“Very modern and fashionable…lots of potential” THE SOUND SNIFFER
Hailing from North London ‘BUZZKILL!’ hopes to be the statement release The Pink Nostalgia has been teasing. The track is an exploration of self reflection by soloist, Joseph James, confronting anxiety in an indie-electronic way. Since the release of their ethereal self-titled debut EP, The Pink Nostalgia have made waves in the dream-pop scene. With ‘PEACHES’ as the lead single, their sound has been likened to The 1975, Wolf Alice, Fleetwood Mac, Talking Heads, The Japanese House, and Bon Iver, to name but a few. In 2021, The Pink Nostalgia began work on ‘MONOCHROME’. Branded as their conceptual second EP, lead singles like ‘THE COMEDOWN’, ‘PLUTO’ and ‘DRIFTED’ received great praise from their fans and press alike.
Tell us a bit about yourself – who is Joseph James vs The Pink Nostalgia?
Me, myself, as Joseph James; I am the guy that ventures into the home studio, writes the theme tune, sings the theme tune, produces it, writes lyrics, scraps lyrics, writes chord progressions, scraps chord progressions, rinse and repeat. Simply put, Joseph James is the person that writes the songs, like Kevin Parker is to Tame Impala, or Justin Vernon is to Bon Iver. I also love a really good film, and I’m a huge foodie; food is the biggest factor in most decisions I make. Tapas above everything.
The Pink Nostalgia, instead, is the vibe, the aesthetic, the medium in which my voice and opinions get heard, and most importantly, the live band. Without my live band, (every single member, past and present) and all of their dedication, The Pink Nostalgia really wouldn’t be what it is. I owe it to all of them for helping me establish what is the live identity of the music.
Where does the name ‘The Pink Nostalgia’ come from?
Originally, it came from an interview that Kevin Parker had, where he said he was ‘obsessed with nostalgia’. On a more personal note, nostalgia, to me, is like putting on rose-tinted sunglasses (hence the colour pink) and enjoying memories for what they are. Doesn’t matter if they’re happy, sad, bittersweet, angst-filled, regretful, doesn’t matter; they all have formed who you are now, and, to an extent, have shaped the present, and the decisions that you make. Got a bit deep there. To be honest, I just like the colour pink.
Congratulations on the release of ‘BUZZKILL!’; what’s themes does the track explore?
The song to me is everything that I’ve wanted to say for so long. It’s me confronting my anxieties, people’s perceptions, and its overall meaning is about celebrating self-care. For so long, I’ve spent so much of my time obsessing over the little things, things that people have said about me or things I categorically cannot change. You learn that what people think of you is none of your business and you may not fit into what people want you to be; that doesn’t make you lesser than anyone else. You’re doing you and that’s enough, and you’re on your own path. It’s okay to be a ‘buzzkill’.
What was the production process like for the track? What were the highs and lows?
I wrote ‘BUZZKILL!’ with my bassist Joshua Crossley, and he’s credited as a co-writer on this track. I think we set about writing a song that was different from the rest of my releases. BUZZKILL! became the angrier song that I’ve needed, born out of our joint styles; that intersection between indie pop and rock, like a grungier deep-dive by The 1975, like ‘Lostmyhead’’. In production, we wanted to create this heavy wall of sound, something completely tailor-made for live play. The high’s for me were finding sections in the song that have that beauty that I wanted to capture amongst all the noise; where all the distortion and drive falls away to reveal hidden string sections, and rhythm guitars. The lows were definitely stuffy recording rooms; the hot weather has been great, but when you’re in a studio, my god, it’s horrendous.
Every release is different, how is this one unique to previous projects?
For me, BUZZKILL! has that weight, that gravitas and maturity I’ve been looking to write about in my songs for so long. This is different to a lot of my other releases because I think it’s not just about what I’ve gone through, it’s about the fans, their experiences too. Hopefully, this song validates a lot of people’s feelings for them. It does for me.