30 Seconds: The New Union

M takes time out to chat to The New Union, Brighton’s latest bright-eyed guitar-wielding newcomers, to find out what makes them tick.

Jim Ottewill
  • By Jim Ottewill
  • 21 Sep 2012
  • min read
Brighton four-piece The New Union may only have been gigging for 18 months, but they’ve been turning plenty of heads and ears with their stadium sized alt-pop.

The group’s travels have seen them play shows at The Great Escape and Tramlines festivals as well as support slots with Slow Club and Bastille. The band’s debut single Without You, produced by Ian Dowling (who has previously worked with Adele and The Temper Trap) is available from 8 October as a digital download and on limited edition vinyl.

James Baker from the band takes some time out to let M know what makes them tick.

How long have you been making music? 

We've been writing songs for about 18 months now.

What inspired your new single?

The genesis of the song came from the notion of having a quick, three minute pop song which we felt was missing from our set. The idea was to have the lyrics almost struggling to get out before the next line. It was something that I felt would create a great feeling in the song, live and on record.

What process do you go through to create your music? 

Richard (Jackson) writes the tracks normally on a guitar or a keyboard in its simplest form - sometimes with just a melody but no lyrics. He then shows the rest of us the work in progress and we all have some input on how we think it should sound. We all add our own parts, layer by layer until we have something down for every part in the song. We all have different styles in writing and slightly different tastes in terms of the music that inspires us to make the different parts which usually make the whole song sound great.

This then gets chopped and changed in the few weeks after the song is initially written. We like to make the songs as good as we possibly can, even if it is time consuming! 

How would you describe your sound?  

I would describe our songs as alternative pop, ranging from the epic to the delicate.

What would your dream collaboration be? 

My dream collaboration would be with The Strokes when they were touring the Is This It? album in 2001. We would all love to play alongside Death Cab for Cutie/Radiohead/Local Natives or with a full orchestra. Another ambition is to play a show in a church, just for the visual element.

Where can we catch you performing next? 

We are planning many shows over the coming months. See below for details.

4 October - Geek Out! at the Wheelbarrow, Camden London.

10 October - City Showcase, London.

12 October - The Fitz, Brighton.

15 October - Hoxton Bar and Kitchen, London.

Photo by Joseph Leeder