Radar Band Of The Week No.35: 2:54

2:54 – the sibling duo bringing desert rock out from indie’s shadows

You know the type. Think Enid and Rebecca in Ghost World, or the perpetually eyeball-rolling Jane Lane and Daria Morgendorffer; those pairings of girls that linger on – and under – fringes, managing to be effortlessly, envy-inducingly cool without the thought of it even occurring to them. Sat with duo 2:54 in a cosy Turkish café in east London, the precise eyeliner flicks that dart from sisters Hannah and Colette Thurlow’s stern eyes might seem foreboding. But really they just want to talk about stoner rock.

“We were always massive punk fans,” explains Colette, the elder of the two, of how both siblings came to be into similar dirges. “It segued into other stuff – metal, then the Melvins and starting a life-long love of Queens Of The Stone Age, and from that we found Yawning Man and the whole family tree.”

Try and get them talking about themselves and they’re a bit less loquacious. Hannah, shy-eyed under a short black crop, admits, “We’re not setting out to necessarily make an album now”, despite the clamour that followed their first uploaded GarageBand demo, ‘Creeping’, late last year.

Asked how she got into music, Hannah shrugs that their sound “just kind of comes out”, and Colette giggles that the ideas for their visual identity “are still brewing”. Both sonically and in person, they’re like the middle ground between shoegaze party kids Lush and the painfully closed-off question-deflections of Mazzy Star, their shy warmth recalling interviews with another black-clad London band they’re close to.

2:54’s forthcoming debut single – the tremendous ‘On A Wire’, to be released late March – casts a similarly beguiling spell to their close pals The xx who’ve been front row at many-a gig, and the Thurlow sisters’ former tourmates Warpaint, but with a doom-laden stoner edge that’s no-one else’s.

Its chorus sucks you in, siren-like, then stabs you in your false sense of security. “It’s definitely a new dawn for more subtle sounds,” states Hannah. “We’d be fucking honoured if anyone compared us to Warpaint,” Colette exclaims. But there’s really no need. These two already cut an iconic coupling.

Laura Snapes

Need To Know

• 2:54 finally quit their jobs before Christmas – Colette was a receptionist and Hannah worked in a photography studio

• They were briefly a punk band called Vulgarians. Hannah played “warp-speed guitar solos” while Colette shouted

• Their name comes from their shared favourite moment in the Melvins song ‘A History Of Bad Men’

This article originally appeared in the February 26th issue of NME

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