by Silke Hartung

Premiere: Echo Children – This Was Our Fault

by Silke Hartung

Premiere: Echo Children – This Was Our Fault

In April 2016 indie folk four-piece Echo Children‘s catchy debut single Turn To Stone caught NZM’s attention when it appeared on Bandcamp. We’re excited to be able to introduce you to the Auckland band’s music today with the premiere of their first EP, ‘This Was Our Fault’.

Oliver Young is a Scotsman, Amanda Larsson hails from Sweden, there’s Brit Daniel Armstrong and Canadian Niamh O’Flynn – and the four evidently literally harmonise (on-stage and off) with one another. While none were born here, Echo Children are a very Kiwi band – in a way the epitome of what makes NZ such a special place in the world.

This is such a cliche question, but seeing that you’re about to release your debut EP, other people might be curious too: How did you come up with your band name?

We had a few name ideas and we melded them together to form Echo Children. We like a lot of reverb in our sound, which explains the Echo part. Plus it turns out that at some stage we have all been children.

You’re from all corners of the world, can you tell me a bit more about the people behind the band? How did you meet each other?

There’s four of us in the band and we all sing on most of the tracks. Amanda’s from Sweden and plays bass. Niamh’s from Canada and plays drums. Dan and I are from the UK and alternate between playing electric and acoustic guitars.

We all happened to move to Auckland at about the same time and Amanda and Niamh met when they were applying for the same job. I met Amanda at a house party in London a long time ago. I’m not sure how Niamh and Dan first met, but they seem to get on pretty well.

What’s your “elevator pitch” to describe what you do as band?

Alternative folk songs backed up by resonating electric guitar and haunting four-part vocal harmonies. Oh you’re getting off at the first floor? See you later then.

Let’s get geeky and talk about the gear that makes your sound what it is…

Yes please. An acoustic guitar is the basis of most of the songs…I play a Walden and Dan plays an Epiphone. Dan has a telecaster with a really sweet valve amp with tonnes of nice reverb. Amanda plays a Fender-style Precision Bass and then Niamh plays a really stripped down drum kit which is mainly just bass drum, floor tom and tambourine. A pretty simple set up, but we’ve stuck to that throughout the EP. It gives a nice consistent aesthetic and a good platform for all of our vocals on top.

You recorded with Darren McShane at Earwig Studios – why did you choose to go with him, and what did he add to your sound?

We loved recording at Earwig. It’s fully analog and the whole EP was recorded to two inch tape. Dan and I went to visit the studio and instantly loved it. It’s packed full of random bits of analog gear and covered in old gig posters from Darren’s bands. And a lot of Star Trek posters too. All the reverb effects he uses are natural – he has built in his own reverb room where the sound bounces off the walls and then he records it back. We couldn’t believe it. I think those natural effects give the recordings a really beautiful colour. And the empty concrete room added a slightly threatening vibe to the whole experience.

What’s your favourite sonic moment on the EP that people should listen out to?

For me, when Niamh comes in with the first harmony on Bones Are Cold, singing “Never out of luck when I’m in with you”. It gives me the shivers. Also one of my favourite lyrics from the EP. Nice writing, Dan.

What part of managing yourselves do you find the hardest? Who takes over which non-musical job to run the band?

The band has a strong focus on eating dinner. Amanda and I enjoy cooking, Niamh cooks without enjoyment, and Dan can barely talk about food so does the dishes. In less important roles, I print posters and love doing any kind of merch and graphic design type stuff. Dan books us gigs and Niamh and Amanda are both whizzes at social media and press stuff. It’s difficult having to promote yourself but being part of a team effort definitely helps keep the motivation up. It would be good to have a manager to look after Dan’s dog during practice. The struggle is real.

Social media, blessing or curse? Please discuss. 😉

If I say it’s a blessing, will more people Like this?

Catch them live at the Wine Cellar on February 17 or in…

  • Dunedin – 3 March, Dog With Two Tails
  • Lyttelton – 4 March, Wunderbar
  • Hamilton – 15 April, Nivara Lounge