Interview: ETHR | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image – Photo: Rich Endersby-Marsh / Design: Harri Endersby

Hailing from Darlington indie-pop duo ETHR is a creative project born of lockdown and experimentation and is comprised of successful folk musicians Harri Endersby and Rich Endersby-Marsh. 

The pair release their follow up to debut single, Nights, with their latest offering Howl, a captivating track with a beat that leads you to a rich, textured soundscape filled with harmonious vocals, encircling synths and captivating instrumentation, all of which is brought to close with a rather rapturous finale.

It was written, produced and recorded in their home studio and is about the disconnect between how we choose to present ourselves to others and our natural way of being when we’re alone.

We caught up with Harri and Rich to find out more…

How have you been during these strange times?
Well, it has felt like one giant rollercoaster of a year. And by rollercoaster, I mean like being stuck on a Spinning Teacup or something, where you are constantly being hurled around the entire gamut of human emotion, in a perpetual state of never-ending queasiness and disorientation.

Saying that, being rather quiet souls, we have been lucky enough not to find the isolation of this year too unbearable. We’ve also been finding ways to stay creative and productive in order to fight the lockdown boredom.

How did ETHR come into existence? What inspired the project?
ETHR was a new creative challenge we set ourselves in lockdown. We are both from very different musical backgrounds originally (Rich spent his youth shredding in various metal bands, while Harri grew up listening to and writing folk music). ETHR feels like a place where we meet in the middle and that, we hope, is a true collaboration of our musical styles.

How does ETHR’s sound differ to Harri Endersby music? 
We’ve been writing and touring under the ‘Harri Endersby’ moniker for the past few years, but we wanted to pursue something much more collaborative, experimental, and unrestricted in style. Thus, ETHR was born. With ETHR, we’ve been working much more with samples and instruments that we’ve never previously recorded with and we try to remain open-minded about the genre of each song that we produce. It’s also been a great opportunity to experiment with our performance styles, particularly Harri who has been experimenting much more with vocal tone and performance.

Who are some of your influences for this project?
In terms of our influences, they have been quite wide-ranging for this project. Phoebe Bridgers’ song writing has been a constant source of awe and inspiration, as well as the sound and quality of Anna Leone’s music. We’ve also been listening closely to ‘Casualties of Cool’ by Devin Townsend and Ché Aimee Dorval, which is the most atmospheric blend of dark country rock. 

Tell us more about your new single HOWL. What is it about?
Howl is loosely based on an overnight journey made in the weeks prior to lockdown. Thematically, it’s about the disconnect between how we choose to present ourselves to others, and our natural way of being when we’re alone. We wrote, recorded, produced and mixed the single in our little home studio in Darlington, so we’re excited to let it out beyond these four walls.

What does the future hold for ETHR?
We have a handful of songs to record and are tentatively thinking about producing an EP later this year. We also have our first live date booked in for June, so we are excited (and a little terrified) to think about creating live arrangements of our new material. The set-up for our live shows will be a new challenge logistically, so it will be a great opportunity to grow as musicians (and technicians!)

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