IT’S KARMA IT’S COOL will release six new songs individually over the coming months. The UK-based band is currently working in the recording studio and promises that these will be “some of the strongest songs” they have written as a band. They will have a guest member joining in three of their six new songs, who is Peter Holsapple (The dB’s, REM, Hootie & the Blowfish).
We caught up with vocalist James Styring to find out more about what the listeners of IKIC should expect from their upcoming releases and what the future holds for the boys from Lincoln.
Thanks for giving me an opportunity to talk about your future releases. 2022 seems to be an inspiring year for you so far, as you are planning to release six new songs over the coming months. What should your listeners expect from you?
Yes, we’ve been locked away in the studio writing and recording; we just thought we’d do things a little different this time, and release a bunch of new songs as digital only singles. We may still put them out on CD early next year, but the initial releases will all be digital. Listeners can expect big choruses, big melodies, earworms and everything turned to eleven! Expect the unexpected, I guess…
You mentioned some Beatles influence, folky mandolin and big guitar kind of things. Apart from the Beatles, what did influence you in crafting the new songs?
I guess The Beatles influence was more in the way we approached recording the songs, rather than trying to sound like them. We just allowed our imaginations and the songs to go wherever they needed to go, no real rules. If someone had an idea, we’d try it, if it worked, we’d keep it. We all bring our own influences to IKIC, throw them into the pot, and see what happens. On paper it shouldn’t really work, but it does.
You described the six new songs as “some of the strongest songs we’ve written as a band”. What will it be different this time?
I think they’re all really strong songs. We’ve been together long enough to know how to write as a band, to get the best out of each other. Each of these new tracks just seemed like a ready-made single, so rather than hiding them on an album, we thought we’d let them stand on their own. Listeners who have followed us this far won’t be disappointed!
Peter Holsapple has joined you as a “fifth member” for three of the songs. How do you find the collaboration with Peter so far?
Yes, we’re incredibly excited to announce, we have the one and only, Peter Holsapple, on board as ‘honorary 5th member’ of IKIC, for three of the new singles. Peter was a member of legendary, The dBs, and played with REM on their huge Green world tour, as well as playing on their multi-platinum album, Out Of Time. He’s also played and recorded with Hootie & the Blowfish for over 25 years, and is currently a member of Continental Drifters, whose ranks have included Vicki Peterson, from The Bangles, and Mark Walton, from the Dream Syndicate. There’s no doubting, Peter’s brought a wealth of experience and a little magic to the songs! We can’t wait for people to hear them!
Was the COVID-19 pandemic an inspiration for you? If so, how?
As we couldn’t get out and play live, we focussed on writing. I guess most musicians and bands did the same. It was very frustrating, but I think we used the time wisely. Most, if not all, of the new songs were written in and around lockdown. It proved to be quite a creative time for us. Our latest album, ‘Homesick For Our Future Destinations’ was definitely a ‘lock-down’ album, I think you can hear that in the mood of the record.
How is your work in the recording studio going on so far?
It’s all come together without any problems; we’re just putting final touches on a couple of things. We all enjoy being in the studio, so it’s never really a problem. To hear an idea come to life is one of the reasons we do this. Martyn, our guitarist, is also our producer, and co-owns the studio, so we’re all on the same page, and all work closely on creating the finished tracks. To have your producer as part of the band takes a whole load of pressure off.
What is the song you feel the proudest at the moment?
To be honest, I think we’re proud of them all. The same amount of work goes into every song, so it’s always hard to pick just one. I know we all have favourites, but that can change from day to day. I do know we’re very proud of having Peter Holsapple on board, that’s the kind of thing a band like ours dreams of.
Will you guide us a little through the lyrical part of the songs? Will we find out some of your personal experiences through the lyrics?
I always write about real life and personal experiences, though not in a way that’s obvious, or black and white. It’s more important what the listener thinks than what I had in mind, anyway. I like to think that you can come back to our songs in 12 months’ time, and still find something in there relevant to your life, even if your circumstances have changed. We included a lyric booklet with our last album, for the first time, as people had been asking about the words. I can tell you the first digital single will be called, ‘A Gentle Reminder’ and is a post-punk, new-wave, power pop with bite, kind of a song. It’ll be accompanied with a music video and is instantly in your head, and very hard to get out! “We outgrow the ghost and get gone, with our slogans and cold ones, turn the stereo pop ON !!”
Are you planning to release an album soon?
As I mentioned, we may put these six songs on a CD, with some of our other singles, early next year, we’ll see how things go. We’ll definitely be writing a brand-new, full-length album over the coming months, though, a follow up to, ‘Homesick For Our Future Destinations’
Do you plan any gigs soon?
Yes, we plan on getting out and playing live as soon as possible, including some, if not all, of the new songs. We’ve been focussed on the studio, so gigs have taken a back seat, but we’ll be announcing things very shortly..
Since all of the songs will be released in digital version only, where should people find you?
They’ll be available on all the usual digital platforms and direct from our Bandcamp. Please stay tuned on our social media for forthcoming release dates, and everything else IKIC related.
Interview by Lorena Cristea