Worry Party Interview

Worry Party are a unique four-piece based in the North East of England, who want their intimate ambient music to comfort people who can resonate with their lyrics.

Credit: Worry Party

On March 20th, the band re-released their EP ‘Souvenirs’, featuring the four original tracks, as well as instrumentals and remixes. The EP tackles tough topics, from toxic relationships to exclusion, in a tranquil and minimalistic manner.

I caught up with the frontman Steven Chell to discuss how the band are coping in lockdown, his favourite lyrics and to delve into the meanings of the songs.

Congratulations on the re-release of ‘Souvenirs’! What inspired the EP’s title?

The theme running through the EP is travel — travelling through life, exploring what makes you happy, and where you can feel at home. This can be a physical place, in certain company, or a state of mind. ‘Souvenirs’ refers to the parts of experiences we keep with us, and hold on to for the rest of our lives. For better or worse, they’re the parts that are important to us.

How come you decided to re-release the EP? What has the response been like?

There were a few reasons to be honest. Friends remixed the EP for its one year anniversary, and we had a few new songs we were hoping to record before the pandemic kicked off. Releasing the EP again as a bundle with the remixes seemed to make sense, and would lead nicely into our new single, which is obviously now on hold. We had spent a lot of time writing a live set and gigging, so we hadn’t had a release in a year, but still wanted something to accompany the remixes. The reception has been better the second time round for sure. We’ve met a lot more people and played a lot more gigs, and that’s helped it reach a lot more ears.

​How are the band coping in lockdown? Are you writing new music to keep busy? If you are, has the pandemic influenced any songs/lyrics?

I think one positive that we can take from this pandemic is being reminded of what’s really important, so we’re looking after our families and sharing ideas with each other when we can. Needless to say we’re itching to get back together and record some new songs. I don’t think the pandemic has directly influenced any songs, but I definitely feel like I’ve had time to reflect on what matters most to me, so maybe that will influence the writing process. I’ve definitely still been writing songs, but whether or not they’ll end up as Worry Party releases, we’ll have to see.

When you listen to the remixes, is there anything you wish you did differently on the original recordings?

Oh 100%, but you have to try not to think like that. You can’t ever really finish a song, you can just reach a point where you’re happy to release it — you can always do something to make it better. I wish I had more knowledge and better equipment etc, but we’ve had an opportunity to re-write the EP as a band to play live anyway, so I think two bites of the cherry is enough.

​When I listened to the EP, I thought your sound was very unique. Who do you take musical inspiration from?

Thank you! I’ve been influenced by so many artists over the years. I love producers like Arca and Lorn, duos like MGMT and Purity Ring, songwriters like Conor Oberst and Elliott Smith, and bands like The Movielife and Saves the Day. I’d like to think we’re some kind of weird mash-up of them all.

​Which lyric on ‘Souvenirs’ are you most proud of?

I’m really, really happy with all of the lyrics on the EP. Lyrics will always be the most important part of a song to me. I think ‘Traveller’ and ‘Beach Blood’ are very relatable which is perhaps why they seem to be the most popular songs. ‘True North’ and ‘Waves’ are definitely far more personal, and while ‘True North’ plays with language, meter and literary devices, ‘Waves’ is very matter of fact. But, I love trying to make very simple everyday things sound romantic or special, so in that respect, I think the verses of ‘Waves’ will always feel the most intimate to me, and they’re just about getting out of bed and leaving the house.

“I get up and fetch you a drink, brush your hair from your face as you take it, and blush with each and every sip because you’re shy sometimes when I’m watching” — Worry Party

​’True North’ is definitely my favourite track on the EP. Its atmospheric soundscape makes me feel like the protagonist of my own film, walking in the early morning and reflecting on my thoughts. Which song is your favourite and why?

Thanks, it’s probably my favourite track too. I love how simple it is and I had a lot of fun with the production. I always tend to get carried away and over-complicate things, so it felt satisfying to get the balance right. As well, it’s a pretty honest account of a very unhealthy relationship spanning a decade that I managed to get out of recently. So for me, the song has been refreshed with the positivity of that escape.

​What are your plans for the rest of the year?

​We’ve released a few instrumentals very recently, and have two songs we’ve written as a band that we’re dying to share. They’re next on the list once we’re all able to get together again after the pandemic. Following that, a delicate stripped back EP is something we’d really like to do.

Here’s a bit of a fun question to finish the interview with: What are your favourite party food snacks?

Twiglets. No doubt.

I would like to say a massive thank you to Steven for taking part in this interview, and I wish Worry Party all the best for the future! The band’s ambient releases are available on all major streaming platforms, as well as Soundcloud and Bandcamp.

This interview was originally published on Alternative Atmosphere in May 2020.



Trainee journalist at the University of Salford. Presenter of Alternative Airwaves. Founder of Alternative Atmosphere. Words: Inspo Daily and Mancunian Matters.

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Caitlin Hyem

Trainee journalist at the University of Salford. Presenter of Alternative Airwaves. Founder of Alternative Atmosphere. Words: Inspo Daily and Mancunian Matters.