Boldly named “Icarus”, Bristol-based brothers Tom and Ian Griffiths are bending genre barriers with their melodic mix of electronic beats and polished deep house rhythm.

Naming music as part of their identity, the Griffith brothers were inspired by the likes of Michael Jackson and their surroundings to create music. In that sense, everything we’ve ever listened to or learned through college and university has had a direct influence on the music we make today,” they tell us. For them, music wasn’t something they were forced into, but instead “a natural interest that was sparked”. With a clear muse, the producers created Icarus.

We ask the brothers why they chose to name their brand after the tragic Greek character. “We remember the tragic story of Icarus and resonated with us. After years of working together as Icarus, we frequently remind ourselves ‘never get too high, never get too low’!” Tom and Ian outline. With a tidy analogy, the boys summarise it to-the-point; they felt like they “found freedom of expression, like Icarus being freed from his cave.” It’s not your everyday comparison, but it was a grounding perspective from the artists. Let’s just hope they don’t take the “grounding” part too seriously; after all, Icarus was best known for his pitiful descent.

Riding the high of their latest EP, This Must Be The Place, we ask the duo about it. Describing the collection’s theme as ‘running away’, Icarus seems to be stepping out into emotionally littered territory. It’s a set of songs highlighting “moments of feeling completely free” and “endless possibilities” contrasted with “loneliness and anxiety over feeling like you don’t address your problems”. Dare I say it, Icarus is walking the line of contemporary emo dance music. This playful style is best evidenced in distinctive track “Sirens” which is showcased both in song and music video. Directed by Hugh Rocfort, Icarus crafted psychedelic-inspired visuals which complement the rolling pace of the narrative and flowing music. Agreeing with my description, they elaborate on the meaning behind the visuals: “the shots of moving landscapes relate to the traveling theme of the EP and the more psychedelic shots give an insight into the mind of the character, thinking about his life’s journey”.

With their genre-blending style, Icarus have found it difficult to label their music; “we’ve never really been able to slot into a specific lane,” the brothers tell us. Listening to their music it’s quickly realised why fitting in, musically, could be a task. Icarus’ stylistic genre fusion can be likened to a melting pot of music. The duo has developed a sound which demands attention and exudes a sense of urgency, but amongst that raw immediacy, there are occasional moments between the stacking of vocals and layered production effects that feel too clinical. Then again, this could be the risk with computer-generated music – the formula for a hit track could be engineered to perfection, but it could still lack that “human” quality. Maybe it’s just us but ‘Running Away’ and ‘Sirens’ felt more emotively compelling than the likes of ‘Echoes’. Icarus is playing an interesting balancing act.

Following their latest release, Tom and Ian are gearing up for a tour. “We’re aiming to drop a new piece of music just before our Live UK Tour in April. Keep an ear out!” The duo recently toured with prominent Australian electronic three-piece, Rüfüs Du Sol. “Watching individual people in the crowd that night and seeing how the music was connecting with them is a vivid memory for both of us,” they tell us. Seeking to create a connection between fans and their live music, it seems like there are standout reasons to catch artists live. And with that, it seems the Bristol brothers are ready to take on the UK.

April Tour Dates:

23rd – Manchester, The Deaf Institute
24th – London, XOYO
25th – Glasgow, SWG3
26th – Bristol, Thekla
27th – Dublin, Button Factory

Stream ‘Sirens’, below.

Words by Zoya Raza-Sheikh

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