Twist Helix is an electronic alt-pop band based in Newcastle upon Tyne. This three piece band produce thought-provoking female fronted electropop so engaging that we fell in love as soon as we heard it. Twist Helix were kind enough to chat to us about their background, their upcoming single and their upcoming tour so, read on.
Tell us a little bit about yourselves. What’s the story behind Twist Helix and how would you describe your sound?
We’re Twist Helix an unsigned female fronted electronic/analogue crossover from Newcastle-upon-Tyne and we’re just about to bring out our second single ‘Pulse’.
We’re fronted by Bea, our synth player and singer who is originally from Alicante in Spain, she’s backed by bassist Michael and our drummer James. As for our sound it’s a bit of a mouthful but the best way to describe it is probably Electronic-Alt-Pop.
What motivates you as a band to create music and what inspires it, your aesthetic and vibe?
We write narratives, concept pieces with a self-reflexive quality lyrically; the new album titled ‘Ouseburn’ is named after an area of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne which is the artistic hub of the city. We’re trying to capture the energy of the area and explore its evolution/changing rhythms. The new single Pulse focuses on the latest phase of transition now happening in the area, specifically the threat posed by new housing developments which are displacing arts spaces and changing the area’s identity.
Twist Helix is an interesting name – what was the inspiration for it and does it have a particular meaning in relation to your music?
We took the inspiration for the name from Watson & Crick’s double helix model for DNA (a twist being the same thing as a helix); we wanted a name that suggested both evolution and awareness that identity is the result of the component parts. A concept we hope carries through to our music.
Your lyrics are pretty topical and don’t hold back on discussing issues that are important to you- a far cry from the normal indie or synthpop fare. Do you find people connect with your lyrics and how central is the message to your music?
The message is everything to us; I don’t know where the songs would come from otherwise. Having something to say shapes the colour and feel of the songs as we write them. It’s great that people have picked up on the depth of the lyrics and the moniker of “intelligent synthpop” that was bounded about by our local press was complimentary but unexpected. In writing music we’re only doing what feels natural to us, everyone should have an opinion, because we’re open about it, we get billed with a lot of punk bands… which I guess makes sense, though sonically we’re very different, our ethos and outlook is the same.
You are a very uptempo band and your tracks have a lot of energy around them. What should people expect if they catch you at one of your live shows?
It’s all about energy. We believe in creating things in the moment, unusually for an electronic band we don’t use any laptops or pre-recorded loops in our live shows; even our use of samples for atmosphere or triggered sounds is kept to a minimum. We’re all about the interaction between the analogue and electronic elements, the risk and joy of performance. When we throw in some fog/haze into the mix and some sound responsive lights we have a lot of fun.
Finally, what does the future have in store for Twist Helix – gigs, releases, new ventures? I believe you have a few live shows coming up?
Yes we’re back out on tour having kicked things off in London on the 04th Jan. It’s looking to be a busy year ahead of us but so far we have confirmed:
- 21/01/17 – The Cluny – Newcastle
- 02/02/17 – West Street Live – Sheffield
- 09/02/17 – Bavaria -Sunderland
- 12/02/17 – Verve Leeds
- 19/03/17 – FabCafe – Manchester
- 01/04/17 – Buff’s Club – Glasgow
Photo by Paul Murray Media