“There’s a lot of stigma around spirituality. People should try and work out what life is. Work out your place and how small we are. I dunno, I’m crazy man.”
Despite his protestation, Harvey Causon is a calm individual. He’s introspective, not averse to the odd rambling or two but he’s also incredibly engaging. The conversation we have is an audible rollercoaster stretching from the importance of music to physics and sleep talking.
He’s in a buoyant mood. He’s playing Latitude for the first time this weekend, and he’s also supporting another band called Lucy Lu. “It’s a lot of fun because I can get out on stage and just sing.”
Causon is keen on collaboration and pitching in with friends. He lives with his best friend and band member Gabriel Gifford, who he talks of fondly.
“I work with my band who I met in Bristol. Gabe’s like my passive husband. He’s so talented, and I’m lucky enough not to drive him up the wall considering we live and work together. I’m gonna start playing in his stuff too. We’ve been through a lot together, and we just want to keep the music going.”
Although named after Harvey, they perform as a three. Harvey does vocal, keys and synth, Ben Toon is the drummer, and Gabe is charged with everything else, be it bass, guitar or glockenspiel. “We’ll throw every other instrument in a show for him to play.”
The glockenspiel is the tip of the iceberg for leftfield sounds featuring in Causon’s tracks. He’s also keen on taking sounds from field recordings. “You know the sound from freezers in supermarkets when they make those background droning sounds? That features on my track ‘Cusp’.”
Causon doesn’t mind doing things differently. He sang on stage with a hip-hop act when he supported Loyle Carner a few years back, an experience which he describes as being “out of my depth,” although he enjoyed it. More recently he supported Puma Blue on their tour, which he describes as a great experience performing before an act that he was already a huge fan of.
“It’s a strange psychology with playing gigs, and sometimes you think you’ve played well and you look back and think you can do a bit better. Sometimes you play and then think it didn’t go so well, and you look back, and it went very well! But I’m always looking to enjoy it and to try and find a balance of playing well at the same time. I live for playing gigs. Playing live is the ultimate high. It’s incredible to see people moving and dancing to music.”
He’s done less gigging recently. He describes 2018 as a year of non-stop touring where they’d play a couple of gigs every week, taking every and any place that was available to them. “I based my life last year on playing gigs. We were playing too much, but it helped us cut our teeth.”
Causon’s in a constant state of creating. He’s always putting ideas on post-it notes, and he’s even taken to recording himself sleeping for inspiration and lyrics for songs. His uncle gifted him a book last Christmas about Quantum Physics. Instead of consigning it to a pile of unwanted presents, he read it and created a concept album out of it.
“It’s just so interesting and adverse to what we know. Particles can be affected by any distance. And time isn’t seen as linear. I just wanted to use music to communicate this strange science. No one truly knows what Quantum Physics means, but I wanted to try and convey it through music.” He’s a little unsure of it though as he’s worried that the album won’t connect with people. He wants to release music that he’ll enjoy playing live and people will enjoy listening to in concert. “I need to stay present and not dig too deep,” he says.
His sound is varied. Of his most recent releases, Artifice has jazzy piano chords mixed in with background synth arpeggios. He croons ‘a shrewd acumen’ halfway through and then hits you with a flexy piano melody that’s unexpected, unpredictable but makes complete sense. It also evolves as a track, bringing together many layers to create a pleasant melting pot of sound at the end. “Cusp” is more electronic in nature featuring the aforementioned field recordings, and ominous deep dubstep influenced bass.
“My new video is coming out for Artifice. It’s been a leap of faith because I put a bit of cash into it and pulled in a lot of favours. But the director brought my vision to life of a weird table tennis match with dancing. Everyone loves table tennis, and everyone loves dancing. Why not turn a table tennis match into a dance?”
The future looks bright for someone who can create a song out of complicated scientific theory or has the creative bravery to insist on the world’s first ping-pong choreographed music video. Causon will be playing at Wild Paths Festival on 19th October, and his new video will be released in the next couple of weeks.
Photographer: Tom J. Johnson
Stylist: Sergio Pedro
H&MUA: Emily Wood