BANDMATES who are also housemates hope their latest slice of ‘dreamy pop’ is the launching pad for a music career.
Channel Cairo’s A Year – a radio-friendly track that clocks in at 3mins 15secs – will be available as a free download at the end of June and is expected to be the forerunner of an EP and eventually an album next year.
Contemplative lyrics meld with an immersive composition that, unusually, features complementary piano and guitar melodies.
Lead singer and pianist Josh Bowyer, 27, said: “It kind of wrote itself. I went through a bit of a tough time last year after I’d split from my girlfriend and it threw me a little bit.
“I was a full-time musician at that time and I became a recluse in my room and spent lots of time playing piano and ended up with this massive collection of songs I had put together.
“I wanted it to have an 80s expansive feel to it. Every song had got to be a kind of experience so the listener is left uplifted or is given a different kind of perspective.
“We want to have a spacious feel to it that focuses on the timbre of the individual instrumentation.
“It has a commercial element, though, with its chorus, which we weren’t sure whether to put in originally.”
They recorded the single in a Hackney studio but were not entirely happy with the finished version because to their ears it sounded a bit flat.
Luckily, legendary producer and mix engineer Dave Bascombe liked the song and decided to add his polished touch at a discounted rate.
“He transformed it,” admits law graduate Josh. “It’s got a really good vibe to it now.
“Reviews have been great. I’m still waiting for the first bad review. Hopefully we can hold that beast off as long as possible.”
One electro house remix of the track by Dutch dance duo Keljet caught the attention of DJs and ended up reaching 17th place in the global chart of music blog aggregator Hypemachine whereas the original was named The Daily Telepgraph’s download of the day and has been aired on BBC6 digital radio station.
The band are not gigging much at the moment and are holding down clerical, bar and waiting jobs in a bid to realise their ambition of being snapped up by a label, helped by the video they made to promote the single.
Josh said living together in Willesden Green fosters the right environment, both creatively and practically, to ensure their output and direction remains on track.
He said: “You can start off as a few guys who come together once a week and rehearse and have a few beers but success is a pipe dream until you start realising it.
“Everybody in the house is on the same page and we have a proper, solid band. We are listening to the same music, dressing the same.
“Lee is an excellent guitarist and comes up with his own guitar licks. We’re trying to find the blend of his guitar and my piano. The piano creates this awesome soundscape. I say it’s like being in the mind of somebody who is falling asleep in the back of a fast car.
“I took six months off to write last year and I ended up having about 35 songs and we want to pick the best 12 to put on an album.
“We want to do everything ourselves without going through a major label; we’d like to put out an EP after the second single and, depending on the success of that, we’ll drop an album.
“With the album there will be a few tracks that are quite uplifting and others that sit on a groove. They all feel good.”
Channel Cairo’s latest single follows their Elephant Room that came out last August and is in the same vein.
Josh said: “Dream pop has always been around, bubbling away, but someone like Lana Del Ray is shining a spotlight on the genre, and we really love it.”
He said fans of Arcade Fire will probably enjoy Channel Cairo – named in part because of the mysterious draw of the Egyptian capital – and flickers of Keane and The Foals can be heard.
“At the end of the day, we want to be out there making music, touring and making money. That’s the dream.
“We’ve got to the point where we don’t have any commitments any more. We’re making sure we are ready to smash it in 2013.”