Chartreuse have been stuck at home all thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, but that hasn't stopped them from making new music.
The Birmingham-based quartet, known to feed the souls of their listeners with their secret blend of ambient dark-pop and folk, soul, and jazz, have been fighting boredom and creative block by experimenting on a new mixtape. The music has already been written, recorded, and mixed, and they even have recording sessions caught on video for their fans to devour.
Bandwagon caught up with the Will Morris and Lucy Rose-managed act to check in on what they've been doing since the lockdown kicked off, what they do to keep in touch with fans, and their plans for when things finally lighten up.
Your upcoming release, Relaxation Tape For Nobodies, was made in quarantine. Did you plan on working on new material prior to the lockdown or was this something that just happened?
It was something that just happened. We felt it was important to stay creative during this time and had spoken about doing one track where someone would put down an idea, send it to someone else, they'd put their part on, and so on. We were planning to just put them on Instagram but shared the tracks with our team and they suggested we release them properly which we're really happy about.
What was that experience like, working remotely on music? How long did it take you to finish the mixtape? Promoting a new release while in lockdown is definitely something new to artists, how are you going about doing promo for this mixtape?
We've had a lot of fun experimenting throughout making this mixtape and it was a completely different way of us working as we spend a lot of time together in normal circumstances and write together! It's taken us just over two months to finish. We're pretty relaxed with how this mixtape is being put out, we've written and recorded the music ourselves, Mike's mixed the tracks, all the artwork has been done by us apart from one piece which is by an artist Laura Jaunzems. We have filmed ourselves recording our instruments for the mixtape to go alongside the music most of it is completely improvised so it's nice to capture those moments on video.
How has your work life changed since the quarantine began?
It's not changed too much, the big difference is that Hattie moved in with Rory and Mike at the start of lockdown, but Perry's staying at home. It's been weird not all being together! We're Zoom-ing each other and speaking most days though. We've got into a good routine and try to work from 10:00 am - 6:00 pm to keep a good balance.
How do you stay connected with your fans?
We have been doing something called Late Night Lockdown which is basically a video podcast on YouTube. We each pick and play two tracks on vinyl and have a chat about them, what they mean to us etc. We try and answer some questions that we maybe wouldn't get asked In a normal interview so our fans can get to know us a bit better and we talk to people on the YouTube live chat when the episodes are premiering so people can ask us anything! We've also made the stems available from the instrumental mixtape for our fans to download and use as they wish!
What are you looking forward to after lockdown is lifted?
We've said we're all going to go camping together somewhere when it's all over so we're looking forward to that! We'd also love to play some shows too!
Take us through a day in your quarantined life.
We had a morning cup of tea/coffee outside the cabin which is where we work from, it's in Rory and Mike's garden.
We Zoomed Perry and had a chat about our plans for the day.
We did a bit of recording for a new track.
We sent the new song over to Perry and he recorded some bass for it.
We had some tea together and enjoyed a few local beers from the Black Country (that's where we're from.)
In our new Work From Home series, we check in with your favorite musicians to see how they're coping with the current COVID-19 crisis while staying in their homes.