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Q&A: Porridge Radio Crawl Down From The Sky

Photos by Matilda Hill-Jenkins

Formed in Brighton in 2015, Porridge Radio have clawed their way to the top of must-see UK acts. Their second album Every Bad in 2020 got many people through their lockdowns, but the band were in a strange state of limbo having transcended their DIY roots but being unable to play to an audience after their breakthrough. Now they've been unleashed with a new album and two singles to boot. Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder To The Sky came roaring down the chimney on May 20th, alongside a dingo's donger of a video for lead single 'Back to the Radio.' Turning up the goosebumps with a mighty slice of emotional honesty, the track features frontperson Dana Margolin's trademark burst-lungs barbarity and grasps at themes of endlessness and anhedonia.

We were actually lucky enough to catch up with lead stringslinger, vocalist and paintbrush extraordinaire Dana in between their busy schedule and collect some wisdom carrots to illuminate the album, the video and beyond:

Tell me about Porridge Radio! Who are the members, what do you play? What have the ups & downs of the band looked like and how did you form?

Hey, there’s 4 of us, Dana, Sam, Georgie and Maddie. We formed in Brighton about 7 years ago and we’ve had some really amazing moments playing shows and festivals.

The latest single ‘Back to the Radio’ is out now and it’s absolutely incredible. What can you tell us about the track, and what can we expect from the upcoming album? Will it be hard-hitting like this? What themes did you want to explore with the album?

Thank you. The album gets pretty intense at times. I wanted to write about my own emotional experiences in a way that could help me process them and also connect with other people.

‘Back to the Radio’ has been released alongside the accompanying one-shot music video. This video is equal parts fascinating and equal parts haunting. How did you come up with the idea for this innovative video, and what was it like on-set?

My sister Ella Margolin directed the video and came up with the concept for it. She was a really important sounding board for the artwork I was making for the album, and had a really strong idea of the visual world I was creating. She really naturally understood what kind of visual aesthetic I was going for and so when she told me about her idea for the video I was immediately really into it. It was pretty chaotic on set, there were about 40 of us there and a lot of props and people and timings to co-ordinate. I really love how it turned out and am really proud of her work on it.

Your 2020 album Every Bad blew the roof off and really put you on the map. Will the new album continue in the vein of Every Bad, or will we see a departure into new territory? The world has certainly changed since 2020, so I was wondering what you’ve learned since then and do you think you’ve changed as a person?

I hope I’ve changed as a person because it would be sad to have stayed the same. I’ve learned a lot about who I am and what I need to live well. I’m still trying to put a lot of things into practice, but I have a much stronger idea of who and where I want to be, the kind of music and art I want to make, and how I want to make it. I’ve become more interested in intentional community building, and learnt that the best cure for depression is connection, and the best way to feel more grounded and centered is to do things for other people.

With the world slowly opening up again, I was wondering if you had any upcoming live gigs planned that we could hype up? And will we ever be seeing you in Australia? What does the 2022 roadmap look like for Porridge Radio?

We’d love to come to Australia, hopefully yes as soon as possible! We have a load of tours coming up come say hi.

And that's the whole meat and potatoes. Another resounding thank you to the magnificent Dana Margolin for giving us the inside mail for the man on the street. Check out their interviews on YouTube and you'll see a hilarious and insightful side to the band. Ogle at their live performances, and you'll cower before the raw emotive, stomping fury. If there is one band I could smuggle into your headphones and slip into your hearts, it is Porridge Radio. They've got tour dates planned all through the UK, Europe and America. If they ever come to the koala-ridden shores of New Holland, you'll see me astral planing in the front row. Let's cry together and let the gooseflesh bloom.

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One of three album covers painted by Dana Margolin



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