There’s a nervous energy before an interview. Two parties sitting across from each other, afraid to talk before the red light flashes. What better way to start an interview with Michael Pope and May Kay of Le Galaxie, renowned for their high energy, electro-rock futurism, than in a nervous flurry.
The band is entering an exciting new phase. They will release their third studio album ‘Pleasure’ on 6 April. May Kay has been recruited as a permanent member after previous temporary collaborations. Kay is delighted, not only as a fan of the band but also to ease the ‘logistical nightmare’ of having one foot in the door of a busy, touring outfit. Her role will be fleshed out as she takes on the lines of previous collaborators Senita and Elaine Mai. “I was very reluctant to do (Love System) because it’s such a beautiful vocal she has on it and it’s really distinctive, but obviously I wasn’t going to not do it.” They have also kept triggered vocals on songs where the voice is used as an electronic instrument.
As far as her songwriting input is concerned, she is gradually assimilating her skills while also happy to follow their compositions. “The decision to bring Mary in was actually done halfway through the album recording,” according to Pope. Their latest single Day of The Child boasts her most involvement to date. Great news for fans of her previous project Fight Like Apes.
‘Pleasure’ has been crafted with a new approach in process, ethos and delivery. Le Galaxie are focusing on melody and engaging their audience’s soft side. They hope for their work to be “spine tingling”. Known for their vivacious performances at festival slots, Pope talks about his love for electronic music, losing yourself in a crowd but also connecting with the softer side of music. The band aspire to create an atmosphere that sweeps you off your feet but still reaches a deeper level. A welcome antidote to the monotonous hedonism that is associated with a lot of EDM these days. “I think Love System is a good gateway song between the two albums,” says May Kay.
The title track was released in April last year. The band were still in negotiations with their new independent, LA-based label Red River Entertainment. This year will see them returning to the US to perform at SXSW in Austin Texas for the second time.
“It’s great, on sixth street in Austin at SXSW, from a distance you can just be like, Irish, Irish, Irish, ridiculously ill-fitting Stetson, Irish.”
This year we hope to see Le Galaxie filling up their calendars with dates across Ireland, the UK, Europe and America, plugging the album and tightening the reins on their live show. Catch up with them at Indipendence, Vantastival or Sea Sessions. Plans for the release party are yet to be unveiled but Pope promises it to be a “real strange, unique little show.”
Le Galaxie capture the imagination of their devoted fans and continue to evolve and transform at home and abroad. They’ve come a long way from their days spent jamming out hours of unpolished guitar riffs, spurred on by their mutual love of Sigur Ros and a desire to get people on their feet and feeling good. Looking back, Pope imagines his fifteen-year-old self being less surprised by his progression from drummer to frontman and more concerned with his devastating hair loss! His position in the band came about accidently as they scurried onstage at an impromptu gig way back when. His role as vocalist was never anticipated. He reflects on his days as a drummer. “I’d be setting up my stuff and I’d walk by the microphone in the centre and even that would give me anxiety”
It will be interesting to see what shift in focus May Kay will bring. The additional attraction onstage may make for an even more confident performance and allow listeners and players to really sink into the new material.
Be sure to pencil 6 April into your diaries, get out there and buy their album and continue to support our boys and girls to show the world the best of what we have to offer.