Berlin-based trio Varley continue to define the odds as they enjoy the successes of music through their debut album Smalltalk & DMC's.
Consisting of Dublin born Claire-Ann and German band mates Joschka Bender & Matthias Heising, the rising indie-pop trio have slowly built a discography of addictive yet meaningful tracks since their 2019 debut EP Phantom Studies.
As they take on the bad world around us and change social topics into defying anthems, their latest project sonically is optimistic. From the focus track 'Feel It' to the deeper feelings of 'Bubble Up' and 'The Pressure', listeners are treated to a journey of a 13-track album that delves from one spectrum to the other. With versatility across the board, Varley are ready to take it to the next step.
While they prepare for the return of live music and head onto the road, we caught up with ones to watch about their latest work, how it all kicked off, being authentic and the future.
Let's get straight into it! Congratulations on your debut album Smalltalk & DMC's- how are you feeling it's now out, and what does it mean for you lot as a rising trio?
Thanks so much! It feels so good to have it out in the world. The absolute best thing is hearing from people who can relate to our music. It can be a little bit daunting to let people peek inside your head, but that makes it all worthwhile.
Delving into the overall emotions of inner turmoil and playing on self-doubt but also showing off moments of strength and defiance, do you think your debut project achieves what you were hoping for?
Going into it, we didn’t have a big plan of what we wanted to write about, but we knew we wanted to let our gut feelings do the talking, at the end of the day, it is usually the most honest and has the most interesting things to say. So, it was important for us to listen to the inner voice and write about the uncomfortable topics that we are confronted with today, such as loneliness and mental health.
Talking about the project as a whole, how did Smalltalk & DMC's start, and how would you describe the creative process of the 15-tracks coming together?
It definitely started with ‘Disease’, which is a track that we wrote and released in 2019. It deals with the topic of loneliness, and this song had such a strong reaction that we knew we wanted to delve deeper into uncomfortable topics and talk about the things that maybe we are ashamed to talk about with friends or family. When it came time to write the album, it was really important to us to be open and honest, and that helped a lot in the creative process.
Now out of the 15-tracks, which one is your favourite and why? Do each one of you have a different one, or is it the same?
We all have a different favourite song, and it’s ever-changing. Right now, it’s like this:
Claire-Ann: ‘Married With Bruises’
Matze: ‘The Pressure’
Joschka: ‘One, Two, Three’
Treating fans snippets of your debut work with standout indie-pop that scream anthems of encouragement and transform challenging moments into good, what do you hope listeners take from your music?
We hope this collection of songs gives people hope, the feeling of not being alone or maybe even the permission to love ourselves just as we are.
Looking at the start of your career from Dublin born Claire Ann to German-based Joschka Bender and Matthias Heising, what bought you three together, and how did Varley kick-off?
We first met over ten years ago at an international song writing week and became fast friends. We had a bunch of different bands and played a string of tours throughout Europe over the years, but none of the bands ever felt 100% right. It was only when all three of us moved to Berlin that we reconnected and started Varley. This time around, it felt right for all of us, and that was a little sign that we were going in the right direction.
Taking on influences of Bon Iver to Phoebe Bridgers, what influenced all three of you to pursue music?
It’s not something we necessarily pursued, but rather, we all had an impulse to create from a young age. It’s a way for all of us to sort through our feelings and let everything out.
Following on from your debut single back in 2018 to becoming one to watch, how would you describe your rise into music, and what is the dream for Varley?
It’s been a pretty natural progression for us. We have always tried to create music that we love and be open and vulnerable with it. We have a lot of plans for the future, but probably the most important thing for us, is to keep creating music that is authentic to us.
Speaking of your journey, what have you learnt from your musical career, and what would you like to share with others?
The biggest thing we have learned so far is that being authentic and writing what you know, not what you think people want to hear, is key. The songs that are honest and heartfelt are always the ones that get us.
Finally, I hope you have your feet up and having a break, but what do you hope to bring into 2022?
We want to take the new songs on the road, and we are so excited to start playing in front of a live audience again. We played our first festival a few weeks ago, and it felt so good playing the new songs with our band. We definitely are looking forward to more of that.