FLAWES ‘HIGHLIGHTS’ RELEASE + INTERVIEW
Jul 24, 2020
Far from falling quiet during the global lockdown, the British trio FLAWES spent the last three months gaining new fans around the world. The band launched their own immensely popular Isolation Sessions series on YouTube, as well as performing livestream sessions for the likes of Red Bull Records’ inaugural Virtual Festival, Levi’s 501 Sessions and COVAID Africa Live.
The three bonus tracks “Number One,” “I’m Letting Go,” and “Turn Back Around” mark the closing of an exciting chapter for the band, who have been releasing music from Highlights over the course of 18 months. These three tracks are a primer for the reveal of brand new music, which is set to come later in the year. The band will also take part in Record Store Day 2020 with some exclusive vinyl releases – more details to be announced.
“There were so many songs we still loved from the ‘Highlights’ album writing period that didn’t quite fit on the album so the three of us decided to each choose one song to form the ‘Highlights Bonus Tracks’,” says Flawes.
London-based Flawes famously received support from BBC Radio 1 even before they’d performed live. After the two years touring that followed (including shows with Ella Eyre, Maximo Park, Francis and the Lights, Chloe Howl and Safia), JC, Huss, and Freddie took a step back, re-calibrated, and crafted the sound that would go on to define them.
Their debut album Highlights is the musical embodiment of this; the band’s sonic evolution over the years. The result is a collection of the very best of their bolder, sleeker, and uplifting sound, tailor-made for both dance floors and festival fields.
1. For starters, tell us how you came up with the band name, ‘Flawes.’
FLAWES: It comes from the idea of embracing your imperfections. We want to spread the idea that your flaws are what make you who you are!
2. What makes your debut album Highlights so special to you all?
FLAWES: We have so many fond memories from writing this album and we’ve been lucky enough to travel to some amazing places in the process. It’s been such a learning curve for us as a band, and we feel like we’ve really found the sound we spent so long looking for. We ended up having a huge batch of songs that could have been on the album, but the ones that made the cut were the ‘highlights’ for us!
3. You each chose one song that wasn’t released with Highlights to include in the bonus project. What was the reasoning behind these tracks?
JC: For me, “Number One” was my obvious choice. It’s ultimately a breakup song, a look back at a failed relationship and reminiscing ‘what could have been.’ It takes a different structural approach to normal which I love, it’s almost like two songs glued together. It’s going to be a fun one to play live.
FREDDIE: “I’m Letting Go” was one of the first songs submitted for Highlights, and for me, it marks the turning point for our sound. Before we wrote this one, the majority of our music was much more relaxed and down tempo. In hindsight it still feels like quite a slow song, but I remember how different it felt at the time!
HUSS: Listening to “Turn Back Around” takes me right back to the first studio we started writing and producing music in… a basement in Notting Hill. That time is filled with lots of late nights and good memories. It’s a nice reminder of how far we’ve come since then. I also picked this song because my mum loves it.
4. Can you compare and contrast touring in the US versus touring in the UK.
FLAWES: We’ve still never actually toured the US. We were down to play at this year’s SXSW Festival and also MusicExpo, but due to coronavirus they were sadly cancelled. We can’t wait to play out there one day though as soon as it is safe to do so! We have however been super fortunate to write a lot of our first album in Los Angeles and we also shot a music video in Philadelphia for our song “Ghost Town” which was such a cool experience.
5. Which music venue do you dream of performing at one day?
JC: This is definitely something we talk about regularly, especially now during lockdown when there are no gigs going on at all. For me I’d love to return home to Huddersfield to do a huge show at the John Smith’s Stadium. I know for Freddie being from London to play at Wembley or even Twickenham Stadium would be his dream. To play those two shows back to back would be so dreamy.
6. “When We Were Young,” “Here To Stay,” “Don’t Count Me Out,” and “Look No Further” are four songs initially from your debut album, now featured on your stripped EP Lowlights. What made you choose these particular songs?
FLAWES: The original versions of these songs are really big produced up songs, so we wanted to take them back to where they started – with keys, acoustic and a basic drum set up. There’s nowhere to hide in that format so the song has to speak for itself. We love how they turned out!
7. You’ve been staying connected online by giving your fans ‘Isolation Sessions’ and ‘Quarantine Question Time.’ What is the most important thing you’ve learned about yourself or your band as a result of quarantine?
FLAWES: I think we’ve all learned how productive we can be online, we all have home studios so in the past we’ve been able to write music and send it between each of us, but we’ve definitely streamlined that process now. I suppose lockdown has made us get a bit creative with how to connect with fans too and also deal with our frustration of not being able to play live. So, it’ s been a good second best. Needless to say, it doesn’t quite compare so as soon as we’re allowed to tour again, we will be doing!
Listen to the EP: