Following on from the release of their breakthrough debut single 'Eye Rhyme' near the end of last year, London-via-Utrecht trio Render Ghosts have now returned to deliver their uplifting follow-up 'Keeping My Number'.
Channelling the same bright and shimmering aesthetic as acts like Metronomy, 'Keeping My Number' makes for a wonderfully sun-kissed listen. With its light and airy atmosphere, bouncing textures, and vibrant hooks layered throughout, this is one we simply can't get enough of right now.
So with the new single available now, we sat down with Iain and Tom from the group to find out more about their origins and what has inspired them most lately.
What was the first instrument you fell in love with?
Iain: Hmm, it’s a toss-up between my radio/cassette player that I could record onto, or the piano. I’m going with the radio/cassette.
Tom: Guitar. Apparently I saw one at a school concert when I was 4 and said “that’s the instrument I’m going to play”. It took me about a decade, but I got there…
What kind of music did you love when you were younger?
Iain: Pop music of all stripes that had strong melodies, including artists whose cred hasn’t yet been re-evaluated, like Erasure, Jellybean, Belinda Carlisle and Level 42, and others who have been, like Paul Hardcastle, Pet Shop Boys. The one that stayed with me the most is probably the album Laughing Stock by Talk Talk.
Tom: My first love was sixties pop, which morphed into a Britpop phase, some of which I’m still incredibly fond of, especially Blur and Catatonia. I was also really into Talking Heads, Nirvana and PJ Harvey. No real common denominator, but I guess I’ve always been attracted to artists who balance strong songcraft with really unexpected/illogical ideas and somehow make it seem like the most natural thing in the world.
What was the first album you remember owning?
Iain: It was probably a Now That’s What I Call Music compilation, but I’m going to claim ownership instead of my sister’s Beatles cassette of Magical Mystery Tour.
Tom: I genuinely can’t remember! But I remember my first single - “Whine and Grine” by Prince Buster.
What is the one song you wished you could have written yourself?
Iain: This would be a different song if you asked me again in 5 minutes time, but for right now I’ll go for Mexico City by Jolie Holland.
Tom: Yeah it’s hard! Too many to choose from. But maybe “Wichita Lineman” by Jimmy Webb, which contains several of the most exquisite chord changes in pop music history, all in one song. Incredible.
Do you have any habits or rituals you go through when trying to write new music?
Iain: I like to hit record before I’ve even heard the sound I’ve selected, as those first few notes are usually wild, and not how how I would play after I’ve started.
Tom: I like to listen to something I’ve not heard before while setting up my gear, then try and imitate the style of what I’ve just heard. It always somehow gets filtered through my musical personality and ends up sounding completely different, so I never worry about ripping someone off!
Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?
Iain: Recently I’ve been listening to the treasure trove that is the Andrew Weatherall mix archive (c/o The Flightpath Estate), also Orlando Weeks, Wild Beasts, Natasha Barrett, Mark Vernon and Cholly.
Tom: My favourite release of 2022 so far has been “Blink Blink” by Ben See, which is just beautiful. I’ve also been really enjoying the first few singles from an artist called Folly Tree. I know very little about her, but each single has really impressed me, so I’m super excited that she’s building up to a full-length album. Finally, I’d like to highlight Kit Sebastian’s “Melodi” which was my favourite album of 2021, and which I’m still listening to and discovering new layers in.
If you could open a show for anyone in the world, who would it be?
Iain: Easy. Julia Holter.
Tom: Anna Meredith. Her live shows are just so exuberant and joyful, and I feel like an audience who wanted that kind of experience would be a lot of fun to play for.
What do you find is the most rewarding part about being a musician?
Iain: Hearing your music go into three dimensions when it’s first performed/played/sung.
Tom: The bit in songwriting where a song suddenly reveals to you what it wants to be, and you feel like you’re being led rather than leading.
And what is the most frustrating part?
Iain: The fact there are other things you need to do, other than writing music.
Tom: The need to self-promote, which doesn’t necessarily sit well with the reasons you choose to make music in the first place.
And what is the best piece of advice you have received as a musician?
Iain: Allow your music to reflect your unique self – you’re the only one of you out there.
Tom: Write lyrics, not prose.
Render Ghosts' new single 'Keeping My Number' is available to stream now. Check it out in the player below.