“Just heard this astonishing f***ing genius pop song ‘Wild Beasts’ by Apple Eyes…”
- Tom Robinson, BBC 6Music
Claire Hadidjenar - Vocals, Synth
Matthew Walker - Bass, Vocals
Phil O'Meara - Keyboards, Vocals
Ben Hartley - Drums
Apple Eyes began as the brainchild of London-based vocalist Claire Hadidjenar and producer Matthew Walker. Combining intricate electronic flourishes, rich layered harmonies and any instrument they can lay their hands on and learn to play, Apple Eyes’ songs are catchy slices of pop on the surface, but scratch a little deeper and they reveal a twisting underbelly of shifting time signatures and off-kilter chord progressions. Shortly after recording their first song together, ‘Wild Beasts’, they began to attract the attention of BBC 6Music DJ Tom Robinson, who went on to play every song the band has recorded and has since become a great supporter.
Claire Hadidjenar (lead vocals / synth) was born in Indonesia and spent most of her childhood in Hamburg, where she learnt piano and violin, before making the move to Manchester at the age of 16. She brings this same spirit to Apple Eyes, creating music that’s never content to stay in one place for too long. After moving South to university she met Matthew Walker (bass / vocals) and the pair quickly realised they shared musical tastes – among them Phoenix, Flaming Lips, Cornelius, Bat for Lashes, Deerhoof and Elliott Smith.
After spending a few months writing and recording, Apple Eyes started to put together a band to play live and they enlisted the help of friends and musical kindred-spirits Kenny Lee (guitar) and Edd Billig. Tragically, Edd passed away in June 2010 and the band never performed with this line up. Apple Eyes played their first gig in February 2011 to a packed Buffalo Bar, Islington, and in April they shared the bill with The Electric Soft Parade and Ooberman in a tribute gig to Edd, with Alex Billig on keyboards. They have a string of dates in support of their debut single, Wild Beasts (released digitally on 14/07/11, available on Spotify, iTunes etc) and are performing a special orchestral version of their song Lost Between the Lines (included in the same release) with A Little Orchestra (see ‘gigs’ for more details).
“Wild Beasts stands out by a country mile; a song of rare invention, an evolution of ideas and a candyfloss chorus on top. Bleeping and shimmering like an electronic song but infused with an old folk feel, giving warmth and humanity, it’s an example of making a song that is more than the sum of its parts.”
- A New Band A Day