Formed in London in late 2017, Dutchkid are at the forefront of a new wave of DIY bands who are self-producing and creating their own videos, live shows, and online content themselves.
More of an artistic collective than a band, Dutchkid consider all of their musicians, filmmakers, graphic designers, producers, and songwriters as band members, including manager Jordan McGregor and live technician Josh Hailes. However, when it comes to the music, bassist/vocalist Jordi van Dyk, keyboardist/vocalist Pete Coggan, keyboardist Chris Smyth, and drummer Jack Kircher take centre stage.
“I think our music is the sum of what is inspiring us at any given moment, but that inspiration is definitely channelled towards something that falls into the electronic pop category,” Kircher explains. “People have tried to box us in multiple genres in the past: indie, alt pop, pop, chill, indie pop, electronic, dance, acoustic, etc., but we really just try not to focus on genre, but rather making music we love and would listen to ourselves. If it makes us feel something, then we know we’re heading in the right direction!”
The group’s debut EP Empires was released back in 2018, and now the group has come roaring back with the poppy new singles ‘Lemonade’, ‘Sugar’, and ‘Light On’. All three songs are celebratory slices of indie rock and pop that can play either to the alternative crowd or potentially find their way into more mainstream avenues, although the band don’t necessarily see it that way.
“It’s not something we actively pursue or think about really in our songwriting/producing,” Van Dyk says. “It’s just naturally where we find ourselves musically at the moment. We have obviously all been living through the absolute craziest time in the world and it’s a reflection of our current experiences at the moment. I would not say that we are consciously moving our sound somewhere, it’s just a reflection of what we are at the present time and that has changed from where we were when we wrote our first EP a few years ago.”
Dutchkid themselves are saving their own live celebration for December 10, which will be the band’s first post-pandemic live gig at Oslo in East London. The band will perform their debut LP, in full for an audience of honest to god in-person fans.
“Our largest ever headline show at Oslo was rescheduled a ridiculous 3 times!” Van Dyk continues. “Pre-pandemic, a live show would have been taken for granted, but going forward we think live music is going to be so much more appreciated and respected. We are so excited to share the live show with our fans, and also be fans of our favourite artists and support the live music industry, which has been brought to its knees this past year.”
In their previous interviews, the band rattled off some diverse musical tastes, like Death Cab for Cutie, Years & Years, and Brockhampton. As the live sphere once again appears to be reopening, the support and influence of some the group’s favourite band’s will be on full display.
“We are definitely zeroing in on a more defined space for our sound recently and are inspired by a new group of artists,” Hailes explains. “Our debut album coming out soon will have more influences from artists like Glass Animals, Jai Paul, and Jungle, whereby our first two EPs had more of an alternative pop/indie pop influence. We might even have some spoken word parts on the album, you never know.”
“We’re always listening to lots of different genres of music and the songs often start from one moment of inspiration which the song is then built around,” Kircher adds. “We always try to add textures and sounds to a song that benefit the overall sonics of what the song wants to be. If a sound we add feels disparate from the rest of the sounds, unless we intentionally like that, we’d often remove it in favour of something that benefits the song.”
Most importantly, the band emphasise that, under the layers of synths and monstrous production, the members are just normal guys. “Although we hope it will be one day, Dutchkid isn’t any of our full time jobs – yet!” Smyth says. “Josh and I run a design studio. Jack spends his days as a mix engineer and head of audio. Pete and Jordi are song-writers and producers for multiple talented artists and our boss man (Jordan) works as a finance director for one of London’s biggest music venues. We all bring different skills and talents to Dutchkid because of our day jobs, and that is one of the things we believe sets us apart.”