Every week we ask a creative, artisan, or musician to share what music gets them going from dawn to dusk. This week, London-based Alternative Pop band Flawes highlights the harmonies that liven up their day.
A happy accident does exist. Take the formation of Flawes for example. Huddersfield-born frontman Josh Carruthers (aka JC) and drummer Josh Hussey were childhood friends who had spent their teen years in different bands, sometimes supporting each other at live shows.
Both moved to London separately before their respective bands fell apart and they took on session work. JC toured with Neo-Soul songstress, Ella Eyre, who was impressed with the former's compositions that she booked him as a supporting act. Before kicking off the next tour, JC had a chance meeting with Huss and was introduced to Twickenham-born guitarist Freddie Edwards. One rehearsal later, Flawes was born.
Industry response was positive. Their track, ‘Don’t Wait For Me’, was made Record of the Week on BBC Radio 1, reached No.8 on Spotify’s viral chart, and was chosen to soundtrack trailers for the hit US TV series Lie To Me.
Flawes' latest release 'Don't Count Me Out' saw the band heading towards the upbeat territory and festival-ready anthems. Why the shift? “Initially, I stood behind keyboards on stage,” recalled JC. “But you can’t do that at a festival. Out front, you don’t want lots of laid-back songs. Plus, we were writing together, adding more live drums and bigger guitar parts. It was a natural progression.”
We caught up with the synth-loving band to find out the definition of 'Flawes' and the evolution of their sound.
ESQ: How did you guys settle on the name 'Flawes' and what was the defining moment that made you settled on being a trio?
JC: The name Flawes originally came from the idea of embracing our flaws or imperfections and learning from previous mistakes. Flawes is intentionally spelt with an added ‘e’; A flaw within a flaw. I’ve always liked the way trios looked on stage and the moment we got in the rehearsal room for the first time it just worked, we didn’t need anyone else.
ESQ: Who are your musical heroes and inspiration?
JC: When I was around 11 a family friend bought me a book of the ‘1001 albums to listen to before you die’. I set myself the challenge to listen to every single one. As a result, I ended up going through phases of idolising artists such as The Beatles, Queen, David Bowie, Coldplay and Jeff Buckley. Those years of discovery were so exciting.
FREDDIE: I’ve always loved Blues music, and have taken massive inspiration from people like Stevie Ray Vaughan, BB King and more recently John Mayer. I’m also inspired by modern artists that are trying something new. I’m currently really enjoying 21 Pilots, Lauv and Wretch 32 to name a few.
HUSS: I guess drumming wise I have a few, but Travis Barker is my main inspiration for picking up the sticks. He’ll always be one of my favourites, Such a bold and distinctive player. I’ve drawn a lot of inspiration from him musically and as a person.
ESQ: Tell us more about the band's sound and how it stands out from your peers.
FLAWES: Flawes sound is something that has naturally developed over the past 3 years since that first rehearsal. Without sticking to rules or guidelines we’ve been free to make exactly the music we desire, music that makes us smile. It’s clear that we are all influenced by very different genres, which in a studio environment, is really nice to have such a wide variety of music to draw inspiration from. We’ve taken drum elements from rap music, guitar elements from blues and synth elements from sounds and instruments of the 80s.
ESQ: Why the self-imposed 18 months out of the limelight?
FREDDIE: When we signed with our record label, we hadn’t actually been a band for very long. As a result, the writing dynamic between the three of us was still very fresh. It took a while to figure out where we actually wanted to take the music, and what the best creative set up was. The break from the public eye really helped us realise where we wanted the project to go, and we’re all so happy that we didn’t rush the debut album.
ESQ: Can we expect a full LP anytime soon and how do you guys think about the music streaming culture? Does it hurt or help budding musicians?
FLAWES: Yes! We wrote these songs as a body of work, and ideally, we’d love for people to listen to them that way.
We’ve spent the last 2 years writing the album and we’re so proud of what we have and can’t wait to share it with you all. We were fortunate enough to work with some of our favourite record producers, including Mike Crossey & Eric Stenman! I think it’s obvious the music industry we live and work in now is very different from what it used to be. It still blows our minds with streaming how easy it is for our music to reach places we never thought it could. It’s a nice feeling to see our song being played on the other side of the world, in places like Singapore!
1. JC: ‘Love It If We Made It’—The 1975
"I love the intensity of the vocal in the first verse; it really sets the mood for the song and for the start of my day. This song is so powerful in a live set too."
2. Huss: ‘Cool Blue’—The Japanese House
"This song is a morning routine in a song, it’s structured so brilliantly. The groove is a very ‘Get out of bed and start the day’ groove."
3. Freddie: 'Kings and Queens—30 Seconds To Mars
"I like to exercise first thing in the morning, and this song definitely gets me motivated to do that. It’s such an epic and timeless tune, I think it’s impossible not to feel pumped up by the end of it!"
1. JC: 'Violet City'—Mansionair
"A bold 'let's do this' anthem. They’ve just released their debut album too and it’s amazing! "
2. Huss: 'Sugar, Honey, Ice & Tea'—Bring Me The Horizon
"A midday pick-me-up for sure, I’ve been a BMTH fan for as long as I can remember, this is one of my favourite tracks from their new album ‘Amo’ A great example of a band that has developed and evolved through their career."
3. Freddie: 'Stressed Out'—Twenty One Pilots
"I went to see these guys live recently, and I’ve had this song in my head ever since. I was blown away by how good their live show was. So if you get the chance to see them live—do it!"
1. JC: 'Places We Won't Walk'—Bruno Major
“'The ultimate unwinding song in my opinion. Bruno’s understanding of complex harmonies blows my mind every time too. The whole album could fall under this category too.”
2. Huss: 'Flood'—Snarky Puppy
“I remember hearing this song for the first time when I was at music college, its one of the most memorable 7/8 melodies I’ve ever heard, and I still use it to reference that time signature today. It also has one of the best-written drum solos by ’Sput” their drummer.”
3. Freddie: 'I Guess I Just Feel Like'—John Mayer
“This is his latest release and is the perfect evening chill out song. I love how reflective the lyrics are, and it’s also great to jam along. This guy can’t do wrong in my eyes!”
Enjoyed the tracks? Check out our other ‘Dawn to Dusk’ playlists curated by guest artists each week and follow our Apple Music profile to access our playlist first when it's out.