Do you miss playing live gigs? What plans do you have for when lockdown (eventually) eases and things like concerts can happen again?

Very much miss playing live gigs and going to see bands ourselves. It was sort of what most of our lives and social circles in Oxford were built around. But at least the end of the tunnel looks like it’s finally in sight. We’ve just announced a headline show at Colours in London, 21st October 2021. It’s going to be a big party and we’re planning some special treats, really looking forward to it! When lockdown eases, I’m looking forward to sitting in a park with the rest of the band and sharing a four-pack of polish beer.  

Keep Be Good on your radar by following their social media accounts:

Facebook – @begood

Twitter – @begoodisaband

Instagram – @begoodisaband

Published by orla_brady

I write things about music for The Music Files Blog and isthismusic? Always open to review new bands/artists wherever you're from and whatever you do. I also write articles for The Glasgow Guardian and The Indiependent and dabble in creative fiction writing.

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