Young Southpaw chats with sunshine pop maestro Louis Philippe about his new record ‘Thunderclouds’, his backing band The Night Mail, the legendary él and Humbug record labels, and much more, with LP offering great insight into his creating such wonderful music.
Young Southpaw: Your press release calls the album ‘the autumnal side of sunshine pop’. Which is a great phrase.
Louis Philippe: It’s not mine (laughs). Or maybe it was, I can’t remember. 'Autumnal' was actually a good word, I think, to choose for the record.
YS: I know I associate certain bands and albums with certain seasons. Do you find that yourself?
LP: Yep. If you say ‘autumnal’, The Clientele are very much a band that I associate with that season. With the spring, I would associate like Roger Nichols & The Small Circle of Friends, which is something which is a little bit niche but there you go. The Meters would be summery. Because obviously you would go for The Beach Boys for summer, yeah, but not all of the Beach Boys are summer, some of the Beach Boys are actually winter. Some of the more experimental stuff. But yes, I associate music with seasons. I wouldn’t go straight into thinking ‘oh yes, of course, this is a January record. This is a March record’. But yes. It’s not forcing to associate a record or a type of music with a time of the year. Not at all. And autumn for some reason seems to be more evocative than other seasons, when it comes to music. I think it’s because in pop there’s always a solar, a sunshine element. But most great pop - I’m not saying my record is great, it is great, but that’s not what I’m saying - there’s an element of melancholy and nostalgia. This is like the leaves turning, and the days shortening, and a different kind of warmth. So yes, I suppose that autumn really fits in very well with my idea of pop.
YS: Evokes twilight as well.
LP: Yep. Actually there’s even a song on the record which is about twilight. The song ‘The Mighty Owl’, which is the owl of Minerva, which only comes out when it gets dark.
(listen to the end to hear ‘The Mighty Owl’)