It's A Violent Swell: An Interview with lotusbliss


For quite some time, the way English indie rock trio lotusbliss created music together was simple - brothers Seth, Josh and Adam Gauton started the writing process individually before sending over ideas at various levels of completion for the others to develop. While that aspect of their creation process hasn’t changed, a global pandemic has surely disrupted their recording process.

When they shared their A Day in the Life: Social Distancing feature last May, they mentioned having been working on new songs before going into lockdown. One of those songs, “The Horror”, had actually been floating around in different formats for years.

“I had the embryonic ideas for it something like 6 years ago (!), so a few years before we formed lotusbliss,” Josh said. “I workshopped it on my own and with my short-lived previous band but it never quite hit right. Then, a while after we started writing for lotusbliss, I showed Seth a freshly-reworked version (possibly v5!) where much of the melodies and lyrics were pretty similar to how they are now. Seth jumped on it and we finished it up together, so it feels amazing to finally have it all done and released!”

The recently released single is about choosing to do something for short-term personal gain, knowing that it is going to hurt someone else, and the internal and external conversations and fallout that follow.

“Often forgiving yourself can be the hardest part, and that sense of self-depreciation and personal anxiety is what we wanted to capture,” Josh said. “It’s not based on one example in particular, but a lifetime of recollections from three introverted thinkers.”

The accompanying music video tells the same narrative visually as the song itself. The mirrors represent self-reflection, and solidify the concepts explored within the music. The performance sequences were shot a few days before the UK’s second lockdown, using 100 hurriedly-purchased mirrors and creating the room themselves. The masked protagonist was played by a friend, and they spent the day driving through different locations in Birmingham for those shots. As with all their music videos, it was produced entirely in-house, with Josh acting as director, producer, writer and editor.

“The Horror” is just one of the songs lotusbliss has up their sleeve for 2021, and while listeners are enjoying the track, the band hopes that they take away something from its lyrics.

“It’s not a great place to be in, endlessly beating yourself up for things you’ve done, especially when the people it’s affected have been gracious enough to forgive you,” Josh said. “We hope that the song speaks to people feeling that and whilst it lets them recognise they aren’t alone in feeling like this, they also feel permission to forgive themselves before the spiral gets out of control. On a less conceptual level, it’s felt like too long since we last put a song out, so we hope people get excited about the prospect of hearing more music from us and jumping along for the ride to see where it all goes.”