Chasing the dream with The Manatees

Updated: Dec 23, 2021

Chasing that dream is a lot of what makes us, The Manatees.

Forming in 2017 The Manatees are in their infancy and their sound is changing rapidly, with their indie-rock ‘Have it all’ presenting a stark contrast with their previous single ‘flowers’. It is inevitable and exciting when a musician’s style develops over time, and as I interviewed The Manatees, we explored how much their changing sound was influenced by the national lockdown.


Throughout the spring lockdown, many people found themselves in one of two camps, either you were surprisingly productive or suffering from great boredom or perhaps you were stuck on an unpredictable rollercoaster between the two states of minds. But clearly of The Manatees managed to muster up some creative inspiration as they note that they have been 'lucky enough to record new music since the start of lockdown’. Although they had been able to provide their listeners with new releases their writing and recording processes have changed drastically. For The Manatees (as well as most musicians) recording in lockdown was not without its difficulties. Socially distanced songwriting relied heavily on the use of face time; ‘Know You’ was the first song by The Manatees to be written completely over Zoom. Lead Guitarist Tyler Bloor acknowledges that this single ‘is a bit different’ to their earlier releases. Not only had ‘Know you’ been subjected to weekly changes in arrangements but as a consequence of the pandemic the trio had spent hours in isolation with ‘nothing but the bare bones of a song’, and while this might seem like a daunting task The Manatees took it in their stride. Although unusual The Manatees found that this method could ‘bring out the best in you as a musician as it resulted in a low-pressure environment where the trio 'didn’t have to worry about messing up parts or trying stuff that was off the wall’. This ultimately resulted in the high energy of ‘know you’ as it builds towards the chorus, with an electric guitar lead and guttural vocals that are almost reminiscent of early ‘Artic Monkeys’.

Although the band ultimately achieved a lot of growth throughout lockdown they too struggled with the vast amount of time they had to utilise during the pandemic, suggesting they had ' too much time to think about everything thing (they were) doing’ and that this had affected previous anxieties as The Manatees ‘quite often second-guessed (their) next moves’ and this was only exaggerated during the lockdown. However, the band eventually overcame this making the decision to ‘make moves for themselves’ striving to make music that they not only liked but also enjoyed playing. Another obstacle that they faced was the limits presented by their online drive during the writing process, stating ‘the amount of music we were writing, we ran out of space very fast!’, evidently they are very passionate about growing their discography.

‘Chasing that dream is a lot of what makes us, The Manatees.

The fact that we’re three guys that just want to ride the dream as far as it goes. It gives us all an enormous sense of purpose and happiness that we don’t find from anything else.’

Undoubtedly The Manatees enjoy their work as they work almost obsessively at their craft, Tyler’s own inspiration for writing songs came from his own ‘obsession’ with the song making process. Being told that ‘if they worked hard enough they could be anything that they wanted to be’ The Manatees collectively chose to pursue music, and ultimately their hard work is evidenced in their response to the national standstill, caused by the pandemic.

'(music) is an important pillar of modern life’

In spite of the Governmental neglect of the arts The Manatees remain of the opinion that '(music) is an important pillar of modern life’ as it is ‘one of those things you consume every day, quite often subconsciously’, choosing to continue on this career path during the face of adversity shows that the enduring nature of the arts in general manifests too within The Manatees.

Encouraged to experiment with their sound The Manatees are a band for everyone to keep on their radar. Having already released some exciting music that blurs the borders of pop and indie rock, there’s definitely something for everyone in their current discography, and they can only be expected to move onto bigger and better things.

The Manatees 'Know you' is out now and available on streaming platforms and you can find their tour dates here.


All photo credits go to Pablo Gallegos.

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