Following on from the huge success behind their debut single 'Echoes' earlier this year, fast-rising London-based outfit Coral Palms have now returned with their blistering sophomore effort 'Open Roads'.
Channelling a fresh and vibrant indie-rock aesthetic throughout, 'Open Roads' sees the group return in stellar form. Filled with euphoric hooks, killer pace, and some brilliantly catchy moments, it feels like we are seeing the beginning of the UK's next big thing!
So with the new single available now, we sat down with them to find out more about their background and what has inspired them over the years.
What was the first instrument you fell in love with?
Will: With me, it was always guitar. I remember wanting to play one since I was about 3 - I had a kids toy one and there was just always something about the instrument that enticed me.
Callum: The first instrument I got was an old cheap nylon classical guitar and from then I was hooked on playing the guitar. My transition to bass came from playing in bands where no one else knew how to play, picked it up, gave it a go and the rest is history.
Ollie: It might come as a surprise, but for me it was the guitar. From a young age I was introduced to bands like T-Rex & Status Quo, and there I fell in love with the instrument and the concept of a rock star. However playing the instrument never really grabbed my attention, it wasn’t until I was introduced to Iron Maiden that I was eager to play drums.
Ad: I started playing piano at around 11 years old. Started doing grades and exams and stopped when I was 15 as I didn’t really like the exam side of things. I picked up the piano again and started self teaching at around 15.
What kind of music did you love when you were younger?
Will: I’m a child of Singer-Songwriter ballads first and foremost and then Indie Rock. As a kid, we would listen to a lot of James Blunt and Lily Allen on family car journeys - proper noughties pop. I then matured into the likes of Arctic Monkeys and other indie rock bands like The 1975 for most of my teens. I have very eclectic tastes; I could listen to Drake one minute and then Animals as Leaders the next but I suppose that’s because I’m a musician now-there’s no denying back then I was very much a child of acoustic pop and Indie Rock.
Callum: It was all about what my dad and stepdad were listening too, lots of Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles you know the classics. But used to love the noughties indie rock scene The Killers, Kings of Leon and Editors were early loves of my own.
Ollie: My parents really started me off with bands like Status Quo, T-Rex, ABBA, the Bee Gees, Queen; but I also had my secret affection for modern pop, particularly with bands like Busted. It wasn’t until my Uncle David introduced me to the wider world of music, that I really started to get invested. Bands like Iron Maiden, Metallica, Marillion, Genesis, The Police, Linkin Park, Arctic Monkeys, The Black Keys and Paramore.
Ad: I love listening to James Brown and Bob Marley as that’s what my dad put on in the car. He also had a love for bb king which always pushed me to play the guitar.
What was the first album you remember owning?
Will: I think it was McFly’s third album ‘ Motion in the Ocean’. I think I co-owned it with my sister. I've still got it in the album sleeve are tickets from when our parents took us to see them live in Milton Keynes-2007 haha!
Callum: Still the best album to this day, ‘Hot Fuss’ which was the Killers debut. One of the all time greatest for so many reasons.
Ollie: The first album I ever bought was ‘Minutes To Midnight’ by Linkin Park. I was (and am) a huge nerd, and as a kid, the main track from the Transformers movie was ‘What I’ve Done’. As soon as I heard that I went straight to the record store with my dad and ordered the album. Had to wait 2 weeks for it and man, did I play that thing to death!
Ad: Crazily enough I didn’t really ever buy albums. I listen to music through mp3s and YouTube. The first album I bought was a record by Leon Bridges in 2015 that I still like to play on my record player.
What is the one song you wished you could have written yourself?
Will: There’s a tune by a band called ‘ The Night Cafe’ called ‘ You Change With The Seasons’. It’s very much a me song and I wish as a band we’d come up with some of the instrumentals and make them ever more catchy hahaha! There’s too many songs, too many perfect songs out there but for sentimental value I’ll say ‘Slow Dancing in a Burning Room’ by John Mayer.
Callum: There’s too many to wish about, but it’s got to be something Pink Floyd. The music those guys were writing at the time was out of this world, probably ‘Have A Cigar’ or something.
Ollie: I’d have to say either ‘Letters To Hermione’ by David Bowie, or ‘Message In A Bottle’ by The Police. I love the themes and deeper meaning behind the songs, both shedding light on loneliness through the veil of narrative.
Ad: I don’t really have any feelings like this for any music as, in my eyes, art is solely the product of the individual experience.
Do you have any habits or rituals you go through when trying to write new music?
Will: It’s not really something I conscientiously have thought about but I think now music is out there. It's important for us as a band to make the time to write more stuff. I think we have a lot in the works from the last 2 years of being a band but soon we will have to take some time out maybe a remote writing trip and get back to basics with creative.
Callum: No not at all, I’m not a huge songwriter per se. Any songwriting I’ve ever done has been instantaneous and on the spot ideas, all very rushed but normally something half decent comes from it.
Ollie: Not particularly. I probably should, but I tend to write when my mind is in a specific place. It’s almost like a switch in my mind, saying ‘you need to write now so do whatever you can to get it off your chest’. I suppose the habit I do have is making hard drives worth of voice notes! Lyrics, melodies, themes and ideas, all sat just waiting for that switch to flick!
Ad: Routines are so important to me. Always waking up at the same time, separating creative space from relaxing space. Making sure my mind is clear from distractions through mediation and avoiding unhealthy habits. Self love!
Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?
Will: At the moment, Harry Styles has some absolute class tunes and he’s done a complete 180 from boy band pop so I find listening to his latest album really interesting. There’s another indie band that’s really caught my attention just because of how whacky their music is and the political message- they are called ‘ Home Counties’. Very similar style to a band called Sports Team who I’m finding oddly addictive at the moment as well.
Callum: Arlo Parks is someone I just can’t take my ears away from, her debut is seamless and so beautiful I can’t get enough. Another one of my favourites Ben Howard just dropped a new record which is as brilliant as ever, his musicianship never ceases to amaze me. Oh, and The Marias EVERYONE needs to be listening to them.
Ollie: Ah there’s so many! I’ve thrown myself down a number of album rabbit holes recently, some of which include the Pixies, James Brown, Dope Lemon and Anderson .Paak. Also late to the party I know, But I recently discovered Oliver Tree, and I gotta say I love his vibe and style, super original!
Ad: An artist called ‘still woozy’ who makes chill pop. Very relaxing and groovy.
If you could open a show for anyone in the world, who would it be?
Will: Ahh where to start, gosh! I think we’d love to be supporting bands who are just a few tiers above where we are right now. Influences like Corella or Bloxx, Vistas all the indie boys are really killing it right now would be awesome! If we had to pick one crazy influence we all love that may have to be SG Lewis but we’re a far cry from dark electronica so perhaps not ideal in practice! Although being on the same festival bill one day would be a dream!
Callum: Probably the toughest question you could ask someone, as a band we have so many influences so anyone like Foals, Two Door and Bombay Bicycle Club (to name a few) would be insane. In an absolute ideal world imagine sharing the stage with Stevie Nicks so probably Fleetwood Mac.
Ollie: Foals are my favourite band so that would be a personal goal for sure! But other than that, I’d have to say the Police (assuming they miraculously come back together for one last tour!)
Ad: Whatever band wants us. We can kick off a show with a bang. We bring hype wherever we go.
What do you find is the most rewarding part about being a musician?
Will: Being able to create and do what we love for a living or at least being on a path to doing so is incredible. Having industry press and gatekeepers review and like our music has been huge as well. Most importantly though, building a fanbase and hearing that people we don’t know are listening and liking our music. For any musician or artist, that is a priceless feeling.
Callum: Doing what you love for a living is everyone’s dream so it’s a privilege to be able to do that even if we have to do side grafts to make it happen. But nothing is more rewarding than seeing people enjoy what you’ve created and connecting to it.
Ollie: Apart from the obvious tangible adrenaline rush you get from playing a great show to a great crowd, I feel it’s the personal stories you’re told, about how your music impacted someone’s life. Someone at work told me their younger brother was blasting our music round the house and had discovered it on their own. They had just started to learn guitar as well, so in some way, inspiring people is the most rewarding part.
Ad: As a producer I work for artists on their craft and the most rewarding thing is when the people I work for tell me they’re truly happy with the music I create for them.
And what is the most frustrating part?
Will: It can be hard to follow any creative pursuit and sometimes motivation to keep going when it seems like you’ve hit a brick wall is commonplace; however, we all have each other and we all pull together to make sure we’re all feeling our best. It’s part of the climb and the pitfalls of our industry but as with everything- you have to experience the lows to truly climb to the top and be the top of your game.
Callum: It’s a tough one really, for me growing up my idea of what it would be like to be in a band was a lot different to reality, it’s more fun than I ever would have thought. But you never realise how heavy the work and business side of it is, although it’s great to be doing all that can definitely get frustrating.
Ollie: As a drummer, and someone that has to travel over 200 miles to get to rehearsal; carrying around my gear pisses me right off!
Ad: The most frustrating part is getting out of your own way. The doubts, the fears. I try my best to let go of that and go head first into the unknown.
And what is the best piece of advice you have received as a musician?
Will: Know your worth. Allow yourself to be upset about things before moving on. Keep learning, Keep Appreciating. Amen.
Callum: Have a think, sometimes you can find yourself lucky enough to be able to rush things and it still be as good as you want. For me, if the pandemic has taught me anything is that it’s okay to stop and re-evaluate and make sure everything is in its right place.
Ollie: It might sound cliché, but to be honest with yourself and true to who you are. There are many other important lessons and advice that have been passed down, but for me if I can’t be honest with myself, then everything I write, play and record is obsolete.
Ad: Don’t let your mouth write a cheque that your body can’t cash - from a song by Quincy Jones called ‘The dude’.
Coral Palms' new single 'Open Roads' is available to stream now. Check out the new video for it in the player below.