On the 25th September, Leeds’ Soft Jocks will release their single Lemon, the first release of furlough-formed Sheffield label, Elephant Arch Records. As well as a digital release of the single, the physical release will also feature a vinyl-only live recording, Photosynthesis, as the B side with 100% of vinyl profits being donated to the Music Venues Trust as part of their #SaveOurVenues campaign.
Speaking on the single, Soft Jocks said that Lemon is “an attack on the frontal lobes’ decision-making abilities disguised in a short punchy power-pop burst. It’s a quick and powerful insight into identity and ego, translated into just under two minutes of citrus-related fun which doesn’t let up until the last note.”
Like bands the world over, Soft Jocks have had been hugely impacted by the lack of live performance opportunities. Talking about the importance of live music to them as a band, Soft Jocks said, “live music means the world to us so we couldn’t be more excited to be helping support Music Venues Trust while we wait for the antidote.
“We were meant to be playing a string of UK shows, booked by friends who owed us favours, to literally tens of excited gig-goers but have had to cancel. Instead, we’ve settled for releasing this new single and a little taster of what we sound like live on the b-side.”
For some, the COVID-19 lockdown has brought mixed blessings. A life long dream, Elephant Arch Records was formed as a result of the free time afforded by furloughs and lockdown. But despite currently never having been viable throughout the label’s lifetime, label co-founder Ben Ward is adamant that live music is still central to what the label does.
“It’s kinda weird signing a band without seeing them live,” says Ward. “We met Soft Jocks first through Instagram messenger and then on Zoom. It was only a few weeks ago we actually met in person.
“Unlike most labels, we’ve still never actually seen our first signing perform live and to be honest, we can’t wait. We want to ensure there’s still live music venues around to host them, whenever that might be, so we’ve decided to donate 100% of all profits from our first release to their Save Our Venues campaign.”
The Music Venues Trust says that “without these independent venues the live music scene in the UK will die. These grassroots venues play a crucial role in the development of British music, nurturing local talent, providing a platform for artists to build their careers and develop their music and their performance skills.”