We love seeing the interpretation of songs blossoming to an entirely new identity

By Beverley Knight

“Indie rock music means freedom. Freedom from the restraints of major labels, and resistance to changing styles in our ever-changing world.” Joe Herman hits the nail on the head. He makes up one-fourth of Brighton’s The Loose Fits. Their versatility ranges from moodier strands of indie rock to softer, reflective sorrow of folk. Joe joins Shi Lawson, Daniel Copitch and Sophie Moloney, and together, they uphold the morals of the DIY scene, an essential part of the music industry’s fabric.

Although Brighton is home, weaving their cultural heritage into their sound is a personal touch that sets them apart from others. Joe says, “Both I and Shi are Jewish, but our ethnic backgrounds are completely different, with my ancestors living in Eastern Europe and Shi’s reigning from the Middle East.” Their origins hold similarities, yet are individual, meaning there’s a fresh perspective to song writing that you don’t typically associate with indie music. Shi adds, “From the melodies to the rhythms that attract us, it all stems from our familiar yet varied backgrounds.”

Embracing the spice of life is also true for The Loose Fits’ musical influences. There’s common ground in what they listen to, yet they have opposing tastes. Shi likes a little French, Latin, Middle Eastern and Eastern Rhythms. He connects with the Arctic Monkeys and Warhaus. “I admire their writing styles lyrically and melodically: It’s moody but never morbid. When the hints of vulnerability crop up, it’s great because it’s rare insight.”

Lately, Joe’s vibed with beach goth music. Bands like The Growlers, The Pesos and Allah-Las. “They combine warm tones of surf music with a feel of melancholy. The music is relatively simple and owns its roughness around the edges. It’s melodically beautiful.”

Once they’ve taken shape, Shi and Joe introduce the songs they’ve written to Sophie and Dan. Shi explains, “We write them away from the rehearsal space, then we flesh them out with the rest of the band.” The pair love seeing the interpretation of songs blossoming to an entirely new identity with the other two band mates.

There’s a sense of fun underpinning what they do. Joe says, “Silly songs become our personal favourites, like nonsense songs. Tracks only in E major with stupendous lyrics such as, I like to drink beer, I like to have sex, I took too many drugs, I like to get up to nonsense.” But on a professional level, they adopt an open-minded, creative space. “We encourage the the old trope of no idea is a bad idea,” says Joe.

Lyrically, their songs talk of love, daydreaming and transition. Like an infant touching snow for the first time, Joe and Shi like to write in a state of wonderment. “If you can take things in as they are and allow yourself to open up to seemingly mundane ideas, a lot can happen,” says Joe. For their first album, the songs reflect on romantic relationships, but there’s now a shift into almost narrative-based writing. “It’s been fun to explore,” says Shi.

Even though the band are bright people, their sound is often stormy with a feeling of bittersweetness. Shi says, “Our EP Burner gave off a strong shade of red, probably because of the live, bold feel we wanted the songs to have.” Joe sees tones of dark blue and grey in their tracks. Their repertoire does hold more airy work, and they’ll share them when the time is right. Joe says, “Those songs bring forward textures of greens. But all of our art is contemplative yet maintains some lightness. That’s the best way I’d describe it.”

From when the Loose Fits first got together, there’s been a transition of locations. They used to walk to each other within half an hour. But now, some of the four are in London, and some remain in Brighton. Joe says, “This led to more difficulties logistically but has been a good test of commitment.” How do they resolve it? “We’re simply more organised and have our priorities clearly outlined.” A shared band calendar is essential, as time waits for no man. There’s also the added element of navigating day jobs and studies. Shi adds, “Balancing our time and being proactive is key to us moving forward.”

When they are together, there’s no stopping productivity. They have a collection of 14 songs in the finessing stage and just about ready for recording. What do they sound like? “All I’ll say for now is they’ve got more piano in them, a good blend of moodiness with touches of playfulness,” says ‘Joe. The Loose Fits are putting more thought behind projects as a whole. Joe and Shi dedicate a lot of energy to songwriting. But rehearsing them brings the work to life. Joe ends. “I can tell you, the songs are 14 big ones and will be with you soon.”

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