Although males continue to dominate the music industry, an incredible female-fronted band called SYKES is one act that is tipping the scales. Hailing from across the pond in London, England, the three-piece electro pop rock band consists of Julia, Will, and Kristian. Upon spending a summer on the Vans Warped Tour in 2016 and releasing the Younger Mind EP, the group has been making moves in the US market over the past year and a half. Garnering their style from a number of influences, they have found that bigger pop songs and songs with huge melodies and guitar riffs help them develop their eclectic sound. “We grew up listening to everything from The Beatles and Queen, to Radiohead and The White Stripes,” reveals Julia.
Before SYKES formed, the trio met in university while spending their days pursuing majors that had nothing to do with music. Instead of continuing with their degrees upon graduation, they took a different approach–the group instead moved to London to further their musical careers, and they don’t regret this decision for a second.
A year ago, SYKES released their latest EP, Younger Mind, and it’s clear that their sound and direction have changed and their songwriting improved since Out of Your Hands four years ago. With this latest effort, teamwork and collaboration were instrumental in making the new songs what they are. “We love getting in a room all together and throwing ideas around,” Julia explains. “We normally start with a guitar riff, a chord sequence, or a vibey synth sound. It varies for every song though. Sometimes, you also need to just live with a song by yourself for a while before putting it out there for everyone else. But it doesn’t really become a SYKES song until we’ve all touched it,” she continues.
It’s not uncommon for some musicians to have a different musical setup between the studio versions of their songs and the ways that they interpret those songs in a live setting. But for their Younger Mind EP, the band actually drew inspiration from their live performances. “We wanted to inject the energy from our live set into this record, so we spent a lot of time perfecting the balance between live drums and programmed drums and the way the songs would flow in a live environment,” Kristian describes. “We are so happy with the sound we achieved,” he adds.
Check out the rest of the feature in our upcoming issue–coming soon!
PHOTOS: LORI GUTMAN // @lorigutmanphotos
WORDS: COLLEEN CASEY