"WE ARE ON A REAL JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY BASED ON WHAT WE’VE BECOME AND WHAT WE CAN NOW DO FROM HERE-ON-IN"
Written by cHLOE poLLARD
Quorum are an Okehampton based indie-pop band who, throughout the recent lockdowns, have been working on a brand-new EP. The band, made up of guitarist and lead singer Jordan Hookway, bassist Noah Groves, drummer Mack Hodgson and guitarist Jake Hodgson, released three new singles last year, Boyfriend, Go and Doubts, and if these are anything to go by the EP is bound to be amazing! Titled The Death of Intellectual Success, the album can definitely be linked back to their previous 2019 EP Art Is Dead. The album gives off strong 1975 vibes even from the title which is definitely going to draw people in!
Quorum’s lead singer Jordan Hookway told me that the EP was written in 2020 mostly during the first lockdown back in March. “The writing process was very much a collaborative effort but for me personally, I drew a lot of lyrical inspiration from the relationships I was exploring, leaving and questioning at the time. Additionally, I was also looking at how lockdown resulted in (at least for me) a massive shift and increase in my use and time on social media.”
The first lockdown “was such an uncertain and highly emotional time for everyone” but it did come with a few positives. Jordan told me that it “definitely gave us as a band so much both the time to write and the time to reflect on personal thoughts and emotions along with feelings to explore and understand.” And out of that, we get a brand-new EP from an incredible band! With inspiration being drawn from both personal aspects of life and from a situation that the whole world was in together, The Death of Intellectual Success is sure to be really well received and relatable to a lot of people.
The Death of Intellectual Success as a title could mean something different to everyone who hears it, but that’s one of the great things about music. According to Jordan “it’s not for us to tell anyone what they ‘should’ read into and take from it, as I find with any form of art or creative medium, one thing can mean and become so many different things to so many people.” With the interpretation left completely open, it will definitely be interesting to see how much fans’ perceptions differ! “As a band that’s one of the things we love so much about what we do, that we can be anything to anyone. All we hope is that people truly love it as much as we do.”
Quorum’s new EP features seven tracks, Intro, The Death of Intellectual Success, Could We Be Different, Still Can’t See, Somnolent, You Said and Sea Breeze. With Intro being one of Jordan’s favourites, “because it made me feel something that nothing we’d done ever has, something that I really can’t articulate,” the EP is sure to have a strong start. However, another favourite of Jordan’s is Could We Be Different, “that song makes me feel exactly how I did when writing it every time I hear it and every time we play it.”
The Death of Intellectual Success as an EP means everything to the band and according to Jordan, “this project was such a massive moment for us, in terms of immense pride in what we’d created both in terms of content and sound” and when something is that special to the people who produced it, that translates into the music really well. Based on the track I’ve heard, (The Death of Intellectual Success) Quorum’s love of what they’ve produced is going to translate incredibly well and I already can't wait to hear the rest of the EP!
Having “always loved the idea of instrumental tracks throughout projects, and albums,” Jordan and Noah took the opportunities this EP provided to collaborate with friend and producer Josiah Manning. Two of the tracks on the album gave them the space to experiment with this. “Intro is such a powerful and interesting statement to open the EP with both sonically and in terms of tone” Jordan told me, and “hearing it fully finished for the first time I felt such a sense of overwhelming emotion in regard to what we as a band are doing.” Somnolent is “another instrumental track written mostly by Noah. I always think this track has such a curious dream-like quality to it” and is another of Jordan’s favourites from the EP.
The title track was written about Jordan’s “frustration after spending too much time on social media and watching television over lockdown, along with the realisation that ‘celebrities’ that are famous for the sake of fame are becoming the people kids are looking up to and want to be.” The track covers an important issue which is only becoming more apparent in our society, the idolisation of celebrities who have achieved fame through social media and arguably degrading reality shows. The Death of Intellectual Success tackles it well in my opinion. “I think the idolisation of these people...Is a dangerous place for us as a society, as creatives, and as people.”
Could We Be Different and Still Can’t See both tell incredibly personal stories. Could We Be Different “is undoubtedly one of the most bitter and angsty songs I’ve ever written” according to Jordan and was “written about a girl who was one of my best friends and I realised I always wanted to be with way too late.” Covering the frustration that comes with a realisation like that, the track contrasts the story behind Still Can’t See, which “is about the experience of feeling trapped in a relationship that is ultimately destined to fail.”
You Said takes on a similar meaning, it “was written over the first lockdown about a relationship breakdown, it was actually written in the final 2 weeks of that relationship and is a song that to me is so in that moment, and captures a place and time completely. Many people will have experienced similar things during the lockdown periods and the song will almost certainly resonate with them.”
The Death of Intellectual Success ends with a message to anyone listening in the form of Sea Breeze. While Jordan doesn't remember the “thought process of writing it, it almost feels like it was just always here.” The track is “a letter to anyone who thinks that running away from everything will be a guarantee of happiness.” What better way to end an EP like this than with something many people can relate to? The EP as a whole already comes across as an incredible, personal project that I think will be received exceptionally well upon its release!
“The obvious hope is that people relate to and like what we have done with The Death Of Intellectual Success” alongside being played on mainstream radio where the project could be picked up and taken further. With videos, promo and release dates being worked on as we speak, I can already The Death of Intellectual Success is going to be amazing!
Of course, "getting back on stage and sharing our songs with an audience is right up there on the list of the things we are getting really excited about” too so make sure to follow Quorum on social media and keep an eye on their website for any gig and album updates! The band will be back in the festival circuit this summer and are especially looking forward to Chagstock and The Godney Gathering!
Make sure you don’t miss out on any of this, Quorum are incredible and I highly recommend seeing them live if you get the chance! There’s even plans for an autumn tour which is definitely something to look out for!
Interview by cHLOE poLLARD