Remember the days when gifting mixtapes was the definitive romantic gesture? That careful ritual of combing through your record collection, choosing a myriad of musical moods and memories for the recipient to imbibe and devour again and again, until the tape wore out – Until The Ribbon Breaks.
Having wrapped up numerous sell out North American tours supporting Lorde, Phantogram and London Grammar, UTRB, the three piece band fronted by Cardiff native, Pete Lawrie Winfield recall how as youngsters you would “give a girl or a friend a mixtape to let them know what music you loved. It didn’t matter if one song was De La Soul and the next was R.E.M. It was about the feeling the entire collection conveyed.”
Drawing both their approach and name from their art form, Until The Ribbon Breaks (UTRB) are a uniquely skilled, singing, songwriting, producing collective. Decidedly honest, their music embraces an old-school passion for intricate, clever writing and the slicing together of sounds, samples and lyrics; a skill demonstrated in debut track ‘Pressure’ and the accompanied self-made video which they released on YouTube last year.
The powerful debut album (released in the US and Australia and coming in the UK and Europe this summer) treats listeners’ ears to something compelling and unique. Mesmeric, dark apocalyptic pop, meets infectious “Avant RnB” in a way that is both haunting and beautiful in its raw confrontation of human emotion.
Boldly and without trepidation, each track tells a tale of love, loss, lust, infatuation, regret or fear all enveloped in cinematic imagery, which could sit comfortably within the poignant scenes of any Spike Lee, Tarantino or Scorsese film.
The filmic element to their work comes as no surprise from a band whose lead originally studied film and has always maintained that music and film inform both each other, and the production process.
To craft the album, the boys buried themselves in a hidden studio space armed with just a film projector, a microphone, a drum machine, and a piano and went about marrying their two chief loves. As the art forms began to merge, the outcome was a magnetic, provocative, self-made video for every track.
Peter recalls how he would “project films on the wall while [he] was working.” “I’d shut the sound off, watch the movies, and make music to them. It was everything from David Lynch to Terrence Malick. The mood usurped the narrative and the visuals and music became entwined.”
This year, as well as working on their own upcoming album, playing SXSW and Coachella, UTRBhave caused frenzy amongst the blogosphere with their remixes or “reimaginations” of The Weeknd’s ‘Wicked Games,’ Sam Smith’s ‘Nirvana,’ Lorde’s ‘Royals,’ Phantogram’s ‘Fall in Love,’ London Grammar’s ‘Sights’ and a feature on EL-P and Killer Mike’s new album ‘Run The Jewels.’
Moreover this year their work has gripped the attention of the likes of NPR, the BBC and rave reviews from Pitchfork, Spin, Pigeons and Planes, Jay Z’s Life + Times, Fader and Line of Best Fit, and more.
The band are currently in the studio working on their own new material as well as some exciting upcoming collaborations.
“Now, immersion can begin properly for the rest of the world.”