New Young Pony Club burst into people’s consciousness last summer, touring on the NME Indie Rave Tour along with CSS and the Klaxons, which culminated with the release of their Mercury-award shortlisted album Fantastic Playroom last July.
The easiest way to categorise them would be as indie-electro-pop, something that hints at their wide range of influences, but crucially they, ‘marry the dance ethic with the pop ethic, and make something that you can dance to and sing along to.’ The eminently enjoyable ‘Ice Cream’ is a shining example of this happy union. Along with their dangerously infectious sound and lead-singer Tahita Bulmer’s stage presence, they make for quite the live experience too.
Armed with this knowledge I talked to Andy, their guitarist. The first album, Fantastic Playroom was shortlisted for a Mercury award and generally recieved a good deal of critical success, although commercially it was less blockbusting: “Well by the time it came out all the hype and press had us all vainly believing it was going to be huge but originally we were just happy that we sold 500 copies of ‘Ice Cream’ on 7. So, yes, it did much better than we had orginally hoped or dreamed even.”
They’re back in the studio working on a new album, although will it sound like the New Young Pony Club we know? “No, it’s not in a similar direction – but it’ll still sound like us, of course,” Andy reveals.
Due to the electro influence in their music, various tracks such as ‘Ice Cream’ have been extensively remixed, something which has not been entirely welcome: “Most of them we didn’t care for and we didn’t agree with but some were great. ‘Phones Mix’ and ‘The Hooks’ remixes were standouts for me”.
Andy talks about what’s been keeping them occupied recently: “Well we’ve done some interesting stuff this year including collaborating with lots of big names for a charity record called ‘Consequences’ and doing a duet with up and coming artist Cocknbullkid. I’m producing some music for other bands but mostly we are just writing our album. We are also DJing here and there which is fun, it’s nice to be able to play our favourite records to people.”
Given that they also dip their toes into the pop genre it was interesting to hear his disenfranchisement with the bulk of chart pop, an unorthodox move for a band such as this: “To be honest I have given up listening to chart music. I realised a while back that the chart basically no longer represents the choice of people who like music, it’s for all the people who don’t really like music but still buy one or two records a year because they read about them in the paper. This is the mainstream, but good music for me is now all about the niche and there is lots and lots of that which is great.”
They are certainly exploring the exciting and unashamedly fun elements of the electro-indie genre. Even the most casual of indie fans has become used to the strip mining of the early 80s sound and so New Young Pony Club’s emphasis on the content (such as Bulmer’s eclectic vocals), not the trend, puts them on a sure footing for the future.
With the rest of the Modular stable (LadyHawke, The Presets, Van She, Shychild, Frankmusik) all making an impact on the music scene, things are looking good for New Young Pony Club.