Strangefruit are a very special proposition. Drawing on their musical influences of fuzzed out psychedelia and leftfield indie rock, plangent folk and vintage jazz, Strangefruit have created something that sounds quite startling and utterly unique.
Named after the protest song that exposed American racism and sang most famously by one of their musical heroines Billie Hoilday, this London based four piece make darkly beautiful cinematic psyche rock. Unsettling, atmospheric, intelligent songs that enrapture and intrigue from the first listen.
Front woman, violinist and pianist Jenny Maxwell possesses a voice that is nothing short of astounding, going from a whisper to a heart wrenching, almost operatic wail in a second. Emotive and spine tinglingly impactful, it’s impossible not to be moved by its beauty and power.
Peter and Jamie are the sons of Peter Perrett, frontman of the iconic band The Only Ones. The brothers first played together with Pete Doherty in the original line up of Babyshambles which also included Polar Bear's Seb Roachford.
Doherty invited Peter and Jamie to record with him in Bethnal Green where the first version of Killamangiro was realised. Doherty even moved in with the brothers for a while and they toured as Babyshamles before his now infamous trip to Thailand via The Priory that began Doherty’s colonization of the tabloids.
The brothers went on to form Love Minus Zero and wrote the damning song ‘Psychobaby’ about their former mentor before meeting Jenny and starting Strangefuit.
The band honed their sound playing long hours in Dalston’s Jazz Bar and showed themselves to be a band in love with the spirit of Bob Dylan, Bjork and Billie Holiday, with the freedom of Fairport Convention and the Velvet Underground, the soul of PJ Harvey and Patti Smith and the attack of Arcade Fire and Jack White. Gradually their sound developed into what it is today.
Strangefruit already has a burgeoning reputation as a captivating live band, with the charismatic Jenny mesmerising the audience with her voice and beauty, while Jamie and Peter Perrett dazzle with their brilliant musicanship. The band has a real stage presence and their shows have met with rave reviews.
They’ve already played with the likes of Florence and The Machine and Dizzee Rascal and after an astonishing performance at Soho House, Strangefruit appeared as special guests at Shoreditch House London in April 2012. The band played several UK festivals last year while continuing to headline sold-out club nights at various London venues. They will perform at this year’s Secret Garden Party and Blissfields as well as their own London shows.
July sees the release of their stunning debut EP ‘Between The Earth and Sea’ that features five songs –‘Tell Me, ‘Falling’, ‘Ghosts’, ‘Slowly Drift Away’ and ‘Sea of Fog’ – that sound like the perfect soundtrack to a David Lynch film.
‘Tell Me’ was recorded and produced at Abbey Road with Greg Wells (Adele/Rufus Wainwright/Pharrell Williams/Katy Perry) while ‘Ghosts’ and ‘Slowly Drift Away’ were produced by Max Dingel (Goldfrapp/The Killers/White Lies/Glasvegas). ‘Falling’ was self-produced and ‘Sea of Fog’ was produced by Pedro Andrade and Strangefruit.
While working in the studio, they came to the attention of AVID/ Pro Tools and were selected to be the subject of a six-month global media campaign that the company will launch in May 2013. Here is a link to a teaser for the campaign that premiered at NAMM in Los Angeles in late January 2013: http://apps.avid.com/insideabbeyroad/?cmpid=70140000000Uo0M
The storyline revolves around the band recording one of their tracks ‘Tell Me’ with Greg Wells at Abbey Road Studios while being filmed by a five camera and ten-person crew.
Strangefruit also have a strong visual aesthetic that’s evident in their artwork and the videos which are all a collaborative process with the band.They have just filmed an amazing new ‘art piece’ for their song ‘Sea of Fog’ with award winning director/producers Matthew Oaten and Laura Clarke and featuring London based actor, life model, performance artist and playwright Zoe Simon. It will be premiered in the UK in June 2013.