The Mancunian three-piece have only been going a year, but their first single, the immense Hurtlove, captured the blogosphere with its deft blend of cinematic synth-pop, post-dubstep and classic house. Their music is confident and bold, delivered with a pop wallop that keeps you pressing rewind.
They have been meticulous in their approach, creating their own videos and artwork to accompany the songs they self-release, and are determined to keep their identities a secret so the music can speak for itself.
This has obviously fuelled the hype, and they’ve already been invited to record sessions for Huw Stephens, XFM and Mary Anne Hobbs, won plaudits for an on-trend collaboration with fellow Mancunians Stay+ and bagged a string of European festival dates this summer.
Here, Kelly from the band justifies the secrecy and urges people to listen to the music and make up their own minds…
Certainly for myself, I’ve been making music for as long as I can remember. I think the same can be said of the others as well. We all met up – the band is roughly about a year old now – and really liked each other’s tastes and had a clear idea of what kind of music we wanted to make. We just went from there.
So you’d all done things outside No Ceremony///?
No Ceremony/// is our first focused attempt at making music but we had a clear idea of what we wanted to sound like.
How did that idea come about?
I guess we’re very intrinsic in the way we make music. We all sit together and make music together. We all know what No Ceremony/// is and we all know the sort of music we’d like to make. Some of our songs make it because they are No Ceremony/// songs and others we forget about because they are not.
What makes a No Ceremony/// song then?
It’s if we all agree that a song is No Ceremony///! It’s very hard to put a moniker on it, we’re very sure of what kind of music it is we want to make and I think that’s very evident with all the music we’ve released so far. Everything has a very strong connection and we feel in order for it to be a No Ceremony/// song it has to be a No Ceremony/// song!
So how would you describe your sound?
We tend to describe it as No Ceremony///! We’re very assured in what it is we are doing and we’re very dedicated and passionate about making our kind of music. People should be left to their own devices to interpret what it is we are doing. We just provide the music and we just concentrate on that. The characterisations and definitions can come from other people.
But there is definitely a secrecy surrounding No Ceremony///, in that you never talk about yourselves and what you do in concrete terms…
I think secrecy is the wrong word to use. I don’t see what we do as necessarily secretive, but we realised from the very outset that it’s far too easy in this day and age for everybody to know everything, whether that’s positive or negative. It’s easy for you to jump on the internet and find out what you like. It’s become to the point where people do it because they can rather than because they want to. What we wanted to do was make everything about the music. All we want to concentrate on is making our music – that’s what comes first.
We’ve had a few songs and we chose Hurtlove because we really like that. We wanted to push it out but we just wanted to put the music out there. We put it out and told some people who told some people and we really want to keep everyone focused on the music because that’s what it’s all about. It doesn’t really matter who we are, or where we come from or what our influences are – anything personally about us. We don’t think it will inform the fans’ view of the music, we just feel the music speaks for itself. If you’ve only got the music to talk about, that’s what you’ll talk about.
Is there anything you’ve learnt along the way by doing it yourselves?
We learn every day. But we had a very strong idea about what we wanted to achieve and how we wanted to release and make and have people experience our music. I guess we’ve learnt that it’s working. People do talk about the music a lot and concentrate on our output.
What’s the one piece of equipment you couldn’t do without?
There are lots of pieces of equipment that we couldn’t do without. It’s like asking us to choose between our children! Having said that, we’re not necessarily tied to any one piece of equipment, it’s just a set of tools to make some music. If something works in one circumstance but not another we won’t feel tied to it. We have a very definitive sound and we use whatever tools we get our hands on to achieve our desired results.
Do you have a studio at home?
We have a small studio set up, yes.
What’s next for you?
We’re next playing live Thursday 5 July at Sacred Trinity Church in Salford with Cloud Boat, which is a show we’re looking forward to. We love to play live so we’re really looking forward to that. Then we’re off all summer to some European festivals and we’re just finishing off the record now, which should be out early next year.
Will you be putting the album out yourselves?
It’s difficult to say right now. We’ll be continuing to do what we do and whatever happens will happen.
You have a very DIY approach at the moment; do you see a point where you’ll depart from that?
We’re certainly not averse to working alongside other people. This isn’t something where we have an awful lot of ego attached and we feel like we have to keep full control of everything. There’s certainly no ideological refusal to work alongside others. Obviously the music is our main focus, and what happens after we make the videos and the artwork, whatever happens after that we’re open to a lot of collaboration with people we feel understands what we’re about.
Watch current single HoldOnMe: