Candy Says manifesto

Link: Candy Says live at The Waiting Room, London (11 September)

London. It’s a big city. And we’re going to play in it. If you live in London you could come. In fact, you should come. It’s going to be fun to play, but if you’re there it will be extra fun. And you probably don’t get to gigs often enough these days. We understand, life gets in the way. And gigs aren’t always that fun. Sometimes it’s nicer to curl up on the sofa and watch a drama on iPlayer. But you can do that any night of the week, and we don’t play in London very often. So in this particular case the sofa option is not the best option. The joy of iPlayer is that you can watch the drama another day. Or even after you get home from the gig. Not that you’ll want to do that, because (a) it’ll be quite late, and (b) once you’ve seen our show you’ll be buzzing, energised by the music, inspired to get out there and make the world a better place, to spread the word, to fill the air with beautiful sounds, to start a movement, to join a movement, to move, to dream, to connect. So TURN OFF THE TV and get down to where it’s all happening.

Please take a ticket, the doctor will see you soon.

There are a couple of preview tracks from the new She Keeps Bees album Eight Houses up on Bandcamp/Soundcloud and they are gooooorgeous. Can’t wait for the rest. And they’re playing the UK again in November. Bonus.

Vinyl lovin’

It’s so cool to see everyone’s tweets of their Not Kings vinyl after what seemed like an endless wait. Here are a few of our favourites:

If you don’t have a copy yet you can pick one up in Truck Store in Oxford, or on our Bandcamp.

Riverside Festival got a glowing ★★★★★ review in the Oxford mail and there was a great write-up of our set, in which the show was apparently stolen by Candy and her mannequin friends:


  The Candy in question is the all- seeing, non-playing member of Oxford art-pop group Candy Says, the model gazing vacantly off stage alongside bandmates Juju and Ben Walker. And tonight she looked great, sporting fairy lights and a summer hat, a wise choice on what had been one of the hottest days of the year.


They did mention the music too – we were in a real party mood that day, and everyone was happy to groove to our “fizzy and richly layered dance-pop and expansive electro-disco” (nicely said!).

They also picked up on Ben’s new move:


  “Join me in a one-handed clap” says Ben as hundreds of sun-burned festival-goers raise single arms in the air.


Riverside was really great this year. It’s such a cool little festival. And FREE! Vive la révolution!!

Riverside Festival got a glowing ★★★★★ review in the Oxford mail and there was a great write-up of our set, in which the show was apparently stolen by Candy and her mannequin friends:

The Candy in question is the all- seeing, non-playing member of Oxford art-pop group Candy Says, the model gazing vacantly off stage alongside bandmates Juju and Ben Walker. And tonight she looked great, sporting fairy lights and a summer hat, a wise choice on what had been one of the hottest days of the year.

They did mention the music too – we were in a real party mood that day, and everyone was happy to groove to our “fizzy and richly layered dance-pop and expansive electro-disco” (nicely said!).

They also picked up on Ben’s new move:

“Join me in a one-handed clap” says Ben as hundreds of sun-burned festival-goers raise single arms in the air.

Riverside was really great this year. It’s such a cool little festival. And FREE! Vive la révolution!!

We played a show in London last week (the Glory Days festival at the Hops and Glory in Islington) and it was a weird one. In a good way.

We were billed to headline at 11pm, after the football. The pub was rammed, and everyone had been there all day watching bands and football and listening to DJs play summer party music. Carnage.

Neil Wildblanket was there and took some great photos – thanks Neil!

The Netherlands vs. Costa Rica game went into extra time then penalties, so it was more like 11:45pm by the time we hit the stage. The next 40 minutes was the most fun we’ve had playing a gig for ages. The crowd were rowdy but friendly, and those who were into it were really into it.

It was just the three of us (Juju, Ben and Mike) this time, and will be again for Riverside Festival, so we filled out the sound by creating a whole load of new loops and samples in Ableton Live. It’s a whole new world of technology that we’re just dipping our toes into, but it sounded great! Juju also has a new vocal harmoniser that makes her sound like a choir of angels, and Candy the mannequin has a sound-triggered lighting system inside her so she “sings” the samples.

Candy Says, the party band. Who’d have thought it?!

We played a show in London last week (the Glory Days festival at the Hops and Glory in Islington) and it was a weird one. In a good way.

We were billed to headline at 11pm, after the football. The pub was rammed, and everyone had been there all day watching bands and football and listening to DJs play summer party music. Carnage.

Neil Wildblanket was there and took some great photos – thanks Neil!

The Netherlands vs. Costa Rica game went into extra time then penalties, so it was more like 11:45pm by the time we hit the stage. The next 40 minutes was the most fun we’ve had playing a gig for ages. The crowd were rowdy but friendly, and those who were into it were really into it.

It was just the three of us (Juju, Ben and Mike) this time, and will be again for Riverside Festival, so we filled out the sound by creating a whole load of new loops and samples in Ableton Live. It’s a whole new world of technology that we’re just dipping our toes into, but it sounded great! Juju also has a new vocal harmoniser that makes her sound like a choir of angels, and Candy the mannequin has a sound-triggered lighting system inside her so she “sings” the samples.

Candy Says, the party band. Who’d have thought it?!

I went and saw Jont play a rare gig in London last night (he moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia a couple of years ago). It was a great night – nobody holds a stage quite like Jont. He played a song called Sea Of Stars that I hadn’t heard for ages; I don’t think it ever made it on to an album. But the first lines really reminded me of the Candy Says manifesto and how we’re all on the same journey…

Well done and well said, all you failures
For failing to blend in with the rest
Yeah when the dawn comes let them name you
For reading and tearing up the test

Looking for a version of the song online I found this video from a gig at the Purcell Room in London about 6 years ago, with me on piano!

If you haven’t seen Jont before, check out his music – he recently uploaded all his albums to Bandcamp. If you’re looking for something to start with, try Supernatural. It’s a slow builder of a first track, but by the time it’s over you’ll be feeling the love…

—Ben

Our song Not Kings is featured on the Guardian music blog at the moment, as part of an open collaborative music video making project. It was just launched a couple of days ago and we’re the first band on it! Someone has already made this retro-digital psychedelic lyric video, and we can’t wait to see what else turns up in the next week or so.

You too could make an awesome video for Not Kings. Do it.

Sometimes the internet can be really cool.

Candy Says borrows a lot from the artists that came before them, but their name itself is sort of a disclaimer to this notion. And really, this honesty is welcome. Rather than make the mistake that so many artists do (claiming no inspiration outside of their own personal bubble), these two are embracing their influences and injecting them with a personal story and touch that makes these songs their own.

Not Kings by Candy Says - Review - The Daily Album

I’ve never met Sean Elliot from The Daily Album, but his review is so spot on that I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d been hiding in the garage all along, listening to our conversations, jotting down mentions of our musical influences and then, as we slept, tirelessly refining his thoughts about C’est Pas Comme Ca into this glorious sentence:

With all the swagger and power of a Tarantino flick, the tune still manages to roll (off Juju’s tongue) with the sophistication of metaphysical philosophies and single malt scotches.

We do borrow a lot from the artists that came before us. In fact, that was one of the things we talked about a lot when we started the band. We wanted to be honest about where the music came from, and how all art is really just stealing and remixing ideas and presenting them in your own voice. Austin Kleon talks about that a lot in Steal Like An Artist, which I really like.

There’s one more piece of evidence that Sean is living in our garage – he couldn’t possibly know this yet, but in the liner notes on the back of the vinyl edition (which will be ready soon, I promise!) I listed some of our biggest influences:

We stole our best ideas from the music we were listening to. Feist’s Metals made us want to hear every instrument. Stealing Sheep’s Into The Diamond Sun made us want to sing harmonies on everything. Beth Orton’s entire back catalogue made us want to use glidey synths and sing honestly. Lady Lamb The Beekeeper’s Mammoth Swoon made us want our album to sound like the garage in which we recorded it. Chrome Sparks’ My <3 made us want to use sidechain compression and pitch bend vocal samples. Crash Symbols’ Clubhouse Split and Emily Reo’s Olive Juice made us want to loop old drum machines and release things on tape. Islet’s Released By The Movement made us want to break all the rules.

Of course there are many, many more (the sound of the 90s will forever echo around our heads)…

Also, it’s just nice to know that someone out there is really listening to the album and checking out the story around it rather than copypasting a press release. Our faith in humanity is restored.

We&#8217;re excited to announce that we&#8217;re going to be headlining Glory Days Festival in London. It sounds like it&#8217;s going to be a blast – beer brewed especially for each band and FREE ENTRY! What could possibly go wrong&#8230;?

This is going to be our first post-album-launch gig, so come and celebrate with us!

We’re excited to announce that we’re going to be headlining Glory Days Festival in London. It sounds like it’s going to be a blast – beer brewed especially for each band and FREE ENTRY! What could possibly go wrong…?

This is going to be our first post-album-launch gig, so come and celebrate with us!