Los Campesinos! Sticking Fingers Into Sockets

Los Campesinos! Sticking Fingers Into Sockets
Arts & Crafts has prided itself on being a label that works communally with a circle of friends, so it’s nice to see them branch out (read: find an artist without a Broken Social Scene member) and bring this buzzed about Welsh band overseas to our shores. Sticking Fingers Into Sockets is this Cardiff-based septet’s debut EP, a six-song bombardment of impulsive exuberance recorded by BSS in-house producer Dave Newfeld. Often mislabelled as twee, most likely because singers Gareth and Aleksandra Campesino! are so damn sweet and lovely even when they scream, Los Campesinos! move at a pace that suggests they’re all sky high on Red Bull and running with scissors. Essentially a hyperactive noise pop collective, their fizzy harmonies come from sources as irregular as glockenspiels and strings, which flutter at the same rampant pace as the indie rock guitar fuzz. Two brilliant singles, the brisk "We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives” and the unusually epic "You! Me! Dancing!,” have made them the talk of UK blogs. And let us not forget their alluring cover of Pavement rarity "Frontwards,” which they intensify by doubling the count. Stick your finger in and see for yourself.

How did you end up signing to Arts & Crafts?
Vocalist Gareth Campesino!: We supported Broken Social Scene last year when they played a show in Cardiff. We were all massive fans of the Arts & Crafts label so we were very enthusiastic and kept in touch with them. BSS apparently enjoyed our show and they all liked our demos, and then it all sort of launched from there. We recorded the EP with Newfie and now we’re doing the album with him. It’s a nice relationship that we’ve got with him at the moment.

How often do you get mistaken for being Spanish?
[We’re] not mistaken for Spaniards but we do have a lot of people that have written to us from Spain that have listened to us because the name is in Spanish. The name has no real significance, to be honest. Neil is fluent in Spanish so he was very keen. There was an inability to find another band name so we settled on that.

Are the last names a tribute to the Ramones?
In my case it’d be more of a tribute to the Donnas. I don’t know why it happened; I suppose it’s because it’s difficult to remember all of our surnames. Plus, from the start we’ve always been a close group of friends, so there is a lot of family spirit. (Arts & Crafts)