We’ve had our eye on French-born We Were Evergreen for the past couple years. Their wildly catchy brand of indie rock has made its way into countless playlists of ours, consistently providing toothy smiles time and time again.

From the perfect playful pop structures to the vocal harmonies used as percussion, we were overwhelmingly excited to have a quick chat with these cats. Alongside of this short interview, we also have a curated “Summertime Playlist,” which highlights some of their favorite warm weather tunes.

’Karriem Riggins – Summer Maddness S.A.’
’La Madrague (Brigitte Bardot)’
’Bob Marley – Sun is shining original’
’Nina Simone – Here comes the sun’
’Summer Sounds (Tunog Ng Taginit)’
’Marvin Gaye – Sunny (Mercury Edit II) (1966/2011)’
’Ode To The Summer’
’Joe Dassin – L’Ete Indien (Original)’
’Donovan – Sunshine Superman’
’Caribou – Sun (Midland Re Edit)’

TMN: First and foremost, how did you guys come to be back in 2008? How did you come up with the name “We Were Evergreen?”

WWE: We Were Evergreen contains in itself a conflict between past and youth that we felt was close to the sound we wanted to make – a blend of vintage and contemporary. We also liked the unique vowel flowing through these three words like a binding thread.

TMN: Your sound is 100% undeniably infectious. We have to expect that a few of you guys have very musical background, based on your understanding of creating such a sound. Can you talk to us about your upbringing?

WWE: We all come from different parts of France and had different upbringings in regard to music – some of us were academically trained and some weren’t. As a result, we can be spontaneous and we can also spend hours overthinking about structures and progressions, but in any case the music always ends up fusing our three approaches and influences.

TMN: Your music has strong pop influences. I actually described you as this back in 2012 in another piece I did:
“INDIEPOP GOODNESS. This makes me want to dance around a record store with Michael Cera and some chick in suspenders, a fidora, and thick black framed glasses that she doesn’t even really need, but she wears them anyone because it makes her look smart.”

Hipster generalizations aside, you guys seem like you’d have the perfect sound for an independent film, commercials, etc. Have any of those opportunities popped up along the way?

WWE: We have actually been included in some commercials and wrote the soundtrack for a French film that came out last year, which was an interesting work experience.

TMN: Let’s talk about some of your influences. Being from France, we have to assume that you have admired some producers like Daft Punk, Madeon, and Sebastien Leger. What about alternative/rock though? Who inspires you as musicians?

WWE: There is a lot of good music from France that unfortunately doesn’t transpire to the UK, including in electro – most people can’t see the forest for the Daft Punk. We listen to music from everywhere and from every genre – as for France specifically, we love contemporary artists like The Dø, Mathieu Boogaerts, Cocosuma, Chapelier Fou, or more traditional ones like Gainsbourg or Joyce Giani.

TMN: One thing we’re always curious about is when artists from other countries record in English versus their native language. How is that decision made, and is it difficult to master all the nuances of the English language when it comes to writing lyrics?

WWE: It wasn’t really a decision, perhaps we were more drawn to the English language because it seemed less rigid and flowed more naturally at the time. Of course, moving to England made us more demanding with our writing, but the fact that we are foreigners also helps getting a different perspective on the language – it may actually be more liberating.

TMN: Alright, you guys put together a “Summertime Playlist” for us. Do you want to talk about any of the song selections in particular?

WWE: We like Nina Simone’s take on “Here Comes The Sun”, turning an otherwise light-hearted song into a soulful, vesperal croon. Also included there is “Ode To The Summer” by Syd Arthur, an English band we met and whose album we listened to a lot on tour.

TMN: Talk to us about your debut album that’s currently for sale on your website. Was this more of a collection of songs, or is there collective vision behind it?

WWE: There is definitely an obsession with movement and direction all throughout the album, hence the name “Towards”. Most of the songs were written after we moved to London; they relate to conflicts between mind and body, individual memory and collective oblivion – as well as the creeping, nagging nature of change.

TMN: Alright, we’ll wrap it up here. Before we go, feel free to say anything you’d like to your fans and our readers!

WWE: Come see us this summer at a festival, and get our album (we’ve listened to it, it’s very good).

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