L’objectif: “We’re not headed in just one direction”

L’objectif are spinning post-punk and guitar-pop into something vital.

L’objectif are spinning post-punk and guitar-pop into something vital.

Words: Finlay Holden. Photo: Holly Whitaker.

L’objectif’s post-punk inspired tunes are a roar of excitement not to be missed. An exciting four-piece from – despite what their name could suggest – Leeds, they consist of frontman Saul Kane, drummer Louis Bullock, plus recent additions Ezra Glennon on bass and Dan Richardson on guitar.

“Me and Louis started the band in Year 8; we were really small,” Saul reveals from his childhood bedroom. “We met through school plays – he’s the only other person in my year who was doing it. Every rehearsal, we’d go into the music room and start playing instead. We didn’t know Ezra until like Year 10, and then we became best friends. Dan is Louis’ friend from nursery that he somehow had a connection with and could play guitar, so we knew we needed him.”

The group’s recruitment methods have somehow worked out, and it is hard to believe that the four young lads are all still in secondary education – balancing music releases while revising for A-Level mock exams seems no easy feat. “It isn’t that hard to balance, but it’s the fact that we’re all so excited about it,” Saul says. “We can’t really concentrate on schoolwork a lot of the time.” Who can blame them?

After jamming around school for years, things have begun to really kick off for the band after Chess Club Records scouted them online. “Literally from just a Twitter thing, we had two weeks of chaos; we had no idea what was going on, and it was hard to make any decisions,” Saul recalls of the crucial moment. “Chess Club were the first proper label to express interest in us.”

With a sound that, so far, slots neatly into the rising movement of post-punk in the UK, it’s no surprise L’objectif were snapped up with haste.  Acts like Black Country, New Road and Dry Cleaning have fleshed out this landscape over the past few years to both critical acclaim and surging popularity. “New bands coming through with this post-punk sound started something of a chain reaction in other groups,” the teen observes. “They’re all inspired by bands like Pixies, New Order, Joy Division… It’s cool to see people drawing from bands of that style.”

Speaking of style, this is something the quartet are adamant about not cementing – not yet, anyway. With only a few of Saul’s penned tunes making their way to fans so far, experimentation is still at play, and the difference across even the few current tracks is noticeable enough to prevent any acclimatisation setting in. 

“We want to establish early on that we’re not headed in just one direction,” he offers. “I’d never give in to that pressure and stick to one sound. We want things to have more of a cryptic feel, so people don’t know what’s coming next.”

One defining characteristic that seems consistent to this point is a distinct tone of… well, not pure pessimism, but not exactly optimism either. “Yeah, everything I write about is pretty miserable; I don’t think I’ve written a happy song at all,” Saul laughs in agreement. “To me, it’s always just something I wrote in my room; I get all the miserable stuff down and don’t think about people listening to it. I actually feel a bit disconnected sometimes when it’s finally out there.”

For a 17-year-old, the attention and stresses of even partial success must bring up some anxieties? “It’s so strange; it’s never happened before with anything in my life. It’s at a level now that’s not too much to deal with; if it got bigger, it’d be something scary to think about… at least I’d be older then!”

Since L’objectif have only played a couple of socially distanced shows so far, they “never really had a fanbase until suddenly this all happened – the only real way to build one apart from gigs is through releasing good songs and just hoping people like them.”

This only increases the quartet’s burning desire to get out there on the live stages, though. Playing to a crowd has been a fundamental aspiration since the Year 8 days, but unfortunately – or fortunately, depending on your perspective – 13-year-olds are seldom allowed to even enter a venue. “We’ve never felt like a proper band; we always felt like kids playing music,” Saul admits. 

With growing plans and ambitions, how do the four-piece actually define success? “Success is getting as far as you can go and be at a point where you could lose it all and still have achieved what you wanted. A point where if you fall, it’s a tragic downfall, and if you succeed further, you’re a hero. That was on the spot too; that’s my English lit coming in!” Saul almost winks. Their five-track ‘Have It Your Way’ EP is sure to set L’objectif straight on that path to triumph. “It’s a statement of who we are,” he declares. “Whether it good or bad is up to you!”

Taken from the August 2021 edition of Dork, out now. L’objectif’s EP ‘Have It Your Way’ is out now. Stream it in full below.

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