Q: “Sarah” is a funky-pop song that has the grooviest hook I’ve ever heard. What’s the story behind the song?
THE GARNETTS: The song actually started with the groove. Years back I sat with the old acoustic and started beating the strings and body to an R&B style rhythm—the lead line came natural from there. For a while, actually, the fear of “letting down” the groove set in and nothing felt (vocally) like it quite fit. In the end, tapping back into a staccato R&B influence was where it ended up, leaving a nice chance to kick in during the chorus. When the song hit the band, it became something else altogether. It sounds like the Garnetts now!
Q: Listening to “Sarah,” I get a mixture of Tom Petty and Matchbox Twenty vibes. How did the band decide what the melody was going to sound like and how did the lyrics come about?
THE GARNETTS: First of all, thanks a lot! And yeah, people have said Tom Petty before! Matchbox Twenty is a new one, but everyone seems to hear something different from us—which is a good thing we hope! As a band this one grew from part to part. From starting on just an acoustic guitar, our kid (Jacob Jones) took over the lead line on electric. His vision was to channel the sound of “Summer Breeze” and get that real fuzz. Chris came in with a bass line, which actually has become the most “hummable” part of the verse—which is something he does often, with his rather annoying genius. After that, Jacob (Naylor) joined the band. His groove on the drums is the type of creativity you can’t buy, and it shone through particularly when we showed him where we were up to with “Sarah.” It changed the way the chorus ran completely, giving it that drop you feel, suspending one of the phrases into the next. It worked wonders for what started out as a track that didn’t, and in some ways still doesn’t fit in with the other tracks of ours! It’s turned out one of our personal favorites and hopefully showcases some of our versatility. The lyrics themselves are about the point we all had in our single lives. Where our heads and hearts are being pulled in all directions. And just when you feel like you’ve grown closer to one person, and you’re ready to let them in, your heart is reset by the person you are (quite literally) dreaming about.
Q: How do you want people to feel while listening to this song?
THE GARNETTS: What we want above all things is to get people to move. Even if it’s just a disgusted looking pout and aggressive nod of the head, the track has done its job. So, I guess what we want people to feel, is “cool.” Maybe a little empowered, a little empathetic to the longing lyrics, and a little bit like dancing.
Q: What type of reactions have you received from people when hearing “Sarah”?
THE GARNETTS: The reaction so far from the track has been really positive; a reaction we weren’t really expecting, due to the fact that the song is a little bit different to our usual sound, but yes really very positive. The most unexpected reaction though, has come from independent listeners! We seem to be getting a fair bit of attention from the track from people who haven’t heard us yet, which feels like a massive pat on the back as a new-to-the-scene band only on our third release. Yeah, on the whole, pretty positive reactions.
Q: Where did the band name come from?
THE GARNETTS: Garnett Avenue, Kirkdale, Liverpool. That’s where we (Jake and Ben Jones) grew up! It’s the homeland. We still hang around there, and everyone from the street, who drink with us in the famous Medlock Hotel, are the nth members of the band. We tried and fought over several ideas for a name for the group, but in the end, the name was staring us in the face.
Q: How has things changed for the band since the start of quarantine?
THE GARNETTS: I think we can speak on behalf of everyone in the arts when we say it has been incredibly difficult. From losing the ability to do what gets you out of bed every morning, to wondering if the industry will ever return to the way it was, to realize you’re losing your youth and potential shelf life in the industry as this goes on longer and longer, to seeing the UK government discrediting artists and advising us to retrain, it’s been hard. Things haven’t changed for us as a band though, thankfully. We are one hundred percent ready to take the new world by storm as soon as we are set free. We managed to get “Sarah” recorded during a slight ease of restrictions last summer, and it has seen us through. We have plenty more to come, we promise!
Q: Are there any new projects listeners should keep their eyes opened for?
THE GARNETTS: We do, in fact, have another single lined up for release ahead of summer, one of our last pieces of the puzzle ahead of a summer EP. Keep your eyes and ears peeled people!
Interviewed by Taylor Berry