An interview with The People Versus following the release of hypnotic indie single ‘Pretty Words’

March 10, 2023
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Having already made a big impression with their first few releases achieving radio play across BBC Radio 6 MusicRadio X and BBC Introducing as well as appearances on BBC News, the indie outfit have built a growing hype around their infectious sound.

“It’s been a slow process of replacing accordions with synthesisers”: Jack – Guitarist of The People Versus – says when asked how the band took shape.

Returning with grittier guitar lines and swirling electronics over the grounding bass, ‘Pretty Words’ perfectly blends and tight beats with indie driven rhythms, layered with 4AD style atmospherics. Topped with the emotive and strikingly heartfelt vocals, the honest voice of lead singer – Alice Edwards – completes the ethereal experience.

What was the last song you listened to? Zombie, Orla Gartland. Love the overlapping Harmonies.

Exploring obscure concepts with sound, ‘Pretty Words‘ was written to express the sharp contrast between personal views centered in your own life and the constant struggles that often come with that, juxtaposing the redundancy such an alien concept has to something as huge as an ocean. The People Versus go on to describe:

The feeling that you’re being attacked by an ocean whilst you’re at sea, when the reality is that even if the ocean was sentient, you are so small that you wouldn’t be a factor in its decision making. This is drawn in parallel with when how you feel has no effect on a situation, how unrequited love won’t make someone love you; but that doesn’t mean you can switch it off.

 Formed in 2019, The People Versus established an authentically atmospheric sound, curated through a combination of vocal and instrumental lines. Supporting the beguiling voice and personality of the lead singer – Alice Edwards, each song is taut with feeling and longing. An original interpretation of story-telling, the outfit take creative inspiration from Greek myth and tales from Shakespeare.

How is your local live music scene – and are there any exciting artists you recommend? Ha, how long have you got? Dolly Mavies, Joely, In-Flight Movie, Danny Mellin are all right up my personal alley.

Which artists have influenced your sonic style the most and why? Within this band, probably Peter Buck from R.E.M. I have no idea how Electric guitar fits into harmoniesy indie, driven tracks. So i learned a lot from listening to what he does.

No strangers to the live circuit following tours across Denmark with Northern Assembly plus Sold Out headline shows at Oxford O2 and The Lexington, the band have also made their mark on the festival circuit – packing out tent performances at Truck Festival and Cambridge Folk Festival. Such a portfolio summarises the genre straddling appeal that transports listeners on an enthralling journey. With their debut and previous works receiving support from BBC South Today Live News, The People Versus excelled expectation in 2021 with ‘Witch‘ and ‘Calypso‘ – earning BBC radio airplay, placements at international film festivals, and a feature as Richer Sounds artist of the week. 2022 has kept them on a steady incline with ‘Ocean Family‘ and ‘Again and Again‘ achieving premieres from Steve Lamacq (BBC Radio 6) and John Kennedy (Radio X).

Which musicians do you think paved the way or revolutionised the industry? I mean, outside of the standard list that everyone rightly rolls out? I feel like a lot of music from left-field post 2012 owes An Awesome Wave a pint?

Moving from strength to strength, The People Versus’ career highlights so far are evident; Including international and national tours, sold out shows, 2000 + users on support platform (released alongside Lonely Teen), multiple placements on X-Posure playlist, and BBC Radio 6 Premieres with Steve Lamacq.


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