Earhart is pronounced AirHeart, after the famous 1930s trailblazing aviator, Amelia Earhart, who mysteriously vanished on July 2nd 1937 while attempting to circumnavigate the globe in a Lockheed Model 10-E Electra. Her last known position was near the Nukumanu Islands in the South West Pacific and she left behind a mystery which has reverberated for decades.
Eighty years after her final radio messages died away the echoes of her pioneering life story seeped into Joseph Tennant’s consciousness and helped him define a vision of a band who would mix a sense of adventure with a love of pre-digital magic.
Earhart were formed in 2017 to turn the obsessive home-studio demo-ing of Joe into a graphic live band. Joe grew up in Somerset, unimpressed by the rural lifestyle, and spent most of his childhood locked in his bedroom with an 8 track recorder. A move to London found him wrongly cast in a slightly too predictable guitar band, before dropping out to write the maverick songs which would turn into Earhart.
The singular, transporting recordings ‘A Cross’, ‘Achtung Heroes’, ‘Nobody Can Figure Me Out’ and ‘Gypsy Curse’ are outsider tales, and feverish dreams set amongst hissing electronics, burning petrol riffs and Super 8 pop hooks; the cargo cult found recordings of a legendary lost guitar band.
Blearily stepping out of his home studio Joe recruited a gang of atypical virtuosos to flesh out the demos. ‘Father figure’ Harry Lane joined on drums; Daniel Green (‘the dark horse’) came in on guitar, and ‘freespirit’ Aaron Dolby took over bass. This would not be a band to trot out clichés.
“I’m really interested in the period between the 1920s and the 1940s before rock’n’roll came around,” says Joe. “I even love the audio, old recordings where everything peaks the mic and we use that sound in our music. I like their fashion sense. The whole era had this romanticism, I think a lot of our songs have that element of old picture shows and old home movies and bits and pieces from the past that get coloured by bad recording or bad tapes. But I’ve tried to add a modern edge to it with different elements in terms of synths and modern production mixed with that magic that they had.”
Studio experiments and early shows took place through 2017 and by the closing months the band were ready to pin down their debut single ‘A Cross’ with the formidable mixing desk assistance of Kristofer Harris (Bear’s Den, Ghostpoet). As serendipity would have it the band also struck up an understanding with the brilliant Dutch artist, Jaco Putker, who agreed to the use of his etchings ‘The Girls and The Diver’ for the single’s artwork.
‘A Cross’ is due to arc across the skies in February 2018, out through Fauna records. Earhart are at the start of a long and possibly imprudent journey, but just maybe, one which will inspire for decades.
“I like the fact that no-one knows what really happened to Amelia Earhart,” says Joe “I like that kind of mystery. I think anything good should be kept a bit mysterious.”