'Help Me Help Myself' is out now
Malvika Padin
11:27 7th April 2021

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As White Flowers, songwriting duo Joey Cobb and Katie Drew deliver music that feels like “hope in the darkness.” With roots in sonic vulnerability, their upcoming debut album Day By Day traces the pair’s journey back to their native Preston after studying art in London - as they hone in on lyrical self-reflection and catharsis.

Speaking of their creative focus when working on the album - produced by Jez Williams of Doves - the duo tell us: "we started this album a few years ago when we were quite young, so it actually documents us growing up over the past few years. We didn’t intend for it to be that way, but we found meaning in it after we wrote it.”

“We started off not knowing too much about what we're doing and that’s noticeable in the first half of the album before we start progressing to the sound we currently have," they add.

Drawing inspiration from their stint in the capital, the album traces an organic maturity that sees their soundscape evolve from a naïve musicality to a more experimental style. 

On being from Preston and how it impacts their music, White Flowers reveal "in Preston, being in a band is a cool thing, so we’ve always been in bands. It’s also quite a weird place, which is probably where we get the darkness and the creepiness - in a good way - from.” 

Even as they progress sonically, the duo are content not to restrict themselves to a particular genre or sound. Taking inspiration from “whoever we're obsessed with” at any point in their lives, White Flowers never force themselves to write to check any boxes, allowing their lyrics and music to unfold naturally. 

Let's take an example in an already-released album track: ”personally, my favourite track is 'Portra' just because that's kind of closest to what we wanted to get across in a song. Where you don't really have an intention of what you want to get across and it just kind of happens; with 'Portra' it was a moment where we got exactly what we wanted.” 

Though they approach music with a free-flowing state of mind, the pair are – as art students – quite particular about their visuals and aesthetics. Building their own world from scratch, every element from music to artwork to visuals comes directly from them. Joey and Katie artfully combine the darkness of their visuals with the light-touch of musical escapism to make a lasting impression, made stronger by the creative freedom they allow themselves. "It doesn't matter what job we do, we never try to plan for it. We just do it and it just turns out how it is and as long as it speaks of who you are then that’s all that matters”

Dark music coming from artists named White Flowers may seem peculiar, but with a name (White Flowers can denote purity or it can mean death) as refreshingly contradictory as their music, where doom and gloom meets blooming hope, the pair welcomes the tag of being “weird”. They invite everyone else to step into their hauntingly beautiful yet quirky world with them.

Debut album Day by Day arrives 4 June via Tough Love.

Issue Four of the Gigwise Print magazine is on pre-order now! Order here.

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Photo: Press