"I think it's fun for people to listen just to see the journey we went on," says guitarist Sam Halliday.


By Sydney Bucksbaum
June 17, 2020 at 01:42 PM EDT
Roberto Ricciuti/Redferns

With so much uncertainty about the future, Two Door Cinema Club decided to look to the past.

On June 5, the Northern Irish indie rock band released the album Lost Songs (Found), a collection of seven tracks made during the group's early days. The surprise drop is a nostalgic return to their 2010 debut Tourist History, with the new EP featuring an original demo of "Something Good Can Work." Meanwhile, songs like "Hands Off My Cash Monty," "Tiptoes," and "Too Much Coffee" have only been played live, making their official release a decade after they were first recorded all the more special.

"It's a nice little nod to the past," lead guitarist Sam Halliday tells EW.

Halliday and band members Alex Trimble and Kevin Baird had been throwing around the idea of releasing a collection of older songs for a few years. They finally moved forward when the music industry (and the rest of the world) came to a grinding halt due to the pandemic.

"There’s been times we’d find old songs in passing, and it's like, we'd like to do something with that stuff. Now just seems like a good time because people are at home bored," Halliday says. "Listening back, some of the songs sound kind of funny. There's bad bits of tuning and stuff, but I think it's fun for people to listen just to see the journey we went on as a band."

All of the songs on the fittingly titled project are original demos written more than a decade ago. "Those songs we recorded in Alex's garage when we were like 17," Halliday says. "So it sort of is what it is, which is the nice thing about it; you can't really go over mixes or anything like that because we literally just had some MP3s.... We released them as is and didn't go back and try and revisit them properly, just to show the progress and show where we came from."

Glassnote Records

Lost Songs (Found) is Two Door Cinema Club's way of lifting the curtain on their origins. Take "Tiptoes," an unfinished song intended for their first project. "We started to record it and then we thought that it didn't sound that great," Halliday remembers. "We were like, 'Let's just leave it off.' We had 10 songs for the first album that were the best 10 songs and so these ones just sort of disappeared."

That doesn't mean this collection is just a dump of the band's least preferred tracks, though. Halliday actually reveals that "Not In This Town" "was always a bit of a favorite for us."

"I don't really know what the reason for that not being on the album was — I think it might have fallen out of favor with Alex so we just stopped playing it," he adds with a laugh. "It was always very difficult to sing that one because it's quite high. Every time we wrote new songs, it became our favorites, and so once we had more songs for an album it just seemed really obvious to everyone what to include."

However, fans shouldn't expect to hear Two Door Cinema Club playing these songs live at future performances. "Some of the songs, I'm so glad we don't play them because they're so fast," Halliday says. "It's definitely a young man's game; trying to play those songs now would just feel ridiculous. I was listening to ['Too Much Coffee'] earlier and I was like, 'This just sounds like a bad Postal Service song.' This [release] is more for other people, really. I feel a little bit embarrassed by some of them, but it's cool that people can see it."

While a new album of old songs may not make up for a summer of canceled concerts, the band is happy they were able to still do something for the fans. "There's nothing new musically happening from our point of view, we're not going to be doing any shows anytime soon," Hallidays says. "We had plans to release a newer collection of songs but that was pulled back for the time being. It's just been really weird. I just keep getting calendar notifications to say I should be in various parts of Europe playing festivals — that world feels so far away just because I've been at home for so long now."

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