ASBO MEETS: Labyrinthine Oceans

Labyrinthine oceans are a Newcastle (UK) based female fronted dream rock band, which formed in late 2021. mixing dream rock, grunge, psychedelia and shoegaze, they create something that is not necessarily identifiable but very much exciting. weaving ghostly dreamscapes of guitar based noise, crafting wholly unconventional, dense layers of dreamy discomfort. pairing this with captivating visuals, they create a strong visual presence both live and across their various social platforms (@labyrinthineoceans)

they’ve recently been gaining a lot of traction – having recently played headline shows in Manchester and London; as well as in their hometown of Newcastle (selling over 300 tickets). they also prove popular online, with over 3.5k Instagram followers and 2k+ spotify listeners over the past year. over the past few months they have played with some notable upcoming artists such as: Venus Grrrls, congratulations, Alien Chicks, India Arkin and Pachyman.

as well as this, they released their first single in a year on April 3rd to glowing reviews and an excellent reception; receiving 2,000 listens in the first fortnight, over 650 listeners since release and many positive reviews (see article list below). on top of this, they have had both national and international radio play – notably on BBC radio and Amazing Radio UK & USA as well as various student led radio stations.

1. For someone that is yet to discover Labyrinthine Oceans, how would you describe your music?

Haunted, grungy dream-rock!

2. What inspired you as an artist?

We’re all very passionate about what we do and very much ‘nerds’ (if you will) about gear, bands and pretty much anything to do with music – I’d say that drives us hugely as a band, especially when it comes to experimentation.

3. What is your process for preparing to perform live? Do you have any Diva demands?

To be honest, the way we prepare for shows would probably stress a lot of people out haha, we’re very relaxed about it all (you’ll often catch us scribbling out our setlists a few mins before we go on, picking songs based on the mood). In terms of demands, I think the most extreme ask we’ve done is to replace some Peroni with some soft drinks on our rider, super rock and roll.

4. Where do you feel you fit into the music landscape?

We fit in a weird place between shoegaze, grunge, rock and mid-west emo – a pretty good mix!

5: What are your favourite musical genres, and are there any you dislike?

As a band we each have different favourites but everyone overlaps with each other (kinda like a Venn diagram) – our top ones collectively are 90s alt rock, mid-west emo, math rock, progressive metal, prog, j-rock/pop and funk. I don’t think any of us are hugeee fans of country but there’s probably exceptions haha!

6. Is there a story behind the your name?

We named the band when it was just myself (Julia) and our bassist (Toby), I was going by labyrinthine for some very early solo stuff and we were brainstorming names when Toby suggested Labyrinthine Oceans – due to our shared love of all things to do with the sea it felt right and we went with it. Unfortunately it’s a bit of a pain to spell but it is also very searchable and memorable so that’s a good thing at least! We also have lots of funny stories where people have mispronounced it very​ badly so it can be quite fun.

7 What would you say is your greatest strength as an Artist?

Our ability to bring together lots of styles and form our own unique sound for sure, it makes it super fun in writing sessions as we have a lot of genres that we can each branch into to introduce new elements to the music.

8. What would you say is your greatest weakness as an Artist?

To be honest, probably the same as our strength! Sometimes having a lot of things in the pot can make it muddy or overworked and we’ve had a few songs not work out due to it sounding quite messy.

9. What can fans expect from your new single ‘ Home’`

dark, reverb drenched, gut-wrenching shoegaze – as if deftones and slowdive had a baby. ethereal guitar lines dance around thumping overdriven choruses – wrapped with layers of screaming riot grrrl-esque vocals. the feeling of being followed home, of being unsafe; whether in yourself or in the presence of another.

10. What music artist would you say have influenced your work?

I think this probably varies between members but I’d say a couple of key ones for us as a whole would be Radiohead, Deftones, A Perfect Circle, Covet and Slowdive.

11. Who would you most like to collaborate with artistically?

Probably any of the artists listed above! 

12. What was your worst performance?

At one of our bigger headlines we had a couple of issues with mistakes and not feeling like we were gelling that day which really sucked – we’re usually very attuned with each other but nothing was quite working as we wanted? We’d had some issues with monitoring and couldn’t hear each other well which didn’t help either. Looking back at photos and videos, you wouldn’t be able to tell and after we felt great but on stage it was just a bit of a weird one.

13: What was the most difficult obstacle you have ever faced and how did you overcome it?

We’ve had to deal with a couple of lineup changes over the past year or so which were tricky to adjust to but we currently feel at our strongest sonically with our current lineup so it all worked out, despite having to let go of some great musicians along the way.

14: What is your creative process when making music. Do you work with others or is there just you?

Usually one of us brings in an idea (lyrics+music, just music etc.) and we build it into a song as a group, trialling different lines and effects until it clicks! We might have a sonic mood board of sorts or we might not but we always work it out.

15 Where do you see your musical career in 10 years?

Hopefully to a point where it’s sustainable to live on and we’re able to keep making music that resonates with people, that’s what’s most important – the connection between us and people who listen to our music – it’s really special.