Artist’s Guide FEET – Walking Machine EP

FEET have returned with a new label, and a fresh EP of delights. We got the band to run us through it, track by track.

FEET have returned with a new label, and a fresh EP of delights. We got the band to run us through it, track by track.

Oli: From my memory, ‘Arena’ was birthed out of an atypical lockdown jam between me and Rains. Initially, it was a sombre moment, evocative of our pandemic pace of life. However, when George started chipping in with the lyrics, it was abundantly clear that the song could be much more than just a moody nod to better times. Against the surreal backdrop of 2020, compounded by us parting with some of our team – this quickly became a time of both contemplation and anticipation. Throughout the writing process of Arena, we were toying with what we wanted to sound like as a band. Though I believe with the other songs, we took positive strides in terms of sound, with Arena, we found what we wanted to say as well. George’s lyrics weave between observation and humour, placing us more accurately on the serious spectrum than with previous releases. They also come from a place of despondency with being in a band and not knowing when the next show is coming. I guess you could say that this whole EP serves as a vehicle for us finding our place in the musical landscape. Arena, like the others, has been integral to that.

Harry: To say our work ethic on the writing process of this song was strong would be a colossal understatement. When we finally decided to get to work writing after two months of doing almost nothing since moving to London, one of the first ideas we ended up with was ‘Peace & Quiet’. I reckon we had the stabs in between the verses at the house and the rest of the song came in the rehearsal studio, and when I say the rest of the song, I mean literally one other chord. If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it. The backbone of the song, in my opinion, is in the vocal delivery and content, so the real work, we decided, would be in the production of the song and making it sound how we intended – which came when we record Walking Machine in October. We were reasonably happy with this one from the get-go and opened with it during our tour support with Inhaler in February last year.

Rains: ‘Library’ had been lurking in the ‘unfinished-FEET-song-bank’ for many a month before it finally clicked with us. We wanted to hammer home an approach we’ve had towards our newer songs: to make songs a lot less musically busy, giving space to the individual parts and emphasising the hooks. ‘Library’ is our entry into the ever-growing abyss of 3-chord garage rock songs, taking inspiration from the simplicity of bands such as The Ramones and Pixies, whose songs consist of simple and memorable melodies at their core disguised by a noisy and garage rock feel.

Ben: This is one of our moodiest tracks, somehow arising from George’s waiting on a slow-eating acquaintance and the British aggravation which comes with that. This is the second incarnation of this song, the previous involving a choir-like chant shouting the chorus hook. Realising the song needed more character (and to be better), we injected aggression and tension in the form of turning Oli’s bass chorus up to 11 and built contrast in the pre-verses with Oli and I locking in in a sparse eighth note drone; hoping to give the full band sections more weight. Everything you hear on the recording is from a single take with everyone in the same room, even the vocal, which is super dry but remains apparent and spacious. It was hard to find the sweet spot when recording it, but when we got there, it felt like coming full circle to finish the EP.

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