Porridge Radio break down five tracks from Every Bad

The Brighton rock quartet have traded their lo-fi style for something much slicker. Find out more from frontwoman Dana Margolin.

“I’ve always known that we’re the best band in the world”, frontwoman Dana Margolin told NME in a recent interview. It’s not uncommon for a rock band to express themselves with such casual bravado, but Margolin may be on to something here. Porridge Radio have made quite the leap from their raw, lo-fi 2016 debut album Rice, Pasta And Other Fillers to their 2020 sophomore record, Every Bad.

The new album is just as raw as the rest of the Brighton rock quartet’s vast back catalogue, but it trades their DIY sound for something much richer. Whether it’s the inclusion of an extra guitar part or violins or even samples of waves, Every Bad is a slicker production by comparison. In this interview, Margolin breaks down five of her favourite tracks on the new album, giving us an inside look at how “best band in the world” write their music.

Lilac

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“Lilac has always had this kind of anthemic feeling when we’ve played it live, and we spent a lot of time thinking about how we were going to capture that feeling in this recording. Our friend Maria played violin on a lot of the songs on the album, and adding the violins really changed the atmosphere of Lilac, and gave it a really huge and overwhelming added layer of texture that I love, which I think allows it to reach the intensity that it needs. I used to play Lilac a lot with a solo live set up where I had a vocal mic, guitar and keyboard going through a looper, and at the end of the song would stop abruptly and reverse the layers of vocal and guitar. When we were thinking about how to end the album version, we decided to try that same effect and I love how eerie it feels because of that.”

Long

“I feel like we managed to capture the fun and excitement of playing this song live on this recording, and I think it’s one of my favourites because of that. This is one of our more collaboratively written songs, so it sticks out for me because of that too. I remember when we recorded it, Georgie had this idea for a guitar part that she was imagining, and right at the very end of the mixing process, Sam had this epiphany of what it should be and wrote an extra guitar part that comes in a couple of times at the end that adds so much texture and excitement to the song. I love that you can hear my breathless panting between lines at the end too.”

Circling

“This is another one where I really love how the violins affect the whole feeling of the song. For the intro, Sam went down to the beach in Brighton and recorded the sound of the waves, and then on a Yamaha Portasound recorded the main keyboard riff, because that’s how I wrote the song and what the original demo sounds like, and we really wanted to include that sound that all these songs grew out of somewhere on the album. I feel like a lot of the emotion that Circling holds comes from the simplicity of the repetition, and I’m really glad that we added those extra samples for the intro, like a scrapbook of the things this song grew out of.”

(Something)

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“This one was recorded and mixed really differently to the rest of the album, and I really love the way that it sticks out. It’s an extension of Circling, and originally started as a backing vocal that I wrote for Circling that didn’t fit inside the song. Sam and I decided to make it into a track of its own, and took samples of tracks from the demo that we’d made of Circling to make all the sounds. We always think of it as a collaboration with the computer and I really like that idea.”

Give/take

“This was one of the newest songs we had when it came to recording the album. Originally I’d started with two chords on guitar, a keyboard part, and a stream of consciousness of lyrics, and I went to Sam’s house and he instantly wrote the bassline when he heard it, which ended up structuring the whole song in a really exciting way. It was one of the first songs we mixed, and I think you can hear our excitement and our readiness to get started in how punchy it sounds.”

Stream the full album here:

Every Bad is out now on Secretly Canadian.

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