Sean O'Hagan's High Llamas have spent the last twenty years discovering a place in sound that relates brilliant, memorable melodies and lyrics with sharp arrangements and a sense of history rooted in music from all over the world. On an album like Gideon Gaye or 2007's Can Cladders, the Llamas provide such a sense of brightness and craft, it is nearly impossible to not feel enlightened upon listening. This month, the band will release their first album in four years, Talahomi Way.
I am grateful to have interviewed Sean O'Hagan about all of this and more, which you can check out after the jump.
In the creation of your recordings, how much do you find yourself using the studio as a tool? Do you rehearse with the group and then go in to record the songs, or do you create the recorded version of the song through overdubs and the like in a studio?
This being said, I am always enamored by the string sections in your music, which always add a new dimension to the melody, making the track anew, rather than the showy cello gangs some groups tend to use. What drew you to make this a part of your sound?
Lyrically, the songs of the High Llamas tread around character studies, specifically of people and places. What draws you to this? How do you find your characters?