With the release of an eponymously titled debut album imminent, Alvin and Lyle (named after the two brothers in David Lynch’s The Straight Story) is slowly emerging from the shadows.
The artist has been keen to keep a low profile while releasing three well-received EPs of glo-fi, ambient dreampop, and still wants to retain a degree of anonymity--indeed, debut live performance at Exit07 earlier this year was notable for a performance hidden behind a hospital-style screen.
But for an upcoming performance at Sonic Visions, Alvin and Lyle will be joined on stage by Ben Andrews and Matt Genazzini. “We’ll do it face to face, so it will be interesting to see how people react,” he explains. Almost entirely self-taught, Alvin and Lyle had been “messing around” in secret for two years before coming almost completely out of left field in the summer of 2012 with the release of The Good Feeling EP.
The title track featured a funky summer vibe and was matched by a simple but effective video by Ben Andrews of creative collective Radar. “The Radar team, especially Ben, Tim [Lecomte] and Fred [Baus], are a big, big part of Alvin and Lyle. They convinced me to take it from the basement [his studio is in a disused sauna] to playing live.”
The Good Feeling received minor exposure on the net, and was picked up by bloggers. “That gave me the confidence to think what I was doing was not completely rubbish. Because you have no concept if what you are doing is good or bad.”
Despite being a self-effacing artist, Alvin and Lyle can be just as starstruck as the rest of us. He is obsessed with Sigur Rós. “To have my name on the same poster as them is awesome… I’m done, I told my wife I can retire now,” he jokes. And being played by the BBC’s Gary Crowley has also impressed the artist. “In the 90s he was playing all the music I was really into and he loves the tracks, so thatis really cool.”
Alvin and Lyle is not shy of wearing his influences on his sleeve and he recognises that his vocals are clearly inspired by Ride and shoegaze bands from the 90s. But he is also a fan of Sonic Youth and Pavement and more recently Washed Out and Toro Y Moi.
More locally, Sun Glitters’ Victor Ferreira has also had a more direct influence on Alvin and Lyle’s career, designing his art work and also helping push his music. “Victor has so much international exposure and Luxembourg should really promote him.”
As for Alvin and Lyle, the offer of a first gig in London has just arrived. Increased exposure seems inescapable.