The White Russian
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The White Russian

London, United Kingdom | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | INDIE

London, United Kingdom | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Alternative Indie




This band has no press


"Who Is?" EP 

"You Are" EP



The sounds produced by The White Russian is in a constant state of an ever-mutating change. The band first released an EP 4 years ago with a line-up totally different to what it is now, bar Joseph at the heart of the movement. It’s was initially an outlet for folk music with a hint of arrangement and maybe pushing the limitations of the form here or there. The first EP ended up being a smorgasbord of tracks as the identity of the White Russian began to form, hence the EP’s title ‘Who Is?’.

Four years later we are back with another varied array of sounds, but an EP with more solidity in sound, more guts and more wisdom. The EP named after title track ‘You Are’ as a defiant statement as to what the band has now become after such a hiatus. There are still hallmark sounds from the first record - the vocal doubling, horn-led production ideas sprinkled from old members involvement still. But this record bridges a gap between what the band started off as and what it is coming into being. The newer-still songs being currently recorded will be moodier, broader and darker. 

The band consists of Joseph Giffard Tutt on vocals and guitar, Iain Berryman on electric guitar and cornet, Danny Geffin on drums and Richard Osbourne on double bass. All of the members are songwriters in their own right, so when a piece is brought to the group instrumentation and layering is a thoughtful and delicate creative process. This is what makes the band so special - everyone can appreciate the overall impacts they are having within the song as a whole - so the concept of holding back and less is more are not bitter pills for any bandmates. Out of this grows songs that can swell to giant scales, and shrink to the most intimate of moods. 

Generally Joseph writes a song and brings it to be shaped further by the band, either as bare-bones or slightly more embellished experiment. Iain Berryman is the producer of the recordings and has extensive and on-going experience producing and engineering at a high level, with lots of experience working on popular music at Abbey Road studios amongst other places. The value of having our producer as part of the band and songwriting is invaluable. It’s hard to imagine it another way.

The forthcoming single You Are is due for release before christmas and the EP itself will be released in late February. So there isn’t much to say about public reaction to the record as yet. But having had time since the last output, we’ve already started recording the album that will be to follow and we are seeing what the band truly has to offer in its current form. To see what people make of the EP will be very interesting, we’re excited and believe in the strength of the recordings there.

For our first group photograph the band mimicked Rousseau’s ‘Suprised!’ painting (otherwise known as tiger in a tropical storm). This ethos of putting as much effort into the creative aspects around the music is part of the notion of The White Russian, this totemic figure that we hang music from. The concept of art imitating life and then back again is something we like to pay with with. And this comes through in the music too with a mixture of the deepest, most heartfelt lyrics coalescing with lightly confusing or humorous references to life’s little bits and bobs.

Music videos are an essential part of the output, harking back to the golden era of 1990’s videos. The early videos were super-8, and what we have planned for this EP and album videos is bigger, broader and even more ideas-lead narrative videos. We care less about showing our faces than extolling an idea through the mixed media at our disposal. Joseph directs music videos for other bands when between projects and has a background in film production, so we see our output as inseparable, the visual and the audio causing the real impact only once both sides of the coin have been stamped. There are some very exciting projects in the pipeline, including an epic video for a much fancier re-recording of an old crowd favourite.

Musical influences bunched together would have to include Grizzly Bear, Joanna Newsom, Paul Simon, Ella Fitzgerald, Deerhunter, Beirut, Bright Eyes, Sufjan Stevens, John Frusciante, Mr Twin Sister, Alabama Shakes. Examples of bands with strong leadership from the core songwriter, but a high level of collaboration and malleability.

The new single You Are demonstrates how the band can still hold an ostensibly acoustic, finger-picking song and make it into something their own. Arrangements are paired back but forceful on arrival; understated but still leaving you asking what that sound murmuring in space actually was. The tracks to follow are always trying to break whatever mould we have been given, and each song is taken on a case-by-case basis. There is an understanding.

Band Members