29 August, 2018

From Rory Wynne to Pale Waves, we’ve given rise to lots of exciting bands and artists over the years at BIMM Manchester. Now, the spotlight is on Leeds natives The Elephant Trees, who are quickly cultivating a name for themselves on the new indie circuit, with a unique sound that refuses to be bound by any genre. As a result, the energetic foursome – fronted by lead vocalist and third-year BIMM student Martha Phillips – have played everywhere from the 02 Academy Leeds to The Royal Albert Hall, supporting Florida’s famed indie pop three-piece Boyce Avenue.

Martha says: “It was amazing to play at the Royal Albert Hall supporting Boyce Avenue on their last UK tour, such an incredible opportunity to play to a sold-out crowd at such an iconic venue – probably the best day of my life!” It’s a spectacular claim to fame for a band that’s still in its infancy, but such is their talent that sold-out shows and gigs at venues up and down the country have come with the territory.

The band also comprises of fellow BIMM third-year student Will Brooks (drums), guitar diploma alumni Alex Goodall (bass) and Sam Hugh-Jones (guitarist) who have also played their way around some of the UK’s best independent festivals, including 2000 Trees, The Alternative Great Escape, Kendal Calling and Tramlines. Fans will be pleased to know the band are also heading back on the road again in October, with shows in Sheffield, Leeds, Nottingham, London and a homecoming in Manchester.

Their singles, ‘Monster’ and their angsty debut ’90 Degrees’, caught the attention of many indie aficionados, including their manager Natasha Arciniega of Roar House whom they have been working with for just over a year. The band – who were named finalists in 2017’s Virgin Radio’s FreshFest competition (Tom Greenan is a previous winner) – have also gained a significant following in the LGBTQ+ community. This year saw them play Leeds’ Pride to a huge crowd, and the group have always been vocal about equal gender rights.

Bucking the trend of new bands not having political opinions, Martha said in an interview with Artistic Echoes that women are what’s missing from the music industry today. She told the online music blog: “It’s so exciting to see so many female fronted bands around at the moment, but there is nowhere near enough appearing on festival lineups. Even behind the scenes, I’d say roughly only 15% of the people we work within the music industry are women, and that needs to change!”

Exciting, outspoken and rebellious in their approach, The Elephant Trees are part of a new generation of BIMM acts who are driving the indie landscape in an entirely new direction (see also IORA, who is working with Maxine Peake to raise awareness of homelessness). As for new music, we’re told that The Elephant Trees are building up to the release of a brand new single, expected release date Oct 5th, but further details are being kept under wraps. “We’ve been working really hard on our sound, and we can’t wait for everyone to hear it on tour in October,” said Martha. 

The Elephant Trees’ October tour kicks off at Sheffield’s West Street Live on Tuesday 2 October and concludes at Manchester’s Night & Day Café on Monday 15 October.  In the meantime, you can hear their latest single ‘Hooked’ – which is now available on Spotify and to download on iTunes – right here. 

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