Brighton emo band I Feel Fine have released their first EP Long Distance Celebration today via Failure by Design. The EP is an extremely strong debut, filled to the brim with twinkly riffs and huge gang vocals. You can stream it and read a track by track about it by guitarist/vocalist Nathan Tompkins below.
This was a last-minute idea which stemmed from the sessions that went into putting our live set together. The chords are basically permutations of those used later in “Beached Community”, and something I was toying with in the prep to playing the song at practice.
Antoine (Mansion, drums) had the thought of using it on the record, and we pretty much all agreed straight away. I guess it got us really thinking about the structure of everything, and the story we would try to tell, more than we had done at that point.
This set of songs will be brand new to anybody hearing them now, but the majority of them actually go back quite some time for us. This one in particular. If I had to guess I’d say I’m now into my 6th year with it (don’t worry, we’ve only been a band for 2 of them!). Maybe the fact that I’m yet to tire of it was justification alone to include it on the release, ha.
There’s a loose theme to the EP, centred on the complexities of things and of learning to face change rather than pretend it doesn’t affect us. With this song it was about illustrating the story of a life within that framework. We shot a video for it recently, too!
When Joe (Kool, guitar) joined us and completed our line-up as it sits currently, this song was the first that we got him to learn. We lived together for a while shortly after that, which afforded us the luxury of being handed time to evolve the material we had then.
Reimagining the second chorus to “Safari” and putting together some of the guitar interplay ideas with him was a really gratifying moment for me personally. It felt like a welcome sea-change came over the band at that point, like we’d happened upon a sound or identity we genuinely thought worth harbouring.
I go through different phases of where I want to take us stylistically. A few years back I was really into a lot of post-punk and obscure indie-rock; bands like Sonic Youth, Sebadoh and Pavement that played with a lot of odd sounds and timbres. “Lifer” is what we made of that. The dynamic shift at the half-way point is probably one of my favourite parts on the record.
“Pan for Gold”
Living through the release cycle we’ve been on for the last few months has been exciting, and sure it’s reaped its rewards along the way, but it’s also been tough sitting on this one way longer than we expected we’d have to. Being the last song put together for the EP, naturally that makes it the best example of where we’re at now creatively. Unfortunately, that’s also made it the version of ourselves on record we’d been most eager to share. So, it’s comforting to know the wait is finally over.
It’s about being simultaneously attached and detached from someone/something, and trying, albeit helplessly, to navigate the malaise that creates. Call it the story of your life.