Honeyblood: The Best of What's Next

Music Features Honeyblood
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Honeyblood: The Best of What's Next

When it comes to music, those behind the songs usually crave independence, sans parents. But, in the case of Honeyblood’s singer Stina Tweeddale, she invited her dad to perform a set with her at Central Hall in Edinburgh—also her hometown. Tweeddale even tweeted an irresistible picture of the two of them, to preface the love that was sure to accompany their time together onstage.

Besides Tweeddale on vocals and guitar, Honeyblood also includes Cat Myers on drums. It’s a challenge to truly nail what their sound is—tracks like “Fall Forever” read like a lovechild of My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive, while “Killer Bangs” feels reminiscent of Sleater Kinney’s Dig Me Out era. The band’s birth was very DIY. Tweeddale downplays during our conversation, saying “Honeyblood was formed in 2012 in my bedroom,” but a look on the duo’s website shows that the bedroom was not the only room to influence their success. After all, they recorded their two-track cassette, “Thrift Shop,” in their bathroom, with just one microphone.

Honeyblood’s rise only continued from there—and in July of 2014, the duo released their self-titled debut LP on FatCat Records. Oh, and if you were wondering about the gem of a band name, Tweeddale explains, “‘Honeyblood’ was fake blood for a lazy costume I made one year for Halloween. I started swirling it about my mouth and spitting it on people.”

This past May, the duo supported Courtney Barnett through her UK tour, a bill that just makes sense. There are beautiful moments on Honeyblood where the witty lyrics hit the listener in exactly the same pleasure centers of the brain that lyrics of Barnett’s caliber will activate. Just take the chorus of “Fortune Cookie” when Tweeddale sings, “And you know you’re destined to lose/when a fortune cookie dictates your next move.” On touring with Barnett, Tweeddale added, “The CB3 are a right laugh. It’s just great to tour with inspiring people in general. If you enjoy their music it’s such a bonus, and you can learn a lot from other bands on the road.”

As two females in the music world, Honeyblood has certainly shown support for other women in the industry, and all genders for that matter. Tweeddale recently tweeted a picture of herself sporting a Girls Against pin, a feminist activist group that works to make concerts a safe space for all genders. When I asked Tweeddale about feminism’s role in her music, she said, “I think it’s something that is a part of us all, and it’s great that people are feeling empowered. For me, it’s not an intentional thing that comes across like, ‘Oh I should really talk about this more.’ I am a woman, therefore it will always be something I care about and in my thoughts and music.”

The songs that Tweeddale writes are heartfelt, highlighting themes of unrequited love, the worries of growing up, and trying to keep a sense of humor through it all. Her clever lines are accompanied by soulful guitar and coquettish vocals, with harmonies that tie everything into a pristine package. Regarding writing for the new album, she explains, “It’s been a more varied process for this upcoming album. Songwriting is my first love, so I like to set myself a challenge. It’s been concentrating on storytelling or collaborations that have made me learn more about crafting a song.”

The latest Honeyblood release is a single, “No Big Deal / The Black Cloud.” Equal parts folk and punk, this could easily be a preview of the juxtapositions to come on their next release.

Honeyblood’s path is forging along strong, as they have just completed recording their second album, with big smiles to show for it. Besides working on the upcoming album, Tweeddale and Myers have even recently opened for the Foo Fighters, which Tweeddale described as her favorite show they’ve played so far. It was clear the singer was both excited and humbled by the finished product, as she added, “It’s a crazy journey! But we’re still not at the end of the road. It was funny to listen to it once we’d laid all the tracks, it has its own life now!”