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Saturday 20 September 2014

The Beau Motives enjoy everything under the sun

Published 10/08/2014 | 00:00

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Wonderland with Louis and Kian
Sharon Condon

Former members of manufactured girl bands, don't usually go on to make vaguely cool music. Unless, perhaps, you're Beyonce, ex of Destiny's Child - or, closer to home, Shaz Condon, once of Louis Walsh and Kian Egan's gal-group Wonderland. In truth, Ms Condon's attitude is closer to that of a self-empowering hipster princess than an all-grinning member of a girl-band reeking of cheesiness, whatever about cliché.

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Fronting a three piece uber-pop electronic unit with Stuart Gray (on guitars, bass and keys) and Jay Oglesby (on drums and synthesizer) called The Beau Motives, Shazza C brings us some vaguely cool, and dreamy, out-of-kilter indie-pop for the masses.

"The Beau Motives is the best thing we've ever done musically," she says. "We have something very special here and it will be only a matter of time, and with lots of hard work, to get where we want to be".

Recorded at Stuart's studio Jealoustown in Co Meath, Beneath This Sun - The Beau Motives' debut album - is a sonic breath of fresh air. "We each have slightly different musical influences," she explains, "so compromise is sometimes necessary but our over-riding philosophy was, and is, to make music that we like as a group that is in no way contrived and dosen't pander to any particular genre or fad.

"I will generally come in with the seed of an idea on my phone and then we collectively begin to flesh it out," she adds. "The song can go through many permutations before we finally finish it."

Their influences, which are obviously varied, range from the likes of Imogen Heap, Depeche Mode, The Cocteau Twins to The Dave Matthews Band, Led Zeppelin, The National and Muse.

That said, The Beau Motives don't necessarily want to sound like any of those bands, explains Shaz, "but there could be a guitar sound or vocal approach that we like, or an attitude which could send us in a particular direction so the influences are loose enough to not become imprinted on our own sound, which we want to be uniquely ours."

The lyrics on Beneath This Sun are written by Shaz about her own life's experiences. "My lyrcs are all autobiographical," she tells me. The song 15 Days, she explains, is about "recovery after a heartbreak or loss, the conflicting conversations that you have in your head: 'Be strong, I never needed anyone before, but at the same time. What's wrong? Why can't this work? Why is this happening?' We have all lost someone at some point, in relationships or through death. There is a dark message there but the songs are still uplifting."

I ask about the apparent heartbreak in 15 Days. "I am in a great new relationship," Shaz answers. "I was never in love before until now. I thought I was. I was over it before it ended."

Artbark is, she says, about "chasing the dream, to the past, to who you were and who you are becoming. The main point in that song is at the end of the day the only thing that matters is what we all stand for as humans "

Let It All Go, Shaz continues, is about letting go of "all your fears inside and just following your heart."

In terms of how the band came into being, Shaz explains that she and Jay had both been in Stuart's studio, individually working on various projects. "Then myself and Stuart got on really well and we spoke about writing some songs together.

"He suggested we bring in Jay as a drummer and co-writer. We all seemed to be in a similar place musically and personally it all seemed to click. So The Beau Motives were born three years ago."

Let's hope Beneath This Sun is only the first of many beautiful creations.

Sunday Independent

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