Irish queer pop quarter ELM have been creating quite a buzz among pop followers of late with their feelgood pop and striking visuals that carry a message of self love and acceptance, with their most recent release, ‘Golden‘, perhaps being their best to date.
Since meeting in school and college, Dylan, Aidan, Gary and Ca have honed their image and sound, taken the Pride circuit by storm, supported Brooke Candy on her European tour and even found themselves being touted for Eurovision.
We were delighted to be able to speak to lead singer Dylan and keyboardist Aidan during lockdown about their career to date and what’s coming up next for the group.
Hi guys, first of all it’s a bit of a strange time recently, with everything coming to a bit of a standstill – what have you all been doing?
Well we (Dylan & Aidan) have been spending lots of lovely afternoons in our south London garden, soaking in the sun, having some cocktails, building an outdoor bar, walking the neighbour’s dogs (Dylan’s new favourite activity) and just trying to make the most of a very strange situation like you said! The time has given us time to try and create and prep some plans to come back with a bang.
How has the process of writing and working on ELM material been while you’ve been apart?
We actually share a room! BFFs stay together.
When and how did you all come together?
We met way back in secondary school when we were angsty teens who loved sad songs. I played my acoustic guitar and we spent our school years playing in any bar that would allow us in (no underage drinking occurred we swear xx).
And then how long did it take for the very distinctive sound and look you have to emerge?
Our sound came together over a number of years. Constantly refining over hundreds of shows exhibiting new ideas and songs. I think we slowly were realising it was the songs that just made your booty MOVE that we were resonating most with. We realised that we had a calling to be pop queens!
Our image is something we’re super buzzed about right now. We spent a while trying to refine ourselves in the early years into an image that wasn’t true to us. Now we just own ourselves. We embrace our queer, feminine sides and wear them with pride.
Last year saw the release of a pair of very relatable singles for the LGBTQ+ community – Fear and Paris – how has the response been to the music? Has it been as you expected?
The response has been amazing. We have felt so accepted and welcomed by our community, we have had the best year. Playing Prides all over the UK & Europe was last summer’s highlight! Personal messages from fans who have explained to us how our music has helped them in unimaginable ways is the greatest payoff and it’s enough to keep us striving to release more music!
Then earlier this year we got to hear your fabulous new single, Golden. What is the story behind it?
‘Golden’ is our call for YOU to love your beautiful fine self! We want everyone to embrace their kinks and quirks. To feel worthy enough to paint themselves GOLDEN! Our video wanted to replicate this feeling also. We worked with some of Dublin’s most creative minds (H&G Creations and Collective) to put our message in a visual form. Each band member was represented by a timeless art piece, highlighting who we are, whether it is masculine, feminine, non-binary, we were just ourselves and it was a beautiful experience.
Around the time ‘Golden’ came out, there were rumours flying around that you would be Ireland’s Eurovision representatives. Obviously these turned out to be false but what was your reaction to that? Is it something you would do in future?
That was a bizarre week! Out of nowhere these rumours had started and we were baffled! Aidan is honestly a Eurovision superfan so he probably would have loved being asked in fairness. We hope Lesley Roy does get a shot at it next year though, her entry was a banger. Also, a fab video directed by Kate Dolan who was fore-fronting the LGBTQ+ community to accompany the tune!
The last few years have seen a bit of a revolution in queer pop that you’re very much a part of. How do you feel seeing all the artists talking to this community with their music?
This community is so wonderful and naturally creative that there are now so many new voices rising to shout “hey we’re here” and it’s beautiful. We just hope to add to the voices and portray our messages in our own unique way.
What’s next in terms of new music? Is an album a possibility any time soon?
New music for DEFINITE. We hope to be back with another banger after the summer for sure. We’re taking this time to work on what’s next so keep out an eye and an ear for these Dublin Divas x
Thanks very much to Dylan and Aidan for taking the time to chat with us. Check out Golden and ELM’s other material on their YouTube channel and all the usual platforms.