Corey Taylor and Phoebe Bridgers are modern proof of the belief that it’s healthy for artists to step outside of their traditional ‘day-job’ and venture into new creative spaces. Taylor’s solo work, and Bridgers recent work in Boygenius, demonstrate the benefits that can come through changing your creative environment, collaborating with new people, and exploring unreached parts of your creativity. Both examples also show that when you return ‘home’ to your usual role, new material is often more nuanced and has greater depth. Seemingly, we all need side projects….
Picking up a similar theme, the new EP from Sunderland’s Picnic clearly sparkles with a sense of renewed confidence and a full collection of new ideas. ‘But I like it’, released at the end of April, sees the indie/funk/pop collective return with a sound you will immediately identify from their earlier work, but also one that pushes their sound into new, incredibly original, spaces. Built over six tracks, the EP is poppier and more accessible than ever before in the Picnic catalouge, but also has layers of interesting jazzy and sonic experimentation.
“It feels like it’s been ages since we’ve been around” confirms Picnic member Eddie Scott “but in reality it’s not that long, it’s just that some of us have been doing other things creatively, amongst other things Robyn has been doing really well with Bigfatbig and I’ve done stuff with Mt. Misery, so when we’ve started Picnic again we’re all filled with new ideas and a real desire to get Picnic back out and back on people’s radar’.
A show at Pop Recs on the 5th May will hopefully be the start of a new collection of gigs helping to reconnect people with Picnic; “yeah, it’s sort of an EP launch party” confirms Eddie “but more than anything it’s a chance for us to get some momentum back and to have a good time playing together again. I won’t go too much into it but we have a few challenges with labels which stopped our momentum a bit but since we’ve been working on this EP it feels like we’ve come full circle and we’re re-energised to get our music out there. Perhaps for a while we overthought our process, but we’ve got a renewed confidence again to say if we like it, then let’s put it out; and that’s a great place to be in as it means that we feel more in control of who we are and what we’re doing.”
With a single launch in March (“Tell me you love me”), an Ep launch in April, a show in May, you can already feel the momentum building back up for Picnic (“we hope to get out later the year and do more shows and maybe even look at new music as the year progresses”), which is the sign of a great band doing great things again.
Creativity, momentum and finding new ways to learn and grow – there’s a lesson in here for all of us.
“But I like it” is released at the end of April.