Introducing... L-Space


L-Space are a futuristic, electronic band from Scotland who are as equally intriguing as they are exciting. Their mixture of hard basslines, along with sounds straight from the future culminate to set the background for, lead singer's, Lily's vocals to purr over the track. What they do so magnificently is to carve their own uniqueness into your brain and their sole place on the scene leaves them with little to no competition. I recently got to interview them about everything to do with music, the future and their recent formation...

Question. Firstly, the name L-Space. Where did it come from and what does it mean?
L-Space:
We are fans of Terry Pratchett's Discworld Series. In Discworld there is an alternate dimension called L-space, short for library space, (like m-space in physics), which is created by the fact that books warp space and time due to the absolutely true and definitely mathematical concept that Knowledge is Power. You can enter L-space through libraries and you can use it for time travel so we thought that was pretty cool.

Q. At what point did you all realise you wanted to get into music?
LS:
We've all loved music for our whole lives, but I think the moment it really clicked for us was the first time the four of us ran through a song called Fill Your Heads With Static. Everything clicked into place all of a sudden and it sounded fantastic - I think that was when we realised we could be on to something pretty special.

Q. Who influenced you, musically, the most whilst growing up?
LS:
I was quite behind in getting into popular music when I was younger. I was not cool haha. I first listened mostly to the classical music my parents put on at home, punctuated by some The Beatles, David Bowie, Brian Eno and Mike Oldfield. That kind of thing. Then as I got older I got more into music and started to explore a mixture of current soft rock like Travis, Keane, KT Tunstall, Coldplay etc. and old music that my parents and friend's likes like Pink Floyd, Genesis, Jeff Buckley etc. Then when I was around 15 I built my own collection and tastes and got into a lot of music, but my stand-outs were Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Kings of Convenience and Laura Marling. Sooooo, to answer your question, a mixture of older rock/ambient/psychedelic and Radiohead.

Q. How long has L-Space been together as a band?
LS:
A sort of proto-L-space performed a small show in Stirling in May 2016 with Gordon on piano, me on synth and Dickson reading some of his short stories. It sort of died down after that for a while until late 2016 when Gordon and I decided to record a small EP, which turned into Sol 0. Dickson added a bassline in January 2017 and joined the band properly shortly after that. Our friend Maggie stepped in on synth for a few shows, and then in April Maura joined us full time - L-space was born! So to answer your question, around 6-ish months.

Q. And your branding is so unique. I love the single covers! How do they come about?
LS:
Gordon does all of our graphic design for us. He uses a combination of photoshop and the 3D rendering software Blender. He usually starts with a shape or a colour that has taken his fancy and then expands on the theme from there. His favourite so far has been the Sol 0 cover, but there are some exciting things in the works!

Q. Not as unique as your music though, do you strive to be as unique as possible?
LS:
To start with we didn't try to aim to be unique, we just wanted to make something we enjoyed. It just turned out that when we all put our musical talents perspectives together, something comes out that I haven't heard before. Part of that is letting ourselves just be ourselves even if we don't sound perfect, and part of it is that we are quite sensitive to sounding like we are trying to imitate someone else. Like for me personally, if I started singing in a way which put on an accent or an affectation to fit in with other popular styles and talented singers, I would cringe so hard at myself. One of my battles is being OK with sounding like myself. Now we are a few songs in, I think perhaps we are consciously trying a bit more to make sure we aren't boring and repeating things that have already been heard over and over again, but at the same time, I want to write some pop songs that people like to sing along to, so it can't be too out there!

Q. The whole 'futuristic' theme and the spaced out tunes. How did that image come together?
LS:
Gordon and I are both fans of sci-fi novels and future technology in general. I also recently graduated in Cognitive Science with a dissertation in brain-computer interfaces and with some studies in artificial intelligence, so those studies opened my eyes more to our fantastic cyborg future and because it is something I am interested in and passionate about, I like to write about it. Also I want to make the world a better place and help more people have a good quality of life, and I think future technology is how we will do that. Basically, some of the present is a bit shit, so the future gives me hope and keeps me going.


Q. And Lily, you have such ethereal and beautiful vocals, is that something you've had to work on or has it came naturally to you?
LS:
Aw shucks, thanks. At the moment it is very natural because I haven't had any training, and I have been too shy to sing for a long time, so I haven't really had time to learn my own voice yet. I would like some lessons in the future to help with breath control, because I quite often run out of breath on a note and it spoils the sound. I think also with practice my voice might change as I become more comfortable in myself. Luckily, the kind of music we are making at the moment fits my voice, because I think the voice I have won't fit a lot of music. It is naturally quite breathy and lacks volume and strength, but I'll turn the weaknesses into a positive and it fits well with an ethereal style!

Q. What's more important to all of you, the music or the vocals?
LS:
In my head I don't really separate music and vocals very much. Often the lyrics to me aren't as important as the melody, because personally I find melody more powerful than words, but as an instrument I see vocals as on the same level as the other instruments. This is also why I like to do a lot of Oohs and Aahs in my songs, for example in our song 'Maiden Voyage', because then the voice is as wordless as the other instruments, and it can add to the tone of a song without worrying with having to say anything.

Q. You've recently released 'Space Junk' as a single. How does that feel?
LS:
So good! What I love about releasing a song 'out into the wild' is that (1) people can enjoy it, which is part of the joy of making music, and (2) if I choke on peanut tomorrow I will have left something creative behind, not just carbon dioxide and poo.

Q. How would you describe the song in your words?
LS:
It's a catchy dream pop song about floating off into space when things on Earth are a bit shit.

Q. Is it your favourite song you've made to date?
LS:
Ooh, that's a tough one. I think so! We all have our own favourites - I know Gordon loves Southern Reach, Dickson really enjoys playing Blue Flowers and Maura likes Maiden Voyage.

Q. Will it be part of a future EP/LP to follow up 'Sun Dog Fly', which was released earlier this year?
LS:
I think Space Junk might stay as a standalone single for now - we have quite a few new songs in the running for the next EP already. When the time comes it'll definitely be on our first album!

Q. Are there any plans to release Vinyl anytime soon, because L-Space would sound phenomenal on wax?
LS:
When we have the money we'd love to! Hopefully if we get picked up by a label we can talk them into releasing a vinyl.

Q. With the plethora of sounds and samples L-Space use, is it hard to perform all of that live?
LS:
At the moment because we are poor, we load anything we can't play onto Gordon's phone and play it through that. We try to play as much as we can live, but without the right equipment there I only so much we can do. In the future I home to get some equipment with buttons to trigger samples and train one of Dickson's dogs to hit them for us.

Q. And what are your live shows like?
LS:
Getting noisier! With every new show we like to try something new or add something to one of the songs, so the sets have gradually gotten longer and more elaborate. The core instruments we use are guitar, synth, bass, vocals and samples. We've added more synths in recently and I think some of our new songs will require quite a bit of planning.

Q. Any good gig stories?
LS:
Dickon's dog ran on stage through my legs during a gig and that was lovely because dogs are welcome.

Q. Any plans on venturing out on tour soon?
LS:
We would LOVE to. Especially Scotland, Scandinavia, Asia and Germany, but obviously that costs a lot of money! The closest we might get this year is going to London and Oxford because we have family and friends there.

Q. When you go into the studio do you have a pre-conceived notion of what you're about to create or do you just let it flow whilst in the studio?
LS:
We usually have it quite planned out because we don't have a lot of money and can't afford to record very often - so we want to make sure we get everything done on time! Occasionally I won't have a harmony or lyric completely settled on yet and that will have to come with the flow, and sometimes we won't quite yet know what effects we want on the sounds until we play around with some options in the studio.

Q. Does writing new music come easy to you?
LS:
It comes too easily! We have a bank of so many songs we have written or started writing that we haven't had a chance to finish putting together or record yet. Luckily Gordon has made a spreadsheet to keep track of them otherwise we might forget some because there are too many. For me, sometimes I'll be walking along or at work and a little melody will come into my head and I'll hum it into my phone in the street or hiding in the toilet cubicles, so I have many seeds of songs waiting to be gone back to and worked on. The things that aren't easy are when I'm writing a melody for an already made song that has some odd chords and sometimes I get a mind block because nothing is quite right, and also I find lyrics hard to write. Gordon churns out songs fairly regularly while sitting at the piano or with a guitar. I think at the last count there are around 50 songs on the spreadsheet!

Q. Finally, what is the ultimate goal for L-Space?
LS:
Spread our music across earth and space like the nicest virus ever.



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