Looking for new music to tickle your earbuds? “Winter Games,” the latest offering from London-based alternative rockers Victory Kicks, just might fit the bill.
An unsigned band, it seems likely a record label or two could come knocking on their door soon.
Described by lead singer, songwriter and guitarist John Sibley as “feel-good melancholia,” the new EP strikes a balance between slower mesmerizing tracks like opener “Theo Decker,” and punchier numbers like “Bayonet.”
About Victory Kicks
Victory Kicks began in 2013 as a home recording project for songwriter and guitarist John Sibley. After assembling a makeshift studio at home, Sibley recorded EP’s and singles consisting of short, lo-fi pop songs and shared them with his friends.
As friends from other London-based acts were added, Victory Kicks went from solo project to band.
Their first EP “Rockets for Ghosts” was released in July, 2013, receiving airplay on both sides of the Atlantic. The prolific band released “Get Blurred” and “Emily’s Hours” last year.
Sibley says his musical inspirations include the Dandy Warhols, Wilco, Guided by Voices, Neil Young, REM and Spoon. Though Coldplay isn’t on their list of influences, we often find Victory Kicks reminiscent of early Coldplay tracks from the “Parachutes” era.
Tracks for Winter Games were recorded last fall, and PRP recently added two selections from the new EP to our programming, “Bayonet” and “Promising Authors.” Currently, Victory Kicks receives more airplay in the U.S. than the U.K., but a couple of songs aired recently on BBC radio as well.
We had a chance to visit with Sibley via email recently; here’s what he had to say about the creative process behind the new release.
PRP: “There’s a healing and hopeful vibe to this EP we really like! Any thoughts there?”
JS: “I think people listening to these songs will take different things from them, I hope so. They are not about anything specific – I like songs that people can draw different meanings from relating to their own experiences.”
“Ultimately I suppose, whilst picking up on sad things, it’s meant to be comforting and like you say, healing and hopeful.”
PRP: “We love ‘Bayonet,’ great arrangement! Can you tell us what it’s about…and how it was recorded?”
JS: “Glad you like Bayonet, it’s probably my favorite song out of these new ones…it’s kind of about feeling detached from people around you, the people you love and being stuck in a cycle of things not going right…All of the songs on the Winter Games EP’s I recorded myself, starting with drums and acoustic guitar and then building up layers of different guitar sounds over that. I’ve got a bunch of guitars at home, all of which have a distinct sound, and I thought it would be cool to put all of them on each song, to find a way of making them work together.”
“The other thing I wanted to do with this was to do as little production work as possible – you can do so much now by way of editing and plugins etc., to change a song after it’s recorded – and I wanted to keep these songs as close to the original recording as possible.”
“I’m pleased with how it turned out, I think it has a nice, warm, authentic sound without too much studio sheen.”
PRP: ” ‘Promising Authors’ is a real standout, how did that one come about?”
JS: “It’s all about the momentum of it, really. It started out with this simple idea I thought I could just kind of build and build on…I’ve always liked that kind of slow-building, driving music.”
Part II of the new EP will be released this spring.
We at PRP are delighted to introduce listeners to the music of this accomplished young band.