Bad Sounds: Indie-funk brothers who want to throw confetti at you

Meet Ewan and Callum Merrett – brothers from 
Bath making irresistible horn-blasted indie-funk

Long gone, thank GOD, are the days when you’d get a faceful of ticker tape at Bad Sounds gigs. “The first show we ever did we built our own confetti cannon,” confesses keyboardist and singer Ewan Merrett. “We were trying, like The Flaming Lips, to put on as much of a show as possible, but when you spray a confetti cannon on about five people, they don’t go crazy.” His singer brother Callum adds: “It was just a leaf blower I found.” Two years on, the Bath hip-rock five-piece bring their own light-up dancefloor, balloons and party poppers to their shows, all the better to vibe up their horn-blasted indie funk songs channelling Beck, Metronomy, Sly And The Family Stone and classic ’90s baggy.

“We want to throw a party and invite people, rather than say, ‘Watch us play in front of you for half an hour,’” explains Callum.And their party is going a bit Project X: since Ewan merged his hip-hop beats with Callum’s guitar rock to make Bad Sounds in 2014, they’ve enraptured Annie Mac, lifted Glastonbury’s Brexit blues and toured with Rat Boy (“They set a deodorant can on fire outside our tour bus”) on the back of their jubilant-but-quite-dark-actually songs about mountaineering disasters (‘Avalanche’), the façade of Instagram (‘Living Alone’) and what their mates are up to. “I’m terrible at writing lyrics that are made up,” says Ewan. “It comes across way more genuine if it’s about a real situation. Otherwise it’d be spaceships and I’ll have 10,000 ladies on each arm.”

Currently on the label courtship circuit while they prepare a new single ‘Meat On My Bones’, about a friend who got a tattoo when their dog died, they’re already envisioning their fantasy big-budget stage show. “Pyramid stage, full light-up dancefloor,” Ewan exclaims. “Or you know where they have the backdrops in Street Fighter? We’d have a Japanese town with fast-food stores and people walking past at the back of the stage.” Bad Sounds: good times.

Photos by Zoe McConnell
Styled by Kylie Griffiths