Meet Birthday Card, an emerging indie-pop band all the way from Buckinghamshire, England. Synth-laden sound with shimmering guitar sounds and melancholic lyrics is what the the four-piece are all about and showed off in their debut single Heartstops – the first release off their upcoming EP A Handwritten Kiss (out May 28th).
Read my interview with them below and find out about their story, the fancy music video and how they came up with the name Birthday Card. And much more.
Who is Birthday Card and how did you meet?
Josh Saw (frontman, guitar), Conor Richards (co-frontman, guitar), Leslie Adriaans (drums) and Tom Ritchie (bass guitar). Josh, Conor and Leslie were formerly in another guitar band for a couple of years prior to Birthday Card, but eventually we decided we wanted to try out new music and started Birthday Card. Conor was good school friends with Tom, so we recruited him to play bass.
Have you already been doing music before you guys met, or do you come from musical families?
Josh has been playing guitar since he was a kid – he got into it through his uncle, David Saw, who plays out in the States with the likes of Natasha Beddingfield and Carly Simon – he’s a fantastic musician. Leslie plays a whole load of instruments and has been experimenting for years. Tom and Conor were always big music fans but were slightly later bloomers when it came to playing and writing.
What made you decide to call your band Birthday Card? It surely is a cleverly catchy name! Do you like receiving those cards so much?
We wanted to go with something that instantly gave off an aesthetic, or a feeling, and for us, as soon as we thought of Birthday Card we could instantly imagine the atmospheric pastel colours we dress and design in today.
“Can’t beat a good birthday card.”
We also wanted something unique, something that felt like us. We knew once it was suggested that it was perfect for us.
Tell me about your debut single “Heartstops”. Is there a true story behind the lyrics?
I think the beauty of the lyrics, as with any good pop song, is that there probably is some truth in it for everyone. Lyrically i the song reflects on a first encounter with someone that resounds with you but they’re not necessarily someone you can keep.
I love your music video for “Heartstops” – it’s genius! Whose idea was it to film it like that?
As with our music – it was a collective idea. We knew even before we wrote any music as Birthday Card that we had this strong aesthetic in mind, so that was the spine of every thought that we had when planning the video, hence the vibrance of the food, the energetic camera movements. We were also blessed to have our super talented friend Harvey Frost come and shoot it with us, whilst Conor took editing duties.
Are there any artists you are looking up to and who influence your sound?
We are influenced by a lot of artists, but not necessarily in obvious ways. We really look up to current artists like The Japanese House and Jerkcurb. They’re making sounds that are so unique and that really inspires us – as a result I don’t think we ever will settle for sounding too much like someone else.
On a more general spectrum I think we’re influenced by so many different artists, and it makes our other material sound very varied but still has our own thread running through it that ties everything together. We really like Tomppabeats – he makes really catchy, sample-heavy hip-hop songs that use the most obscure loops, and the songs are never longer than a minute and a half, and there’s just an incredible atmosphere in all his work. On the complete flip side, we’re really into HMLTD lately – I think their desire to rip up the course of pop music and challenge the listener’s perception is incredibly inspiring.
So you’re from Buckinghamshire – do you think it’s rather hard to emerge as an artist there instead of in music hotspots such as London, Brighton or Liverpool?
I don’t think it’s necessarily difficult – there’s a lot of cool venues in and around Bucks that we can play too – and we’re positioned in such a way that we can head for those other hotspots too, which we certainly aim to do.
Last but not least, what are your plans for this year? Got any live shows planned?
Listen and watch the amazing music video to Heartstops below: