In Karaoke Mantra, CHILDCARE’s first single for over a year, we hear the group exploring that most sensuous of new-age experiences; the all-night gong bath.
Recorded at Somerset’s Distiller Studios with producer Dom Monks (Laura Marling, Big Thief, White Denim), Karaoke Mantra propels frontman Ian Cares’ distinctive lyrical tone and captivating vocal duel with bassist Emma Topoolski to the forefront.
“For [male guitarist] Rich’s Birthday I bought us tickets to an all-night gong experience,” explains singer Ian Cares, “so we packed our sleeping bags and cereal bars and headed to a church in west London, with the promise of ‘release old and stale energy’, ‘energize your life’ and ‘allow your soul surround your body’”. Twelve hours later the boys surfaced £63 out of pocket, souls nowhere to be surround, but with a story to tell.
Since the release of their critically acclaimed debut album Wabi-Sabi back in 2019, CHILDCARE, comprised of frontman Ian, bassist Emma, guitarist Rich Le Gate, and drummer David Dyson, have cultivated a faithful following of fans and champions including BBC Radio 1’s Annie Mac and Jack Saunders, achieved notable press support from Wonderland, DIY, LOBF, DORK and more, and been noted for their artistic live performances including a sold-out, mass levitating headline show at London’s Scala.
Karaoke Mantra signals a new chapter for CHILDCARE. Both recharged and realigned, the slink-rock four-piece are now poised to provide.
Your sound is incredibly diverse and fits into a multitude of genres
What genre would you classify yourselves as being in ?
We exist in the sometimes crowded but never boring world of Slinkrock.
What /Who are the inspirations behind your sound ?
Sly and the Family Stone vs Pixies vs Salt'n'Pepa
What motivated you all to start making music ?
Hmm, that's a difficult question. Probably some sort of combination of 'making music is fun', 'working with others is rewarding' and 'I am insecure and if I perform live then people will like me and I will get the validity I am so desperately seeking and surely deserve'.
“I wanted peace and space to think” seems to be opposed to the
unifying nature of a karaoke which portrayed some degrees of
Intrigue to me, what would you say the song “Karaoke Mantra” is
The song is inspired by an all night gong bath that male guitarist Rich Le Gate and I attended once. It had some good bits, but it had some very bad bits as well.
I listened to Wabi-Sabi and it is an incredibly well produced project
How would you summarise your musical creating process?
Well as a general rule, I write a song, usually just something resembling a groove and a melody, then we all meet up and thrash it out over a hot cocoa, Rich remains quiet and I try to discern whether he's into it, Emma and David suggest that it's not very us, I sheepishly retreat, I write another song, come back, Emma and David get straight into the feel of it, Rich says something along the lines of "it's just got that thing you know" and so we record a demo, go through this process about twenty times, arrange to record an album with a producer, get in the studio, pick a good snare sound, put a spoon in emma's sock to reduce bass buzz, have some technical issues with guitar buzz which aren't solved even by opening the whole guitar up and lining the inside with tin foil, Rich goes into quite a heavy funk for a couple of days and experiences imposter syndrome, I fret/boss my way around the studio process, we record some songs, make notes, have a few cocktails on special occasions, have one song that we just cannot get right, Ted from the label comes in and sits very quietly listening to the tunes which is quite scary, agrees to some extra studio time to record that one song we can't get right, eventually leave the studio, try and work out what the album is about then what the album therefore might look like, which takes months, try and fail to get various designers on board, eventually get a great designer on board, tweak the music for about six months until we put out first single Karaoke Mantra out and breathe a sigh of relief but also experience the shock of terror of putting something out and it's response being outside the realm of what we can control.
“Stuck in the grey” is a running expression within Omega Grey
In this context what would “grey” be a reference towards?
Personifications are embraced within the lyricism in
both Bamboo and Sugarcane to tell stories, are there
any other types of storytelling you as a group enjoy?
I suppose we watch TV as individuals, and Emma and I are into reading.
The song “Getting Over You” explored the idea that getting over someone
meant becoming the individual you were trying to get over.
How was the concept behind this song birthed ?
A girl I was seeing called it off and later that day when I was with some friends I found myself wearing her skirt. The song was born.
Hums / coos are utilised heavily throughout the project,
Is there any background to this usage ?
To avoid sounding like other bands we don't have chuggy, chordy guitar parts so we use various vocals to fill out the middle. This is certainly partly inspired by my years as a choir boy at St. Mary's Church, Saffron Walden.
Do you have any future goals for yourself and if so
What would you say those are ?
Enjoy every sandwich
LISTEN TO KARAOKE MANTRA