Alternative-pop hero Bipolar Sunshine is set to shine in 2014.
The Chorlton-born star (real name Adio Marchant) is poised to light up the Parklife Weekender being held at Heaton Park this weekend as well as posting a debut album to his adoring fans.
If that wasn’t enough, his forthcoming single Deckchairs on the Moon has just been made Radio One DJ Zane Lowe’s record of the week.
MM caught up with the man-on-a-roll to talk about sonic experimentation, songwriting inspiration and what it means to be a Manchester musician.
You don’t sound like classic Manchester bands like, say, Oasis or The Stone Roses, but do you think you share a similar vibe? A kind of communal ‘people-coming-together’ thing?
If it’s a communal vibe then yeah, definitely, I think it comes from being from Manchester and having that attitude.
The Manchester attitude we all have, even if you’re making House, we’re just all on the buzz and we all understand when we hear different things.
And that’s why I always think that, as you’ll see from the audience, it’s a wide range.
And that to me is beautiful, it shows that Manchester can accept something different, it’s nice that people have decided to come out and see me play even before I’ve got an album out.
Being in Kid British beforehand I know how hard it is, so it’s nice that I’m starting to get a little bit of recognition and I’m fully grateful for everyone that came down.
The first thing that strikes me about your music is that there’s a lot of different stuff going on; it’s very difficult to pin down stylistically. Is that why you chose the name Bipolar Sunshine?
Definitely. A name like Bipolar Sunshine is always gonna have those connotations, the connotations that go across with the music so it all made perfect sense really.
You’ve got things like gospel harmonies, psychedelic, backwards guitars and some atmospheric sounds that remind me of the Burial album. What are you drawing on when you’re putting your music together?
A whole range of ideas – for this project I wanted to really try and capture that emotional sentiment Karen Carpenter, Morrissey, Kanye, Andre 3000…understanding the way that they craft their songwriting to create something really wholesome.
They’re all classic songwriters in their particular field.
You’ve got an album coming out later in the year. Is that going to go in a specific direction or is the idea to keep experimenting?
I’m gonna keep experimenting, it’s gonna be a left of centre pop album – an alternative pop album.
I’m just tapping into the way people perceive music these days.
It’s a new generation, people aren’t listening to this or that genre. People are listening to different things all the time and flip between different styles in what they listen to.
I’m not allowing the whole genre thing to be shaping what I’m going to do.
But also in there you’re gonna see that it’s a cohesive piece of work because of the vocals, you’ll be able to tell that it’s me on all the tracks, and that’s what I’m aiming for.
Your Bipolar Sunshine tunes are a lot more reflective and personal than Kid British (his former band). Was that a side of your personality you wanted to explore with this project?
Definitely. Bipolar Sunshine is like an adaptation of my life to be perfectly honest. But even from the point of view that you talk a bit more truthfully about yourself, say whatever I need to say for that particular moment, for that song.
You played the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in the States last month, how was that?
South by Southwest was amazing.
It was the first time we’ve been able to play in Texas. The vibe was good, the energy was right and I got to meet some really interesting people out there.
So for us to go out there… We met some fans out there, people who actually knew the songs, so it shows that just from the EP you can have that type of effect. It’s great that we’re moving forward there.
On the subject of festivals, your new single Where Did the Love Go sounds like a real hands-in-the-air festival closer to me. Was that the intention when you wrote it or did it just ‘come out’ like that?
(Laughs) Yeah, it just came out like that, after playing it a few times we were like ‘okay, now this sounds like that type of song’.
But it’s something that we just sort of do. I allow things to be choral – some songs aren’t, but this one sort of wrote itself.
Lyrically, Love More and Worry Less reminds me of something Mike Skinner or Alex Turner might do. Are they influences on your writing at all?
To be a writer in this field and not say you’re influenced by Mike Skinner or Alex Turner…it’s that clever social commentary that doesn’t make you wince – and that’s what they’re doing.
I have listened to those artists and I can understand when people make those comparisons.
So, to me, that’s nice. It shows I’m on the right path.
You’re playing the Parklife weekender with the likes of Snoop Dog, Rudimental, Foals and Public Enemy; that must be exciting for you?
Yeah that’s exciting. I’m looking forward to it, but I’m not gonna look forward too much because there’s so much going on in-between. I don’t want to, like, miss a month.
I’m just constantly thinking about something being great.
But yeah, it’s gonna be amazing to be on the same bill as Snoop, who I fully love, man. I think he’s a genius.
So to get to play on the same bill and hopefully hang around with him…It’s gonna be a great day, man, a great day.
Anything you can tell us about the album coming out later this year? Have you got a title yet?
I’ve got a title, but it’s under wraps for now.
I’m looking forward to when people can hear the full body of work.
I’m gonna do a few songs off it when I perform tonight and then there’s another eight or nine new songs for people to get their heads around. And, y’know, you just have to keep building really.
I’m really enjoying where I’m at now and want to keep building that creative space.
I’ve heard your brother’s a rising star at Man City. Do you think you could end up being the most famous Manchester siblings since the Gallaghers?
It would be funny if we were but I’ve never thought of it like that, but yeah, he’s at Man City and hopefully he’ll get his shot soon – and I’m gonna continue to keep going.
I’ve got another brother who’s doing good stuff as well; he’s in business. So, there’s the three of us all on our own paths.
New single Where Did the Love Go is available to download now at bipolarsunshine.com
Image courtesy of BipolarSunshineVEVO via Youtube with thanks