‘In the struggle between yourself and the world, side with the world’
We Used To Make Things are an East London based band, the product of a fusion of influences as diverse as ELO and The Beatles, taking in Indie Rock, Punk and Horns along the way to create an explosion of sound, perfectly exemplified by new single ‘Yes Man’.
The song is a about embracing the powerlessness inherent in our modern lives before a chaotic and angry eruption of sound rallies us with a battle cry against apathy, a catchy earworm of dissatisfaction.
Do you feel in control?
In all aspects of your life?
In your career?
In your relationships?
We Used to Make Things are a Hackney based eight piece Indie Pop band brimming with melodic hooks, fat grooves, big horns, incisive lyrics and vocal harmonies. Their story begins four years ago when singer Matthew, a Yorkshireman, lost his job as a youth worker running a successful music project for young people in one of the most deprived parts of North London, a direct result of the austerity that came in the aftermath of the financial crash of 2008. Left disillusioned, Matthew started to write lyrics, an irreverant take on the absurdity of the world we live in.
An early incarnation of the band began to take shape around Matthew, Ben (drums and production) and Marv (guitar), the band’s songwriting team. Together they focused on creating their own mix of The Specials’ horn section, The Kinks’ worldview, The Beatles’ hooks, The Beach Boys’ harmonies, The Divine Comedy’s wit and Elbow’s grandeur.
The band chose a name to hint at their disillusionment with post-industrial Britain but also more personally about a danger that accompanies adulthood, that of losing the ability to play, make mistakes, be creative and ultimately, make things.
The songs that were written in this period flowered into a bigger lineup of musicians and an unlikely set of friendships. We Used to Make Things spent the coming years developing a rich sound and an enveloping sense of family – both onstage and off – which established them as a superb live act playing festivals around the country, providing joyous and cathartic experiences for all involved, both on and off stage.
Very early on the band were approached by various music industry figures but over the course of time felt more inclined to pursue a DIY ethic, one where they could fully realise the sound in their heads. This would prove to be challenging at first but they learnt a lot during this period. Their perseverance and commitment to their own vision resulted in their forthcoming self-titled and self-produced debut album.
The songs on their album are shaped by warm, witty lyrics about dissatisfaction, personal politics, open plan offices and the kind of characters Mike Leigh and Pinter would be proud of. It is in turn funny, poignant and angry, but also very good to dance to.
Take a look at the official video for ‘Yes Man (No, No, No)’ featuring Spencer Jones.