Excuse the pun but Leeds based Polo seem on the verge of filling the hole between dance and indie in your music collection, and becoming many peoples new favourite band. We interviewed Kat McHugh, Luke Lount and Dan Egdell about the creation of Polo, their debut EP “Alice” and what is next in their grand plan.
Dan began by telling us how Polo came into being. “We all met at college together in York. Luke and Kat started making music together under a different name back then and it wasn’t until a couple of years later that I joined that band and the name was changed to Polo.” Luke then explains their thinking behind the name. “I have a bit of an obsession with branding, but more specifically, band names. I have hundreds of ideas saved in my phone. Polo was my favourite name on the list, and it still is. I once said to Kat, ‘I’m not sure what Polo sound like, but that’s how I want to sound, because that sounds like a great band’.”
Polo have just released their debut EP, “Alice”, which they originally wrote in their shared flat. Luke describes their sound as “Unfamiliar, exotic and honest” and Dan told us how recording “Alice”, under the tutelage of producer Rich Turvey (Blossoms, The Coral) was one of his career highlights thus far. “Recording at Parr Street Studios was a particular highlight. It’s such a beautiful and inspiring space and really aided the recording and writing of the EP. Also, selling out our Newcastle show on the tour was pretty great. We all lived there for a year so it was nice to return to a full room… and people were singing along as well which is always nice!”
The band then gave us some insight into how a Polo track typically forms, starting with Luke’s explanation. “We all bring ideas to each other and work from there. A song might start with a drum beat, a vocal hook or sometimes a collection of nice sounds. We know when there is potential on something and we’ll follow it through until it’s finished.” Kat then took us through her lyric writing process. “I write the lyrics. They always start off as just a diary or phone note , mainly on how something or someone has made me feel or an observation. My inspiration comes from anything and everything: people, psychology and philosophy usually being the basis. I find it most compelling to write lyrics in the moment of a particular feeling or observation which could be anywhere. Usually on a train when you have a lot of time to think.” Kat has recently credited a prolonged period of disconnection from the internet and mobile phones as an aid to her lyric writing. “It wasn’t so much a conscious decision to cut myself off it was just more of a series of unfortunate events where all my electronic devices broke at the same time. My favourite part of not having a phone, after the initial couple of weeks of getting used to it, was the freedom of thought it gives you. When you have a phone you always have a distraction so its rare to really develop your thoughts and observations in your head because its much easier to be mindlessly occupied. After a while my head just became so clear and I was writing a poem every journey. My least favourite part was sometimes not having anything to write things down on. My memory is awful so I have forgotten loads of thing but I’m sure my mind will be re-jogged one day though.”
So what can we expect from Polo in the future? Luke told us his vision for the short term. “Now we’re released the EP, we’ve given an introduction to who we are. We can build on that now, and we’ll be following it up with new releases. We’ve actually got some new material, so we’ll be working on getting that ready for the summer. Plus we’re always itching to do another tour.”
For all things Polo head over to their website.