We sat down with Sherlock’s Daughter before a recent show that they played at the Bowery Ballroom and asked them a few questions about their EP, their recent move to New York, and lead singer Tanya Horo’s childhood fondness for cat food.
EV2BK – What inspired Songs For Old People?
Sherlock’s Daughter – (Horo) The title actually speaks for itself on that one, it was inspired by old people. I was walking home from the beach one day and I saw this beautiful old couple across from me one had flaming red hair and the other was wearing the big duffel trench coat and they were holding hands and they must have been in their 80s and I was just sort of like that’s really beautiful, you never see that anymore. I wanted to write a song that would inspire old people but it’s sort of ironic because most people when they hear the song think that I’m actually having a go at old people (laughter) When I brought the song to the guys and that’s all I had was the melody and then Tim was just kind of like lets just jam out on the C so we jammed out on the C and this song just formed and I like the way that it just circulates back on itself… (Tim Maybury) The song was a break through song for the band.
EV2BK – You guys describe your sound as “dream-pop,” what does that description mean to you?
Sherlock’s Daughter – (Maybury) Well I guess that’s just a term that has been bandied around a lot in the last few years in music journalism when talking about bands like Beach House but I suppose “dream-pop” was kind of invented by the 4AD bands of the early 80s and the style that they created has a pretty quality trajectory that bands today like Blonde Red Head are taking over and incorporating ethereal washed-out sounds. I guess its accurate, things always need to be categorized in some way and people will always try to then transcend categories but I think it is a fair description
EV2BK – Who is working at the pet store? How’s that going?
Sherlock’s Daughter – (Horo) It’s good I actually feel a bit sick because I actually really like the smell of “bully sticks”
EV2BK – What?
Sherlock’s Daughter – Bully sticks. I think it’s meats from a bull that have been dried out and it makes me feel a bit sick but I really like the smell. I used to eat cat food when I was young, not because we were poor and we couldn’t afford other food I just kind of like the smell of cat food
EV2BK – ok…
Sherlock’s Daughter – (Maybury) You mean like dry cat food right? (Horo) No I would eat the meat from the tin, I would feed my cat and then I would feed myself. (laughter) (Maybury) You would eat tinned cat food oh man that’s gross.
EV2BK – So you guys are out in Bushwick now?
Sherlock’s Daughter – (Maybury) Yes, the four guys are and Tanya’s in Long Island City
EV2BK – How are you liking it so far?
Sherlock’s Daughter – (Maybury) It’s great fun, we are living on this awesome block, as soon as the weather became a little bit nicer it just came to life, all these people came out and started playing basketball and old women are out on their stoops yelling at each other and our neighbors said that we were really fortunate to land on one of the liveliest blocks in Bushwick and I guess in the summer they bring in pony rides and a carousel. So lucky we have a really social block we’ve started to make some good friends already. We’re pretty stoked about it.
EV2BK – So what was the final straw, the final push that made you say OK, it’s time to move to New York and leave Australia?
Sherlock’s Daughter – (Horo) We never sat down and really properly planned our trip, everything was pretty impulsive. I think it was just how we felt the last time we were all here- we really fell in love with the city and the people here and met some great people to work with. We got a government grant for SXSW and we figured that by the time we bought our flights and came home that the price of tickets to come back would just be ridiculous so we all kind of decided in a month. Like, Tim phoned me and it was really just like a month before when we decided we’re moving to New York. (Maybury) I remember the conversation when we were in our band room and we had already decided that we were going to SXSW so the decision was just are we going to come home again after SXSW and pack up our lives or should we just go? And we decided, no, like once we’re there we mine as well stay there so that was it. (Horo) The only thing that happened was I think sometimes when you’ve made the decision to move something happens that you don’t want to happen and Jonti has fallen in love. A month before we moved he fell in love so now he is here with a broken heart. (Maybury) I guess on the flip side others are finding love since they’ve arrived here…
EV2BK – I see… well, there are a lot of people to love in New York.
EV2BK – You have mentioned a fondness for Animal Collective and their influence but I hear a little bit of Dirty Projectors in your sound, have you heard that?
Sherlock’s Daughter – (Horo) That’s really nice, I had never heard of Dirty Projectors which I know is probably a dirty thing to say but then Justine had told me about them and then we got a review that said Sherlock’s Daughter has a lot of sounds that feel similar to Dirty Projectors so it’s kind of nice to hear it but it’s not been conscious. But now that we are conscious of it we are kind of trying to steal their vocal melodies without them knowing because they’re pretty good. (Maybury) I know the Dirty Projectors are like real big influential band at the moment but I have only heard a few of their songs so I’m not exactly sure what their style is.
EV2BK – I also read that Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth mentioned liking you guys in an interview that he did with NPR..
Sherlock’s Daughter – (Maybury) It was pretty ultimate he was talking with Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney and for me personally that was major, two of my favorite bands and two of my favorite guitarists talking to each other and then the fact that our band name crept its way into that conversation was actually quite a huge affirmation. That day when we found that out we were really excited we definitely weren’t expecting it. We got five, six-hundred hits that day on our MySpace page so, thanks Thurston.
EV2BK – What song are you most looking forward to playing tonight?
Sherlock’s Daughter – (Horo) I think we’re all in love with all of our songs at the moment we’ve been working a lot and we’ve reshaped and reformed them and now that we are here we’ve got the added excitement and inspiration with our songs to make them become more a part of us rather than things we put in front of other people when we play so I think all of them at the moment. (Maybury) Reprise, I think we always like playing that song it’s really fun to play.
Here are a few photos from the performance:
Sherlock’s Daughter is in the studio now recording their first full length. We expect to hear a lot more good things from them soon.