How did you meet and what’s the story behind your band name?
ToLiesel met mostly during their university days. Oxford has always had a great music scene, but it seemed to be going from strength during that time, and it was just so inspiring to be around all that music and creative people. It was enough to encourage Rob and myself to put our hand to songwriting, something neither of us had done at all at that point, it just seemed like a cool challenge. Our first song actually led to the band name, it was written to a character from the novel ‘The Book Thief’, called Liesel, written in the same vein as the book itself. It all probably sounds a bit pretentious, but hopefully it hints at a desire to create something really poetic and beautiful. That desire definitely remains in Toliesel today.
How would you describe your music?
We like to describe our music as a middle ground between left field Americana and indie-pop, with lashings of shoe gaze. There is always a huge focus on melody and songwriting, but we’re passionate about creating gorgeous and adventurous musical passages as well.
What have you been up to so far and what can we expect over the coming month?
2012 has been our most exciting year by far. We played Truck Festival in the summer, where we shared a stage with the likes of Frightened Rabbit and Lucy Rose, so that was pretty amazing. We’ve played a ton of shows locally, and our first venture into London where we played alongside Message To Bears. We were also hand picked by Stornoway’s Oliver Steadman to headline the first Sofar Sounds show in Oxford; we played in the incredibly beautiful Christchurch College, in a room once used by Albert Einstein, it was great! 2012 also happens to be the year we released our first single, ‘The Light’. So far the response has been hugely positive, and its opened loads of doors for us, but now we just can’t wait to get the new, bigger and better songs out! This month sees us support Spring Offensive for their homecoming show, they’ve had an incredible year so that’s going to be a cool gig. We also play our very first headline show on the 14th of December. We’re kinda nervous, but mostly very very excited.
If you could duet with anybody who would it be and why?
Recently I’ve been obsessing over duetting with The Staves. They just have the most incredible voices and arrange their harmonies in a refreshingly traditional way that, when matched to the flawless songwriting, just creates something so pure and beautiful. So far they’ve sung alongside First Aid Kit and Bon Iver though, so that’s a pretty major standard of duetting to be contending with!
What’s your desert island disc and why would you take this one album?
Oooh, tough one. A band favourite tends to fall on the mighty Neil Young, I’m going to go with On The Beach, but maybe my fellow band mates would have something to say about this choice!
(Answers by Jack Olchawski)