The History of Apple Pie
A cloud-tangled view of backyard '90s America and a Summer afternoon held in amber, your senses floating with guitar haze over spools of VHS tape and heartbreak soundtracked by lawn-sprinklers.
It's a daydream of private longing and still, suburban expanse, but its dimensions are an illusion and the music that inspired it was crafted in a basement flat in Whitechapel, London. The room, one that Stephanie and Jerome have been sharing a long time before starting the band, is itself an escapist warp: cult flotsam of two decades, shelves of TV series, Steph's cross-stitched Nintendo characters and aging games consoles. At its centre is the laptop and chain of effects pedals that birthed the first History Of Apple Pie demos.
Understated dreampop cuts 'You're so Cool' and 'Mallory' and the 'Cut Your Hair' - style autopilot grunge anthem 'Science for the Young' rely on unsentimental nostalgia for guitar music the two have grown up with. Galaxie 500, '13'-era Blur, and Pavement have all been absorbed and refracted into a style that walks the line between jaded and optimistic, detached and heartfelt; a fuzz maquette for an alternate reality.
"Some of the songs are written about mine and Jerome's own experiences," says Stephanie, "But I prefer writing about hypothetical, sugar-coated situations, a soundtrack to situations we wish we were in but weren't really at all; American sounds bursting through grey England. It's more exciting that way."
The band's earliest efforts emerged when Jerome looked up from his Star Gate Sequence pedal fuck-abouts and had his half-sketched song ideas rescued with a vocal contribution from his girlfriend, who hadn't ever sung before ("I made her," Jerome says).
Together they merged the perma-stick pop melodies in Stephanie's head with what was in Jerome's; a collection of guitar lines reminiscent of slacker geniuses Thurston Moore and Stephen Malkmus. Their daisy-brutal, buttoned-down ferocity and innate melodicism is met halfway by sweetly burnt-out vocals, sharp and glaring or softly double tracked in homage to Elliott Smith.
With a bunch of tunes that were wildly varying but drawn together under a precociously assured aesthetic, the band received interest and support from anyone who'd heard them - their problem became putting a band together to play live. "We didn't form the band until last October, despite the songs being out there since February," says Stephanie, "it was a major struggle sourcing the right people, but we eventually found them."
Kelly was found through friends and taught bass from scratch, James (Drums) and Aslam (Guitar) replied to Gumtree adverts and had learnt their parts before even meeting the rest of the band. A period of intense rehearsing turned The History of Apple Pie into five creatively sensitive individuals, surprisingly tight for such long sleeves and bleary eyes.
Over winter their set was honed and this year the band began playing their own shows along with opening for the likes of Chapel Club and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. They slotted into these demanding shows with all the absent-minded nonchalance and wide-eyed love of melody and static that you'd expect from their music.
Edgar Smith March 2011
|23 Apr 13||Madame JoJos||London, UK|
|10 May 13||Comet Club||Berlin, GERMANY|
|11 May 13||Atomic Cafe||Munich, GERMANY|
|12 May 13||MTC||Cologne, GERMANY|
|01 Jun 13||Whychwood Festival||Whychwood, UK|
|08 Jun 13||Long Division Festival||Wakefield, UK|
|22 Jun 13||Best Kept Secret Festival||Hilvarenbeek, NETHERLANDS|
|19 Jul 13||Truck Festival||Oxford, UK|
|27 Jul 13||Stockton Weekender||Stockton, UK|
|04 Aug 13||Y Not Festival||Matlock, UK|
|25 Aug 13||Victorious Festival||Portsmouth, UK|