London-based trio Dance Lessons, are a female fronted and produced band, made up of Ann, Tom and Nat. Blending alternative pop, electronica, disco, soul and jazz, the trio create their own genre that they’ve coined ‘Serrated Pop’. They create music for fans of the likes of Little Dragon, Sault and Jungle, whilst embracing influences from further afar with nods to icons such as Massive Attack, Bjork and Rosin Murphy. The trio are set to release double A side single ‘Wet Batteries / ‘I Like Lies’ due out September 8th, mixed by Andrew Maury (Lizzo, Shawn Mendes, Kimbra, Lewis Del Mar) in NYC.
Dance Lessons are the product of an actual dance-off between Tom and Ann at a house party back in 2019, after Tom took the crown with a slut drop, the pair got talking and established that they shared a love of disco, soul, jazz, alternative and pop. From this, Tom invited Ann along to the new project he was starting with long-time friend and collaborator, Nat and thus, Dance Lessons were born. Having released their first three, critically acclaimed singles during the midst of the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, the fear and uncertainty of releasing music during this time, threw all their inhibitions away, and encouraged the trio to focus on music they love. Their new double A side ‘Wet Batteries / I Like Lies’ is the product of this.
1. Tom likes to use props like chairs when pulling shapes on the dancefloor. It needs to be seen…
2. Nat doesn’t trust people who don’t like The Beatles on some level.
3. Ann still listens to many of the records her dad, who grew up in the GDR, used to pirate and distribute back then.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Ann: Inspiration often comes muddled as a concoction of the senses – listening, feeling, seeing. It’s rarely a single event we draw on when writing new music. But there are certain events or times in our lives during which we tend to be more productive.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
Ann: All of us started making music as children. We’ve always known we wanted to be musicians and have been fortunate to come from environments where that desire was nurtured and we were given the opportunity to later study the subject at university or as part of groups and bands.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
Ann: Kate Bush – Hounds of Love, Tori Amos – Boys for Pele, Sergei Prokofiev – Piano Concerto No. 3, Jungle – For Ever, Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
Nat: De La Soul – 3 Feet High & Rising, Michael Jackson – Off The Wall, Beck – Odelay, The Strokes – Is This It, The Beatles – Abbey Road
Tom: Radiohead – Ok Computer, Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On, The Fugees – The Score, QOTSA – Songs for the Deaf, Stevie Wonder – Songs in the Key of Life
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
Ann: Friends, Harzer Käse, nudity, high ceilings
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
Home. But the Southbank is nice too.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
Ann: String together traffic noise and cooking sounds to create rhythmic patterns
Nat: Get really into podcasts!
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
Ann: Not gonna lie, I stream most modern releases but did recently go vinyl shopping and found a copy of Deniece Williams “Free”
Nat: Miles Davis – Bitches Brew on vinyl.
Tom: Revolver on vinyl
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Ann: Bjork. I’m convinced we’d come up with something pretty interesting but more importantly, we’d have a great time doing it.
Nat: Thundercat. Easily one the most exciting and innovative musicians I’ve come across in the last few years. I’ve seen him live a few times and he’s always blown me away. Also, his collaborations with Flying Lotus, Mac Miller, Kendrick Lamar, HAIM and even Michael McDonald, they’re all so varied but so good. Goes to show what a truly versatile talent he is.
Tom: Nile Rodgers all day, every day!
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
Nat: As it’s fresh in my mind, I saw Beck play The Kentish Town Forum a couple months back – he was insanely good. Beck and his live band can seamlessly crossover between almost any genre imaginable, and they do it better than most. I also have a mild man crush on him.
Tom: Radiohead at Meadowbank.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
Ann: Technology has become vital to our creative process. I usually start writing the skeleton of a track by creating a beat in the box and then layering in chords or bass notes. Most of our production happens on a computer and it’s opened a lot of doors when it comes to sound exploration and modifying instruments.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
Yes. They’re jealous ☺