‘The day when we stop the war
Remember those you once loved’
How easily can people maintain childhood as they grow up and how feasible is it for a grown-up child to win the war of adults? Can a new band rehearse and record a whole album with zero money and only ammunition their friendship and love for music? They are Electric Litany and their album title, “How To Be A Child And Win The War” (borrowed from an Ian Hawgood track), summarises in a unique way all the “innocent” arsenal of a debut that comes as a positive answer to all the above, while giving lessons of modern romanticism.
Their story could be a script of a Jean-Pierre Jeunet film.
Alexandros Miaris (voice, guitars, piano, synths) moves to London from the greek island of Kekryra. His future houses are all old, abandoned, derelict public buildings that carry their own history. A school, a library, then a town hall and a church. In these places a brand new band, formed in the spring of 2007, will take its first steps. Richard Simic (drums) comes to London from a farming village in sleepy Devon in order to look for a band. The two of them met by chance one evening and begun to play together in the town hall’s small theatre. The third member, Duane Petrovich (bass) from Texas, was found a bit later from a music ad.
The name Electric Litany came up as an oxymoron. The litanies and philharmonics in Alexandros’ native island have haunted him since he was a child. The band is powerfully electric, but involves no religious faith of any kind. Nevertheless their story so far is full of “religious” coincidences: they made their first demos in an old pub called “Fallen Angel” (converted to an illegal studio in order to meet their needs) and later on, without second thought, they recorded this album in Alexandros’ latest home, an abandoned church with great acoustics, built in 1895 in North London.
They collected instruments and equipment from everywhere, Alexandros spent 4 days into cables and plugs in order to connect the compartments of the church and George Botis travelled from Athens to do the sound engineering. 13 tracks were recorded live in 3 days! The recorded material travelled to Athens for the mixing and then back to London at the Abbey Road Studios where the mastering took place.
It’s quite tricky to describe the result in words. Eerie vocals, pauses that embrace some of the pious silence of a prayer. Melancholic atmospheres and dynamic guitars. Dreams scented with rain. Haunting melodies, elaborately orchestrated. Lonesome lyrics, few words that have a lot to convey. The sure thing is that the lo-fi world of “How To Be A Child And Win The War” is ready to unfold, share its experiences and carry away the listener. And Electric Litany is a promising band with lots of «gifts» to offer in the future.