Arlo Day

Girls To The Front: Arlo Day talks signing to Domino, her new EP and addressing the gender imbalance in the music industry

Ahead of our most recent Girls To The Front gig – part of NME’s ongoing series of live shows supporting female and non-binary talent - we sat down with rising songwriter Arlo Day to discuss her new EP 'Bad Timing', signing to Domino Records and the crucial need to work towards achieving a more gender-balanced music industry.

The south-east Londoner has just dropped ‘Bad Timing’, which she quite brilliantly recorded primarily in a shed in her back garden. “I self-produced all of it, and got some friends in to play different instruments at the end which was really, really nice,” she tells us, before revealing that the record was inspired by a particularly turbulent relationship break-down. “I feel it’s very emotive: I wrote the EP after a break-up and at a very hard time in my life – so I hope people can connect with it in that sense.”

Domino have been suitably impressed by her affecting and melody-driven songwriting, and the label – which is of course home to the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Cat Power and Hot Chip – recently added Day to their formidable roster. “Being signed to Domino is amazing,” Day says. “It took me a long time to get used to the idea of being signed to them, probably because so many of the artists on the label are so amazing. I’ve loved and admired [their roster] ever since I bought NME when I was about 11 or 12, and I’d see Domino’s artists in the magazine.”

Day will soon turn her attention to recording her debut album – but not before tackling a packed schedule of live shows and festivals this summer to support the release of the ‘Bad Timing’ EP, with a support slot for our recent Girls To The Front headliner Girli already ticked off the itinerary. We asked Day why she felt it was important to support the message being put forward by our gig series.

“I think I’ve definitely experienced quite a bit of imbalance in the music industry,” Day recalls when asked about her own experiences. “When I started gigging, there would be sound guys or other people who expected that I didn’t know how to use my equipment. It’s the same with gig and festival bills: I guess often there’s a lot of male-dominated line-ups and things like that. I think that things are changing though, and there seem to be a lot more female musicians that are about.

“Hopefully there will now be an upward spiral of younger kids being inspired to be creative.”