Duos are hardly a rar­ity in the music industry: The White Stripes, Sonny & Cher… Out­kast. Some things are just stronger in pairs, and that’s cer­tainly the case when it comes to Alpines. We caught up with the Lon­don-based two­some, Cath­er­ine and Bob, to talk about sounds, style and what’s so great about Bey­on­cé.

Often with a solo artist, their range of influ­ences can be quite obvi­ous in their music. As a duo, do you feel you each have sim­il­ar music­al influ­ences or are they at totally dif­fer­ent ends of the spec­trum and how does that come through in your work?


—We have both come from very dif­fer­ent music­al back­grounds and as a res­ult we pull inspir­a­tion from all over the place, so it makes sense that the albums we make have an eclect­ic mix of sounds which is hard to place in a single music­al genre. Bob loves his ambi­ent pro­du­cers and albums, this includes artists such as Bri­an Eno, Nils Frahm and Sig­ur Rós. I was raised on soul and blues so that’s where my vocal sound and song­writ­ing comes from. As a teen­ager I loved RnB and huge power­house vocal­ists like Whit­ney and Mari­ah. But we also love hip hop and will DJ tunes we grew up listen­ing to when we were teen­agers; Aaliyah, Tim­ba­l­and and Missy Elli­ot. We also love so many of the new­er artists com­ing through now such as Sampha, Solange, Nao and Loyle Carner so it’s safe to say the influ­ences are broad!

You released your second album last year — how was that pro­cess com­pared to your debut album? Do you feel like you learned a lot? 

—We have learnt so much writ­ing ‘Anoth­er River’. It was a very dif­fer­ent pro­cess to writ­ing our first album ‘Oas­is’ because we spent two years in the stu­dio focus­ing purely on try­ing to write a record we were really going to be proud of, with very few oth­er dis­trac­tions. We wrote nearly 100 songs for this album too, so it was very intens­ive. We def­in­itely learned our bound­ar­ies and lim­it­a­tions, as well as how to make an album which was cohes­ive, des­pite there being such a wide range of influ­ences and styles. Most of all we wanted to write an album which was very hon­est and per­son­al and would really reach people and hope­fully con­nect with them.

Your sound has been described as a cross between Kate Bush and The xx; how would you describe it if you only had five words? 

—We love The xx and have been really inspired by their music since the start of the band. We have a great appre­ci­ation for Kate Bush but have nev­er really listened to her music that much so it’s inter­est­ing that she’s been ref­er­enced as a com­par­is­on so much through­out our career. Maybe in the early days this made more sense. Now, how­ever our sound has developed so we would prob­ably sum­mar­ise it as soul­ful, min­im­al, hon­est, cine­mat­ic and tex­tur­al.

You have a really unique and strik­ing image too, is that a con­scious decision? What part does per­son­al style and fash­ion play in your work and what does it mean to you? 

—Thank you so much! The image and visu­als of the band have been import­ant to us since the begin­ning. It means a lot to us because we want to try and cre­ate an immers­ive world for fans to enter. While the music is obvi­ously the most import­ant thing, hope­fully the visu­als we make are inspir­ing to people too and become some­thing they can also indulge in.

You have your very own tour com­ing up really soon. How do you guys feel about that? 

—We are really excited about our upcom­ing tour. It is going to be so incred­ible to play so many towns and cit­ies we’ve nev­er been to before, and meet fans who have sup­por­ted us since the start. There is noth­ing more uplift­ing than enga­ging with people who really believe in the music you are mak­ing. It will be a lot of hard work and at times we will be exhausted, but it is the per­fect time for us to start play­ing shows in the UK and bey­ond.

With fest­iv­al sea­son already on the hori­zon, here’s a fun one: If you could dream up your ulti­mate fest­iv­al line-up, who would you have play­ing?


—There are so many people we love and would love to have on a fest­iv­al line up, but our top head­liner artist would prob­ably have to be Bey­on­cé. She is just so incred­ible live and there really is no one on her level when it comes to live per­form­ance. We saw her at Gla­ston­bury in 2011 and she blew us away. Then we would have to have Eminem. We both love him and have watched 8 mile about a hun­dred times so it would be incred­ible to see him live. Neil Young, he is meant to be amaz­ing live and has writ­ten some of our all-time favour­ite songs. Erykah Badu, because she is the Queen and is so weird, won­der­ful and soul­ful in all the right ways. D’Angelo, we saw him live a couple of years ago and he has the most incred­ible live band. Solange, we’re both obsessed with her new album. Nils Frahm, to add a slightly dif­fer­ent fla­vour to the line-up. His live shows are intense sound­scapes which are mov­ing and out of this world. And last but nev­er least, Sampha, because we love everything he does. He’s the soul voice of our gen­er­a­tion in our opin­ion and he’s about to release his new album which is prob­ably going to be on repeat every­where we go.

Watch the duo per­form their track ‘Motion­less’ live at Met­ro­pol­is Stu­di­os here

Check out the new single from Alpines ‘Stay’, and for more info on the band (includ­ing tour dates) stop by alpinesmusic.com