"There is a tension between us that’s really important. We try not to meet in the middle on things, even if it means someone loses the battle. We’d rather do nothing than do something we’re not entirely happy with.” The words of Orlando Leopard sum up the heart of his band Arthur Beatrice perfectly. Here are a four-piece who, with just a handful of rabidly received gigs under their collective belt, decided to disappear completely while they set about mastering their craft. Almost 18 months later, they’re finally poking their heads outside the door again.
“We deliberately let things drop off to concentrate on getting it right,” drummer Elliot Barnes states from the confines of the band’s east London recording studio. It’s here that Arthur Beatrice have been hard at work moulding their gift for Wild Beasts-style atmospherics and lilting melodies. “We’re perfectionists to our own detriment,” Orlando says of the tracks they’ve been self-producing. “We get involved in everything and it couldn’t work without the four of us.”
The results of this long drawn-out gestation are nothing short of glorious. An EP, entitled ‘Carter’, will be released next month and acts as the perfect way to kick things off properly for the band. Packed with the kind of pristine and heart-swelling sounds that first got them attention, it bubbles with a sense of tension and release – not least between Orlando and his co-singer Ella Girardot, whose ghostly, choral vocals are the perfect yin to his baritone yang. Much more mysterious than her bandmates, Ella has less to say than Orlando and Elliot but speaks the most sense when she does make her voice heard. “Things feel a lot fresher,” she says on the difference between the Arthur Beatrice of 2011 and where they are now. “And we feel a lot more confident.”
With an EP release date locked in and an album to follow later in the year, the band are also adamant they won’t be doing another disappearing act any time soon. “We want to have a connection with people and for people to be affected by things,” says Orlando. Arthur Beatrice are still chasing perfection. Don’t bet against them pulling it off.
NEED TO KNOW
For Fans Of: Wild Beasts, The xx
Buy it now: ‘Carter’ EP is released on July 22
See them live: They’re due to hit the road in July
Believe it or not: The title track of the EP was so named when drummer Elliot Barnes watched the Michael Caine classic movie Get Carter