The Ramona Flowers formed in 2012 when Dave Betts (keys/guitar) met (singer) Steve Bird for the first time at a fancy dress party. The former was dressed as Freddie Mercury and the latter as a vacuum cleaner. Yes? and they recruited (drummer) Ed Gallimore after a girl Betts knew was stood up on a Tinder date by a “good-looking guy” who was also a professional drummer. The romance wasn’t to be, but Gallimore was soon drafted into the band’s line-up. This is all fact?
What is certainly true is Betts, Sam James (guitar) and Wayne Jones (bass) met Bird and Gallimore and The Ramona Flowers were born…
Having initially banded together in their shared search to find the sweet spot between rock and electronica, The Ramona Flowers have progressed through two albums – Dismantle And Rebuild (2014) and Part Time Spies (2016) – to their finely-honed third long-player, Strangers. Their most electronic and dancefloor-ready offering to date, its creation was overseen – as was its predecessor – by American, London-based producer Chris Zane (Passion Pit, Friendly Fires, St Lucia).
The last few years have seen The Ramona Flowers playing concerts around the world, making many new fans – including the singer of U2. When Bono heard his daughter playing Lust And Lies, the pulsing and atmospheric lead track from the band’s 2013 EP of the same name, it caught his ear. Bono contacted the band and subsequently recruited the song’s producer Andy Barlow (one half of electronic duo Lamb) to help in the making of the Irish super group’s latest album, Songs Of Experience.
As a statement of intent, the title track from Strangers sets the tone of The Ramona Flowers’ new approach. A nocturnal- sounding club track with a vocoder hookline, it finds Bird lyrically concerned with re-exploring the early passion of a relationship. “It’s about when you meet somebody and that first sort of whirlwind of how great it is,” says the singer. “It’s wanting to repeat it all again.”
For Strangers, The Ramona Flowers employed a new creative modus operandi of the collective members writing separately, using computers and synthesizers, before bringing the songs to the rest of the band in the studio to complete as a team. Hence the music’s more electronic focus.
Among the band’s more recent adventures are a memorable set at Glastonbury 2017 and a trip to Japan to play at the 2017 Fuji Rock Festival, where they were astounded to find themselves performing at the decidedly un-rock’n’roll time of 10.30AM to 5,000 avid fans. “They were singing along and knew all the words,” Bird marvels.
Three albums in, The Ramona Flowers deserve to be ranked up there with the contemporary artists and bands they most admire and feel an affinity with: Phoenix, M83, Everything Everything, Sampha, Wild Beasts. With Strangers, they surely will be, since they’re performing at peak level. “I think this record is much more accessible to a wider audience,” says Sam James. “The sound of the band is big. I think we’ve been growing towards this over the last two records. This is the best album we’ve ever done.”
Lekberg Enterprises is proud to handle US marketing and project management for the forthcoming album Strangers.