While brother and sister pairing Lucy and Thomas Gaffney are no strangers to the music world, their latest musical adventure MMODE has only been around for the blink of an eye. Launching themselves with first single ‘Waiting in the Desert’, the Belfast duo have been keeping busy. That single was followed by an October release for the Gustav EP and an album on the way in December. The band combine effortless cool with smooth and airy production for a chilled out sound.
From Air to Zero 7, Lucy talks us through some of MMODE’s formative influences and inspirations.
Groove Armada – At The River
This is a song we’ve been listening to since we were kids. Every time the chorus kicks in, we’re instantly transported to the back seat of our family car on a long car journey through the back end of nowhere in the Irish countryside.
Gorillaz – On Melancholy Hill
Gorillaz’ music really influenced tracks like ‘Gustav’ and ‘Lazy Sun’ on our album. Needless to say with our vocal production but also with our ideas for electronic loops and how our songs progress dynamically.
Blur – Good Song
This track was a huge influence on ‘Gustav’, particularly with the guitar riffs and the overall crisp trebly mix. Damon Albarn’s voice is massive influence for me personally. His effortlessly lazy and husky voice oozes a sense of cool when he sings, I really love that.
Air – Alone in Kyoto
Listening to Air always gives us masses of inspiration in the recording studio. The progression and development in their music was monumental in giving us the guidance we needed when experimenting with moogs and other electronic sounds.
Beck – Beercan
We’ve been Beck obsessives since the mid 90’s. All his albums have influenced us in some shape or form. I don’t know a day when I haven’t listened to at least one of his songs since I was about 7. The energy and urgency of ‘Beercan’ in particular gave us an instantaneous boost anytime we needed guidance with tracks like ‘Gustav’, ‘Over This Before’ and ‘Waiting In The Desert’.
Brian Eno – An Ending (Ascent)
We find atmospherics very important in lifting a track during the production process. Eno was our guru while in the recording studio. Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks as an album in particular is something of real beauty, it’s hard not to completely loose yourself when listening to it. He’s truly a genius.
Portishead- Glory Box
This track in particular by Portishead helped us a lot during the recording process of our album. The passion in Beth Gibbons’ vocal was personally a huge inspiration for me. Listening to her voice definitely gives you something to strive towards.
Zero 7 – In The Waiting Line
The first band I went to see live were Zero 7 in the Mandela Hall in Belfast, I was hooked from the word go. I’ll never forget the singers explaining the reason they were late to the show that night was because they got distracted eating jelly babies back stage. At the age of 8 I used to strut about with their CD in my Walkman wearing a Zero 7 tshirt I bought from the merch stall at their gig (proper fan girl), feeling like the coolest kid ever. Their production is so smooth, you can’t help but feel cool listening to them. I strive for our production to reach that level one day.
Cocteau Twins – Bluebeard
Now this is a band that I seriously can’t get enough of, I’m obsessed with Elizabeth Fraser’s voice. The blend of her vocals and Robin Guthrie/Simon Raymonde’s guitars were very influential on tracks like ‘Waiting In the Desert’ and ‘Sunrise In Belfast’. This is a band we discovered a little later on in life. We’d heard a lot of people saying they heard them a lot in our music but it was wasn’t until recently I got what they meant. They truly are something else, what an incredible band.
Slowdive – 40 days
We like to blast this on the record player on a Saturday morning. I highly recommend it to get your weekly dose of chill. Needless to say this band are a huge inspiration for us, the blend of boy/girl dreamy melodies and delayed soundscape drone guitars blow your mind into hyper space.