Knuckle Pups, a five-piece band stemming from Denver, are set to release their newest single 'California' on June 5th. Subsequent to their debut EP, San Panino, California boasts an effortlessly slick mix of banjo hooks, energetic synths and thick vocal harmony. The self-professed 'soda punk' band provide an anthem, rife with an optimism desperately needed during a summer of isolation.
Knuckle Pups herald a list of artists that inspires them; namely Broncho's catchy melodies and 'unbelievable guitar tone.' Whilst listing off artists such as Built to Spill, Modest Mouse, Pixies, Weezers and the Talking Heads, lead singer Oliver Holloway is sure not to miss out Taylor Swift because, yes, "it fucking slaps." Knuckle Pups secure themselves within the indie-rock canon, fearlessly inhabiting the space between pop and punk.
We speak to Knuckle Pups about their upcoming release.
Tell us about the inspiration behind your single California?
Oliver wrote California a long time ago but never had it come together the way he wanted it. The contrasting banjo and pop production was essential.
Knuckle Pup's collaboration with producer Rich G most evidently brought this contrast together. The songs effortless traverse between raw banjo hooks and animated synth melodies shows that taking your time pays off.
So, what's a day in the studio like for Knuckle Pups?
We're always having fun. Typically we practice in a converted storage unit, but now it’s outside for Corona. When we go into the actual studio, we work pretty much exclusively with Rich G @ the Ghost House in Denver. He is a master and never let us down. One time he spent an hour trying to recapture the sound of a squeaky chair. The man is a genius. When we work with him we give a lot of trust to his ears, and it works.
This genius certainly shines through on California, with a satisfying blended mix allowing all elements, acoustic and electronic to shine through. What circumstances or events make you write songs?
Oliver always writes personal lyrics, though he contends that they aren’t personal to him. He finds his own meaning in them the same way anyone else does. He looks at songwriting as holding space for the universal and the deeply personal in the same breath.
Oliver Holloways' lyrical artistry is ever-present within California, employing emotional imagery against a backdrop of an effervescent soundscape. Knuckle Pups tell us more about their DIY approach to making art...
We avoid formulaic writing but instead, we write with intuition and do whatever feels right and serves the song. We write as an act of self-love and self-care by just telling the truth through our lyrics.
Knuckle Pups spread this self-love by regularly gigging within the Denver scene. What do you like most about playing live?
We truly miss playing live during corona, though we enjoy each other’s company so much being in front of an audience is just the sugar on top.
What's the music scene like in Denver?
The Denver music scene is growing at a rapid pace, Oliver has been a part of it for a long time and has seen different waves. Some supportive like the people at Indie 1023, and some exclusive and pretentious. The good news is those people are everywhere and a community that builds each other up always has the edge over elitism. All in all, it’s a very supportive scene and we love being a part of it.
Where Knuckle Pups' guilty pleasure is both Korn and Justin Beiber, there's nothing guilty about falling in love with this up and coming band. Their infectious new single California is reminiscent of a summer without lockdown and will allow you, even if only for 3 minutes and 14 seconds, to forget you're alone getting drunk in your garden.
Knuckle Pups' new single California out 5th June 2020.
Check out Knuckle Pups' EP San Panino here
Check out Knuckle Pups' Instagram here
Check out Knuckle Pup merch here
Set a reminder to be the first to see the California music video here!