Edinburgh-based electro-pop duo Super Inuit supported Swedish group Holy Now at Leith Depot last Friday and I went along for a chat with them before their set.
The duo, made up of Brian Pokora and Fern Morris, told me the story behind their name, how they put together their music and what 2019 holds for them.
We start by talking about their name. As I ask this, Fern wryly looks at Brian saying, “I’ll let you answer this one”. Brian tells me, somewhat reluctantly, that the name actually comes from his twitter handle which is a reference to a Holy Fuck song of the same name. The duo go on to tell me that Super Inuit was originally intended to be a collaborative project (in early incarnations live performances involved poets and artists) but when they came together it became very clear to them that they worked really well as a duo – and they were right. Fern’s vocals sit beautifully on top of the heavy and layered samples that Brian lays down, coming together in a combination that goes together so perfectly.
Next our conversation shifts to what it’s like playing a show in Edinburgh compared to playing elsewhere. Brian says it’s nice that a show can become part of a night because “you’re basically at a gig with all of your friends”. The duo quickly go on to say how much they love Edinburgh because of all the amazing opportunities here, and add that too much focus is placed on Glasgow when it comes to music. As we sit in one of Edinburgh’s most community based venues I can’t help but agree with them.
Staying on the same topic, but looking slightly further afield, I ask the band how they ended up playing a set in an Icelandic record shop and then another set in a sweaty Edinburgh club just 12 hours later. I didn’t really come up with a question here and ended up just saying, “what, how, why?”. At which point Fern just laughed. They tell me that they had been “pestering” the owner of Lucky Records to let them play there as part of Iceland’s Airwaves festival for ages. When they finally got their way they already had a set at Summerhall’s Rhythm Machine the next day but weren’t prepared to miss out on either.
My next question is how they usually put together a song, and whether the sound comes first or if the lyrics lead. They tell me that the sound always comes first, a sample is usually the starting point for every song. They work on the sample and turn that into a song and then add lyrics. However, the lyrics come after they “make a thousand tiny little changes that people will never notice”, Fern tells me. These high production values definitely pay off though, as every song they perform is perfectly blended with layers of complexity that draw you into another world.
Finally, I ask the band what 2019 holds for them, especially after being named one of Scotland’s top 25 acts to look out for this year. The duo are clearly delighted by this accolade, as their faces light up when I mention it. They tell me that the their main focus for 2019 is gigs, gigs and more gigs, with lots of fun shows ahead of them and lots of people that they really want to play support for. Even more excitingly they tell me that they plan to have an EP out by the end of the summer because they want to “have something that you can sit and listen to” that’s longer than four minutes!
You can check them out for yourself at the link below.
By Owen Garner