Earlier this week, West Sussex based Amongst The Pigeons announced the news of their fourth album ‘Silence Will Be Assumed As Acceptance’ which is set for release on 7th May! Following this news, we thought this was the perfect opportunity to have a chat with him before the release of the second single taken from the album ‘Colour Blind feat. Ollie Barron’ this Friday!
We caught up Amongst The Pigeons to discuss the album, ‘Colour Blind’, playing live, pigeons and the future!
Hi there! Firstly, so that our readers can know a bit more about you, please introduce Amongst The Pigeons:
Hi Nikki. Thanks for having me. So yes, I am Daniel Parsons and I produce and perform music under the name Amongst The Pigeons. I am based in Lancing, West Sussex and have been doing this one and off for over ten years.
I think a lot of people have always struggled to classify the sound of my music which is something I am actually proud of. In essence it is electronica and ventures towards indie-electro in parts.
You’re about to release your first single of 2021 ‘Colour Blind’ (feat. Ollie Barron) on 9th April, but for anyone who’s yet to hear it, how would you describe the track?
‘Colour Blind’ is a real short blast of beats, synths and guitars. It is only 1 minute and 45 seconds long but takes you on a real journey in that time. It straddles electro, rock, pop and has an array of different noises floating across the track.
You create a self-professed blend of ‘weird and wonky electronica’, but who (or what) would you say is the biggest influence on your sound?
I grew up listening to a lot of dance and electronica artists such as Orbital, Chemical Brothers and some of the more strange sample based stuff like Mr Scruff and Lemon Jelly.
I think all of those acts had an influence on me early on and over the years I have got quite good at defining my own sound.
That said I am really inspired by a lot of the current electronica artists such as Kelly Lee Owens, Daniel Avery, Hannah Peel and Kayla Painter and the new stuff I have been working on is definitely being influenced more by their sounds.
You’ve also just announced your fourth album ‘Silence Will Be Assumed As Acceptance’, if you could sum it up in three words, what would they be and why?
Collaborative – because of the guest vocalists I worked with across the album. In the past when it has been just me it has felt very much like a solo project. This time round I got input from nine other people which made it feel fresh and exciting.
Rebellious – A lot of the album is about speaking out and challenging views. I wouldn’t say it is entirely political but it is the closest I have come to putting out a series of songs that are more provocative. Maybe the word should have been provocative, ha!
Different – I think it is quite different from a lot of the other music that is out there at the moment. Some of the singles where described as sounding like Hot Chip, Gorillaz, Sleaford Mods – but it is a varied, yet cohesive album.
There’s a variety of guests from different musical backgrounds who feature across the album, how did you choose who to work with?
I usually have an idea about what kind of voice I want on a track and reach out to people who I think may be suitable. A lot of the vocalists on the album are friends or contacts I have made through festivals or social media.
I am always reaching out to artists to see if they would like to work on a track together and have ‘out takes’ from this album which didn’t fit the theme but will see the light of day in the future.
Your new album follows the theme of “speaking out, challenging and remembering that we are all different”, would you say that the album is in essence, a protest album?
I think in essence, yes but I also hope it is more than that.
It is a very apt time to be releasing the album following the passing of the updated Policing Bill and what appears to be the Conservative government removing our rights to peacefully protest. If we are not allowed to protest in the streets we will need to use arts, culture and music even more as a medium of putting our collective views across.
There are songs on the album inspired by Extinction Rebellion, Freedom of speech and calling out the hypocritical way the Government look out for themselves but not the people they are meant to serve.
But as I say, it is also more than a protest record. The title alone is a reminder that if we don’t speak out against things then we are compliant in letting them carry on.
There is a brilliant quote by Martin Luther King which I think sums it up so well “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”
If you could, once gigs return, play absolutely anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
My instant reaction to this was Glastonbury Festival. I last played there in 2019 and was due to play in 2020 before everything got cancelled. But I will be happy to play anywhere and everywhere once allowed.
Also, if you are paying I’d also like to say Iceland. I have never been but would utterly love to go.
I’ve probably missed something somewhere at some point and it’s probably obvious, but why pigeons?
This is a good question and one I have had to reflect on myself.
When I started ATP it was actually meant to be a bit of a joke. I was making music as a ‘singer songwriter’ and wanted to do something a bit different.
The name ‘Amongst The Pigeons’ comes from the idiom ‘a cat amongst the pigeons’ which is used to describe a disturbance. I have always liked the idea of ATP being different from everything else going on and ruffling feathers.
When I started no one knew I was ATP and for the first three years I used the pseudonym Charlie Anthony Thompson (CAT) so I was the Cat amongst the pigeons. It ended up getting confusing when I started playing live and I would introduce myself to the promoter as ‘Daniel from Amongst The Pigeons’. They often had a blank face and asked ‘Where is Charlie?’.
Finally, what’s in store for Amongst The Pigeons in the future?
I am in album promo mode for the next few weeks. I can’t wait for people to hear it.
In the summer I will release one more song from the album as a single and also an ‘alternative versions’ edition of the album. Some of the artists have recorded acoustic versions of their songs which sound incredible. Megan Linford for example has done a down tempo piano version of the track I did with her and it has given it a whole new lease of life.
Beyond that I have already started work on my next release or rather I did before I lost all my free time to doing promo. The demos I have recorded so far are really exciting. I am not 100% where that record will go – I have a feeling it may be more traditional electronica based with less guest vocalists but it is always impossible to say at this point.
What I do know is it is going to be a concept album based around dreams, sleep, night terrors and such like. My wife has a lot of night terrors where she is asleep but physically moving and talking but with no memory of it happening. She says some utterly surreal things during that time which all deserve to become song titles.
Also – LIVE SHOWS – I really want to get back out there and play live and be in the fields and clubs. I have a left over track from the ‘SWBAAA’ sessions called ‘And then we dance again’ which may get a release before the end of the year…
I’d like to thank Amongst The Pigeons very much for their time! You can listen to their latest single ‘Before The Storm Hits (feat. Fast Trains)’ below and hear their latest single ‘Colour Blind (feat. Ollie Barron)’ on Friday 2nd April! You can also follow them on social media via the following links: