Scouting For Girls Reclaim the Indie Pop Throne with their New Album

Can many bands that ruled the mid-00s chart claim they’re still going strong in the year 2023, as well as making it to their 7th studio release? Indie-pop legends Scouting For Girls certainly can, and they’ll own every moment of it.

Each British citizen has heard the classic ‘She’s So Lovely’ at least once in their lives, it’s essentially the nation’s second national anthem. Along with their #1 hit ‘This Ain’t A Love Song’ and the ever-anthemic ‘Elvis Ain’t Dead’, these three childhood friends made it their mission to single-handedly takeover every radio station, pub speaker and karaoke jukebox in sight during their height to stardom in 2007.

Over 15 years later the bond is tighter than ever, and they’re now just moments away from freeing their new album ‘The Place We Used To Meet’, a project brimming with silky smooth hooks and an abundance of euphoric choruses.

Revisiting the sound that cemented their royalty status in the indie scene, the record is a true return to form for the band. A reminder of why Scouting For Girls began in the first place. Their confidence shines through each of its 12 tracks, and as the band get back down to their roots, we’re reminded of why they were everybody’s favourite band growing up, and after diving into ‘The Place We Used To Meet’ we’re about to be infatuated all over again.

Ahead of its release, and just before they commence on a colossal tour across the UK, we sit down with the band to discuss just how the stellar new record came to be… 

Hey guys! How’s the year been treating you all? Been enjoying the summer?

Yeah it’s been great. A Little bit wet at times but overall decent! 8/10 I’d give it!

There’s a new album on the way which you guys must be super hyped for. How have you all been gearing up for the release?

I’ve been doing yoga 🤷‍♂️

The title-track was a beautiful introduction for what the rest of the album has in store. Is there a particular reason for choosing this as the first taster to put out there?

Yeah I think it sets the tone for the whole album, and the album title is in the song which helps. But mainly it’s the easiest to play!

We’re completely in love with ‘Glow’ and think it’ll be a favourite amongst fans! Could you tell us a little about the backstory behind this one?

Thank you! I hope our fans like it as much as you do. We think it’s the best song we’ve released since ‘This Aint A Love Song’. It’s a love song about a long term relationship and Roy wrote it for his wife. They met 15 years ago on tour in Tokyo and he took her back to Tokyo as a surprise a couple of years later and proposed to her in the same lift that they first kissed (urgh!). It’s the most romantic thing he’s ever done. Probably the only romantic thing he’s ever done. 

It’s also the album opener which sets the tone nicely for the rest of the tracks. Is something like organising a track list a task you guys take quite seriously?

Yeah we work through it quite extensively, trying to see what fits where. Then we realise that nobody buys albums anymore so we just put the best ones at the beginning!

We did actually work hard on the arrangement for the second half of the album. The six songs at the end all work as one piece of music from start to finish which took us a lot longer to do than we expected when we came up with the idea!

The album makes us feel quite a whirlwind of emotions, there’s a bit of nostalgia in there, then pure euphoria in tracks like ‘Song I Can’t Forget’ – was there an overall vibe you were going for with this album?

Yes! Chuck as many different songs at it as possible and hope for an M&S food TV ad!

It’s our first original album for 4 years so we had a selection of songs to choose from. We went with the strongest six for side 1 and then six personal ones for side 2. 

If our calculations are correct, ’The Place We Used To Meet’ will be your 7th release! This many albums down the line, do nerves still kick in before the release day comes around?

I’ve lost count but I think it could be number 7 if you take away the Greatest Hits, Best of, 15th Anniversary Live album and 80s cover album (Don’t ask! It was lockdown!).

I don’t really get nervous anymore, we’ve done all we can and it’s out of our hands. I also didn’t write the songs, so I can blame Roy if it all goes wrong!

What lessons would you say you’ve learnt from releasing this many albums? Any lessons you’ve carried over to the next release?

The first album sold 2 million… Let’s try that again!

With this upcoming record did you guys go back to working with any previous collaborators i.e. producers/songwriters etc.? Alternatively, any new collaborators we should get excited for?

We did. We worked on ‘Glow’ and ‘Song I Can’t Forget’ with Jon Maguire who we previously wrote our other albums with. And we wrote ‘The Missing Part’ (under strict supervision) with Nick Tsang who’s our onstage guitarist and vibe man! He’s an insane musician and has worked with Ed Sheeran, Sigrid, Busted and even the Backstreet Boys. Onstage he’s taken us up a few levels.

We’re always really interested to hear points of views from bands that’ve been in the industry for a long time – would you say the industry has changed and evolved for the better?

I think in terms of streaming it’s been really great for us finding a new audience. We find our gigs are getting younger to the point that some of them weren’t even born when ‘She’s So Lovely’ came out. Which is both encouraging and depressing in equal measure.

As we get closer to the release, which tracks are you most excited for fans to hear?

I’m really looking forward to people hearing ‘Glow’. It’s one of the best songs I think we’ve done, and the video really sets it off. I’m not in the video which is another upside. It’s also interesting to see after a couple of weeks which songs are most popular. Sometimes it’s not the ones you expect. My favourite song on the album actually got relegated to the bonus album that is only available on CD! 

You’ll also be heading on tour this autumn, how excited are you to finally get back on the road again? And what can us fans expect from these new shows?

To be honest the traffic has been shocking this summer, so I’m not looking forward to getting back on the road! But I think there’s going to be something for everyone to enjoy. We’re at the top of our game and enjoying it more than ever. We’ve been going so long now I think we’re finally getting the hang of it.

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Words: Jordan White