London has arguably the best music scene around, with thousands of talented musicians emerging every day, most of which are unsigned acts waiting for their big break.
Unsigned Friday brings you the very best unsigned music artists from around the capital, as well as giving these acts a platform to promote their music.
This week, getwestlondon 's Emily Chudy caught up with London-based five-piece band Curse of Lono.
The band formed in 2015 by Felix Bechtolsheimer, following the breakup of his band Hey Negrita. Curse of Lono are currently recording their debut album, as well as playing shows all around London.
Curse of Lono consists of Felix Bechtolsheimer (vocals), Neil Findlay (drums), Joe Hazell (guitar and vocals), Charis Anderson (bass and vocals), and Dani Ruiz (keyboards and vocals).
'All it takes is an hour for the furry head of a new song to appear'
Felix Bechtolsheimer said: "We call it cinematic, southern-gothic alt-rock, whatever that means. I guess we fall somewhere between The Doors and The Band with a touch of Wilco thrown in for good measure.
"It would be impossible to list all the artists that inspire us but here are a few that spring to mind: The Rolling Stones, Wilco, Tom Waits, Nick Cave, The Band, The Doors, Pixies, Hayes Carll, Johnny Cash, Little Feat, Creedence, Bon Iver, Leonard Cohen, Old Crow Medicine Show, The Felice Brothers, The Sex Pistols, The Pogues, Guy Clark, Steve Earle…"
He added: "A lot of my lyrics come from a morbid, deep-rooted fascination with addiction and alienation. I've had problems with alcohol and heroin in the past so there's plenty of baggage to work with.
"Other songs deal with more universally accessible issues like the death of friends and relationships gone sour.
"The inspiration for the music is a bit more innocent. I've got a nice little collection of guitars and all it takes is an hour with one of them for the furry head of a new song to appear. That's the easy part."
Bechtolsheimer's former band Hey Negrita broke up after releasing four albums, leading to the singer forming Curse of Lono in the summer of 2015.
Bechtolsheimer said: "I started making music when I was fourteen. I played in a bunch of bands before starting my old band Hey Negrita. We released four albums, played at every major festival and toured all over the world but then we ran out of steam. When the band split up, I took a little time out and before starting Curse Of Lono with my old drummer and partner-in-crime, Neil Findlay.
"We spent a few months looking for the right musicians and we finally came together as a full band in May last year when we added lead guitarist Joe Hazell, bassist Charis Anderson and keyboard player Dani Ruiz Hernandez to the line up."
The five-piece are currently recording their debut album, releasing singles and working on music videos. Five of the album tracks are available to sample on the band's Soundcloud page .
Bechtolsheimer said: "Having made four albums with Hey Negrita, it was important to me to start with a completely blank canvas. I wanted to make an album that stretched the Americana genre a bit further than I had dared to on previous records.
"The songs on the album span a fifteen-year period. The oldest tracks were written while I was living in a sober house in South Florida, coming off heroin and putting my life back together. Those songs have been kicking around for a long time but they never really worked alongside the material I recorded with my previous band.
"The youngest tracks are just over a year old and they deal with more accessible issues like relationship breakdowns and the challenges of facing the world after your band has broken up.
"I have been very lucky to record a lot of music that I am very proud of over the years but this album is without a doubt my favourite work so far. You can bury me with this record."
'We're looking to get out on tour'
The band have played gigs all over London, and are looking to tour around Europe and the US next year.
Bechtolsheimer said: "In the immediate future we're getting ready for the release of our debut single Five Miles and we're looking to get out on tour both here and in Europe after the summer. After that we're hoping to head out to the US early next year before starting work on our second album.
"We're taking our time with it and we're enjoying every second but in the long term we would love to get our music out to a bigger audience.
"We'd love to play at New Orleans Jazz Fest and at Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island but, in the mean time, we just want to make it big enough that we don’t have to pay for our drinks anymore. That would be really cool."
A reviewer for Folk and Honey said: "Starting slow and building, Curse of Lono have a Southern Country sound, mixed with an Alt-Rock overtone, culminating in an atmospheric sound with the ability to surge and fall with ease."
Upcoming gigs in London
Friday April 29: Cherry Cola Club at The Crowndale, 61-65 Crowndale Road, Camden Town NW1 3JB - 020 7383 4976
Thursday May 19: The Crowndale, 61-65 Crowndale Road, Camden Town NW1 3JB - 020 7383 4976
Tuesday June 7: The Islington, 1 Tolpuddle Street, Islington, N1 0XT - 020 7684 1577
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