The Cadbury Sisters | Interview
Ahead of: The Cadbury Sisters @ The Lantern, Bristol. 17.06.15.
We aren’t image obsessed people at all – we’re totally norm-core chic.
They say you should never work with children or animals, but working with your siblings should come with its very own warning. These girls are real life sisters — Jess, Mary and Lucy — who’s 2014 EP ‘Close’ saw them win the hearts of critics, radio DJs and folk fans across the country. Despite its success, it was their relationship that suffered. One year on, the trio have written their best music to date, all thanks to sibling self-help books, passionate producers and communication, proving that by pushing the boundaries, you can become closer than ever.
Reflecting on the writing process for the last EP, Jess speaks of the toll it took on their relationship. “Close’ sounds painful because it actually was,” she begins. “Obviously we loved each other but it still wasn’t particularly great.” “We’re sisters and because we’ve been together this long, from the beginning, we’ve had to alter our relationship,” continues Mary. “So we’ve gone from being sisters to being professionals, but we’ve also had to work on our friendship. The songwriting sessions on the last EP were painful.” Putting their relationship to the forefront of their priorities, the graft has paid off. “We put a lot of work into it,” says Jess. “We get on so much better now and that’s reflected in these new songs.”
Forthcoming EP ‘SARAH’ features five brand new efforts that showcase the sisters in a different light entirely. Moving away from their folk roots, the band spent their year staying in friends’ houses around Wales and Staffordshire, focusing on songwriting for weeks at a time. “Because of the acoustic guitar and three-part harmonies, people were very quick to place us in this ‘folk’ box,” says Mary. “It’s always been a case of us exploring our songwriting, so we’re constantly developing. After ‘Close,’ it was both extremely intense and extremely folky, so we wanted to head in a new direction.” Working with RAK studios as part of their singles club, the band had to write and produce a song in just two weeks, with three days in the studio – something they’d never experienced before. “It was like telling kids to go and play with all the toys in the toy shop and so, that’s what we did!” explains Lucy. “It got us excited. I think we found it quite hard to get away from the ‘folk’ because people are so quick to pen you in as that. But Izzie, our latest producer, not only pushed us instrumentally but vocally too.” Challenging the ladies to sing-offs of ‘Fever’ during the recording process of this latest EP, it pushed the siblings farther than they’d ever gone before. “We realised we could do something different,” says Mary.
We realised we could do something different.
Lead single ‘Drifting’ speaks of a relationship breakdown, immersed in electronic elements, whilst their simple yet well-honed vocals remain at the forefront of this new soundscape the band have created for themselves. “It’s about a very specific relationship in my life and I hadn’t actually told these girls that anything was going on for ages,” continues Mary. “That was my first step in being able to talk to them about something that was really affecting me.” “This EP is, kind of, all of us talking to each other,” agrees Lucy. “There’s been this communication gap that has just come together because we can talk about most things now.” The trio chose ‘Drifting’ as the introduction to their new journey for its transitional tendencies; complete with a mesmerizing video, the sisters are quick to stress their involvement in the visual representation of their music. “People are very keen to put an image upon you; they want you to fit into a certain box and the word ‘sexy’ always comes up a lot. We aren’t image-obsessed people at all – we’re totally norm-core chic,” laughs Jess. “We’ve got wonderful role models in our mum and grandma who are just absolutely gorgeous and so stylish in their own way; they’ve never followed any trend,” continues Mary. “I don’t have the visual smarts that these two have. I mean, Jess did her degree in media arts and Lucy is a really talented illustrator, so with those two together, I trust them implicitly.”
The EP boasts a beautiful ode to their mother with title track ‘Sarah’, as well as total pop banger ‘Get This Feeling’, but the band are keen to share that their new direction is focused on allowing their audience to relate to these new songs in whichever way they want. “We always want people to relate to our music; this EP just has a different feel to it,” explains Jess. “We really had to let go of that perfectionist part of things and try to make it a bit simpler and more easily relatable, so I think the message from each song is very easy to pick up, compared to our last EP.”
Playing with an entirely different set-up, which sees all three sisters picking up new instruments, the group are excited yet understandably nervous about showcasing this new material. “It feels the best it’s ever felt,” enthuses Jess. “It would be too easy to write another ‘Close’ EP.” agrees Mary. “This is really exciting and thrilling and terrifying all at the same time and that’s the reason we’re doing it.”
Hoping to widen their audience with this new release, the band explain their main aim is to bring more fun to their shows. “We’ve already got an incredible fanbase but it’d be great to see different types coming along, and to see people dancing, maybe!” says Lucy. “Or having young girls singing ‘Get This Feeling’ back at us would just be amazing.” Better dust off those dancing shoes then; The Cadbury Sisters are ready to party.
‘SARAH’ is out on 15th June, with a home show at The Lantern on the 17th.
Check out ‘Drifting’ right here: