By Harriet Kaplan
GAPS is a UK duo from Brighton featuring the talents of Rachel Butt and Ed Critchley. Their sound has been described as combining “luscious melodies with ethereal vocals to create emotive compositions.” GAPS released its debut LP, “In, Around, The Moments,” last May on Maya Jane Coles’ I/AM/ME imprint digitally. Now the duo has decided to release the album on vinyl. Recently GAPS spoke to BoC to discuss among these things: the meaning of the band name, their musical influences, collaborating together, touring, their debut LP (digital streaming versus getting one’s music onto vinyl and the ensuing experience that results from it as a music listener) and working with Maya Jane Coles.
How did you form the duo GAPS? What does it stand for and does it hold a symbolic or special meaning for you both?
GAPS: In truth it was just a spur of the moment sort of thing. It felt right at the time so we ran with it. We do like a lot of space in our music, so it fits with that – but I think we just like the sound of the word to be honest!
Would you say that you share a lot of similar music influences?
GAPS: Some for sure – we grew up together in Coventry. But if anything it’s our differences that keep things interesting. We sat down right from the start and agreed on the kind of sounds we wanted to use in the music. I think that was our way of agreeing on common ground before moving on. Sometimes I like to chuck stuff in there I’m not sure Rachel will like. You don’t want it to get stale. She soon let’s me know if it’s not on!
How do both collaborate together on writing and arranging music? What inspires you both to write lyrics?
GAPS: We’ve quickly found a writing/recording process that works for us. Rachel writes/records the initial guitar and vocal lines on her own. She then pops round to mine and we work out how it’s going to develop from there. Sometimes it’s just the initial nugget she’s bringing round, sometimes it’s a more or less a complete song. She then leaves me to it and we reconvene to finish things off together. So in a sense there’s a fairly clear division of labor but we do really lean on each other for advice when working on our bits. Lyrics are Rachel’s domain. Love and Loss is the source of the lyrics for this album she tells me…
I read you both just got done touring. Was it your first tour as duo or have you toured before? What was the experience like?
GAPS: Yeah, just a short one. We loved it. We’ve got to a point now where we want to focus on doing the gigs that matter to us and making them as good as possible. You can get pulled around all over the place otherwise. We finished at Coventry Cathedral which was a very magical night for us.
You decided to release “In, Around, The Moments” on vinyl. Was there a specific reason? Do you like the medium of vinyl? It’s really coming back and a lost art form. Do you feel that way? Did you create the artwork to go with or there any liner notes?
GAPS: I’m all for digital downloads and streaming. I think it’s amazing to be able to disperse your music so easily and the quality is frankly pretty good. But vinyl makes people sit down and actually listen. It’s just such a pleasant process to take a record out of it’s sleeve, get it on the decks and lower the needle. I like how slow and slightly awkward the whole thing is. Also, we’ve always had one foot in the dance genre, so releasing things on vinyl is the only right and honourable thing to do!
How did you get to have Maya Janes Coles do a remix?
GAPS: We love Maya and have worked with her before on an EP. This album is on her label so it was pretty natural for her to do a remix. What an honor though eh!!