Meet Archie Blagden and Josh Greacen, two 21-year-olds who are soundtracking our not-so-distant dystopian future. What does that sound like exactly? Well, there are eerie synths, distorted samples and lyrics that keep tongues firmly in cheeks.
“There’s a lot of darkness to our music,” says Josh, Zooming in from their new studio in Hackney, London. The band – who formed in Somerset – have created a creepy sonic cocktail so potent that, with just one self-titled EP behind them, they’ve already caught the attention of artists like Pa Salieu and FKA twigs. Keep your ears peeled for their songwriting when twigs’ next album drops.
But first comes Demon – another impressive collaboration with Moonchild Sanelly, South Africa’s “president of the female orgasm”, dropping tonight (4th October). Sanelly’s distinct vocals cut through the menacing beat and warped bass production, with a razor-sharp attitude.
“I made this beat when I was about 17. I had been lying around for a really long time,” says Archie. When they sent a bunch of beats over for Sanelly to listen to, she picked it out and laid down some vocals. “She really brought it to life.”
Josh agrees. “Once she’d got on it, it was obvious what we needed to do,” he says. “We do some vocals on it, but it’s mainly Sanelly doing her thing. We’re just in the background lifting her up.”
With another mixtape in the pipeline for early 2022, check out the teaser of Sad Night Dynamite’s latest track, Demon, before it drops tonight – and get your 100% fill below.
10% Where were you born, where were you raised and where are you now based?
Josh: I was born in the forest, just out in the wilderness. I mean, I wish that was true. I was born somewhere really boring, London. Just say I was born in a forest. That’s where I came alive, anyway.
Archie: I was born in Southwest Somerset, you know, rolling fields, countryside, pigs and cows. Then they scooped me out of the mud and sent me on my way to London to become a superstar.
20% At what point did you realise you’d be able to do what you love for a living?
Josh: At one point I wanted to be a geography teacher, which didn’t make any sense, because I wasn’t very good at geography. I was probably about 17 or 18 [when I realised I wanted to do music]. I went to uni and music was all I was doing.
Archie: I never really thought about it. Like Josh, I wasn’t very good at anything else…
30%: What kind of emotions and experiences influence your work?
Josh: We say we write dystopian music, but the world that we’re living in is sort of a dystopian anyway. We try to get the humour of that and the darkness of it, and mix it all into like a weird sort of dream world.
Archie: One thing that really interests us is that a lot of music is quite retrospective. Artists sort of look back and sing about the things they should have done in the moment. We find it more interesting to write in that moment. People’s first impulses aren’t usually good or bad; it’s a whole mixture of things. For us, that’s a more interesting viewpoint to take.
Josh: Usually, [we start with] the essence of a song, whether it’s an instrumental hook or a vocal hook. Then we’ll go to the other person and be like, “What do you think of this?” and work on it together. It’s like opening up a tent. You’ve already built the tiny little bits and then we just erect it together.
Archie: [Laughing] Beautifully put, that.
Josh: I could have been a philosopher as well.
40% Break down your typical day at work…
Archie: Well, it depends. At the moment, there’s a lot of admin. The last three days we’ve not really been doing any music, have we?
Josh: Yeah, we’re just clicking away on our phones. You can go down a rabbit hole of just updating all your socials and stuff. But we are in a new studio in Hackney now, so we’ll be switching the phone off and getting into it. It’s like being on holiday here. Actually, after this, we might just go and have a dip in the canal.
Archie: There’s also a pub downstairs which is 20 per cent off everything.
Josh: That’s going to be a bit of a problem.
50% If you could travel back in time to see an iconic music act perform, who would it be, and in what era of their career?
Josh: For me, it’s so easy: Pink Floyd. I would have loved to have seen Pink Floyd when they weren’t very big and they would do performances in these tiny venues.They had these crazy sets where they’d be burning incense and it was just very trippy, but not in an electronics or lights way. It was just some guys with guitars being really strange.
Archie: Just for the sheer chaos of it all, Nirvana or something like that.
Josh: Or Madonna… or ABBA. Sorry, I’m just listing more of my ones.
Archie: ABBA are doing holograms now, they’re not actually going on tour. Very lazy.
60% If you’re cooking food to impress someone, what will you make?
Archie: I’m pretty limited. I can cook one meal, chicken salad, and it’s actually pretty disgusting. That’s not gonna excite anyone, is it? I’d probably order something really lavish off Uber Eats and then pretend I made it. I’d tell them afterwards and we’d have a laugh about that.
Josh: My idea of a perfect holiday is four days spent on a bolognese – more of a ragu, really. It’s a labour of love.
70% How did you celebrate your last birthdays?
Josh: I had a party and it’s the stuff of legends where I’m from now – not because the party was particularly fun, but it was just so loud. Villages about three miles away – and I’m not joking – complained because they could hear it across the valley. That, to me, is a win.
Archie: It was really fun. Mine was a little bit more depressing, because it was during the pandemic. I think we got sent a bottle of something from someone and we drank that and watched Betty Blue. Best day of my life.
80% You rule the world for a day. What’s going down?
Josh: Everyone has a day off and there’s no laws, so you can do whatever you like.
Archie: I imagine I’m in some sort of palace, let’s say Buckingham Palace. The Queen’s there and I say, “Not today, this is my day.” Then we gather everyone to come to Buckingham Palace and have a big party. And if you don’t come, there’s consequences for that.
Josh: Yeah, off with their heads.
Archie: Maybe a bit harsh.
90% Which five people, dead or alive, are you doing an ASDA food shop with?
Archie: Seems a bit excessive having five people.
Josh: I would rather get it delivered. But yeah, you’re not going to make a decision. One’s a vegan, one’s a vegetarian, one’s a carnivore, what do we do? It’s a recipe for disaster.
100% What’s the most pointless fact you can share?
Josh: If you take a fish out of water…
Archie: Often it will die.
Josh: For a fish, that’s really not a pointless fact. That’s quite an important fact. Can you think of a pointless fact? It’s really hard. It’s stressing me out.
Archie: I used to be able to do a handstand.
Josh: There we go!