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“El Born is about new beginnings," says the bands frontman and songwriter Si Connelly.
With Coldplay already name checking the lead track “1982” off the band’s album - produced by Brit winning producer Chris Potter and Grammy winning Dom Morley – Si Connelly & keyboardist Hils believe they have created something truly original.
The London-based band recently completed their debut album. It contains 11 emotionally charged songs, each showcasing stunning vocals. Chris Potter (producer of Verve’s Urban Hymns) and Dom Morley (Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black) were so keen to produce the album – they did it for no upfront fee.
During a period of living in his car in London and delivering sandwiches to make a living, Si put out an advert for band members. “I then emailed Chris Potter" he says, "and asked him if he'd be interested in producing the record. He agreed!
He loved the songs and brought in Dom Morley.
We recorded the album at Monnow Valley in Wales. We mixed in downtime at Metropolis studios in Chiswick, grabbing a few hours whenever and wherever we could.”
The band are named after the bohemian El Born district of Barcelona. A beautiful piece of abstract artwork (the aptly titled “Long Time Coming”, by Michel Keck) reminded Si of the area and inspired him to name his band after it. Further inspired he contacted Michel Keck directly and, once she'd heard the music, told him El Born could use her paintings as their artwork.
Musically speaking, the band sit somewhere in the field of alternative rock, with a widescreen, un-pasteurized sort of a sound. Pop songs with testosterone and an adrenalin rush. Kind of John Mayer meets Jack White meets Ryan Adams with a box of grenades. But the dynamic twists, classically infused keyboard fills and rolling bass are always there to stop the songs festering for too long on the purely dark side.
Lyrically, there's a heavy nod towards songwriter Si's relationship with his past. People, places, love, hate, abandonment, burning your house down: the usual stuff. A past, which, it seems he variously, wants to escape, return to, forget and repeat. A past seen through a kaleidoscope, which won’t stop turning and is now being squeezed through the prism of the present. It’s these conflicts and collisions that create the glorious tensions in the lyrics and the wild-eyed edginess in the delivery.
The band were thrilled at the organic success of their debut single “1982”. Hils says: “A fan made a video to the track and very soon we had 10,000 views in 8 days and it just kept rolling. Eventually we got to 40,000 views. So we made the track available on our own label Kangaroo Zoo. We got a sync on the TV drama Monroe, starring James Nesbitt, and then Coldplay said they loved the video and the song and put it up on their website. At that point we had about 200,000 views and it charted at 19 in the iTunes chart.”
The band released their debut EP "Kangaroo EP" early in 2014 to great success and have been touring non-stop.
Now, with everything in place El Born are finally looking forward to coming into the world.