In the words of singer and band founder Dave Ingham “a hell of a lot” has happened to the My Forever in the seven years since the Leeds group last graced the pages of the Yorkshire Evening Post.
“2010 to 2015 was heavily touring,” he says. “We had a couple of records out, we had an EP out called The World Won’t Wait – a track from that got Record of the Week on Radio 1 for the second time, which was a huge thing for us, we got great exposure for that and it helped us go out on a couple of UK tours. We did a bunch of support tours then we did our own headline tour, played festivals up and down the country for three years straight. We were constantly gigging and pushing the band.
“Towards the end of 2014 we played a couple of Christmas lights switch-ons, including Leeds, which was a huge moment for me. Seven years previous to that I’d seen McFly do it and I’d always thought ‘I’d love to do that’. There were tens of thousands of people there. I remember looking out into the crowd and not being able to see the end of it.”
Nonetheless by 2015 Ingham felt the band was “in need of a rebirth” and he decided to take time out. Towards the end of the year he met brothers James and Lee Mallinson, who became guitarist and drummer in My Forever. Lee already had considerable touring experience with the Otley band The Chevin, who’d had some success in the US. “It was almost like it was meant to be,” says Ingham. “I know it’s cliched to say that but we got in a room together and played it was just magic. It was like finding the two members of My Forever I’d been wanting to find. Everything just fell into place.”
Through the next 14 months the trio set about writing and recording a six-track EP, Clarity.
“That was all secretive, no one knew about it,” says Ingham. “Then as 2017 hit we just announced everything as a big surprise.”
Judging by the “super excited” response from fans, it was worth the wait.
“Since it was released it’s just been non-stop,” says Ingham. “The record came out on March 19 and we’ve released three singles so far – one called Cure, one called Clarity then the latest one Not Enough.”
Throughout July Ingham and James Mallinson have been touring secondary schools across the north east of England playing their songs ‘stripped back’.
“What a great way to get expose and build yourself a fanbase,” says Ingham. “You’re putting yourself into the prime audience, really.”
It’s a very honest record. People are getting a little glimpse into my life, which is quite scary, but I can’t write any other way than just being honest and writing from the heart.Dave Ingham
The full band are due to play at Korks Wine Bar in Otley on August 11, with more dates to be announced soon.
Ingham describes the Clarity EP as “quite a deep record, definitely the most honest one that I’ve ever written lyrically”.
“It’s about a period of my life where I had a really tough time. In 2015 I went through a very dark patch and the themes of the record are really when you go into these dark moments you’re always searching for the light at the end of the tunnel, which is what I found in Clarity – when you reach that light. It’s about picking yourself up and holding onto hope, things will get better. Never let the darkness overtake you, keep going and believe that things will get better in life – and they do.
“It’s combined things of escapism, love, sex, heartbreak and hope – and I think hope is the really prominent one. It’s very relatable stories. We purposely did it as like a story from start to finish. It’s a very honest record. People are getting a little glimpse into my life, which is quite scary, but I can’t write any other way than just being honest and writing from the heart. I think when you write that way people really connect and relate to it. It’s very important for me and I guess it’s like a little bit of therapy as well.”
Musically Ingham feels his bandmates have helped My Forever evolve. “It’s a more mature sound,” he says. “It’s all come together. We do have this fresher sound, it’s definitely more modern than it used to be. We do have outside influences like even electronic music and R&B, you can hear little touches of that in the type of sounds we use. But it’s still very identifiable as being us.”
Clarity is available now digitally, it can also be streamed on Spotify. Two hundred and fifty physical copies will be available at gigs and from the band’s online store.