Savages (band)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Savages at Primavera Sound 2013
Savages at Primavera Sound 2013
Background information
OriginLondon, England
Years active2011 (2011)–2017 (hiatus)
Associated acts
  • John & Jehn
  • Hindley
  • Partly Faithful
  • Kite Base
  • Otomo X
  • Bashan
  • 1080db
  • Esya
MembersJehnny Beth
Gemma Thompson
Ayse Hassan
Fay Milton

Savages are an English rock band formed in 2011 in London. Their debut album, Silence Yourself was released on 6 May 2013 via Matador Records. It reached number 19 in the UK Albums Chart in May 2013, and was critically acclaimed. It peaked at number 5 on the Irish and the UK Independent Albums Chart, and at number 13 on the US Billboard Independent Albums chart. The band's second album Adore Life, was released on 22 January 2016.[1] Both albums were nominated for the Mercury Prize, in 2013 and 2016 respectively.[2][3]


Savages are a rock band from London.[4][5] The band's guitarist Gemma Thompson had come up with the name for the band and had been discussing the idea with singer Jehnny Beth for almost a year.[6] Thompson says the band's name was derived from books, such as Lord of the Flies, that she read when she was younger.[6] The band was eventually formed in October 2011 and they had their first gig in January 2012, supporting rock band British Sea Power.[7][8] Their manager John Best also manages Sigur Ros.[9] The Observer has said of Savages: "it's not exactly sexy, it's not funny and they're not going to be rolling around in mud like the Slits. But it's the closest thing to art that "post-punk"... has offered in a while".[4] The New Musical Express described their performances as "frottage-inducingly intense affairs".[7]

The group's first released tracks, a double A-side in June 2012, were "Flying to Berlin" and "Husbands" on the Pop Noire label.[7] The Guardian wrote: "Husbands makes us dream of what it must have been like to have been around to hear, in real time, the debut releases by Public Image Ltd, Magazine, Siouxsie and the Banshees and Joy Division, to feel, as those incredible records hit the shops, that unearthly power and sense of a transmission from a satellite reality."[8] In October, their concert at the CMJ Music Marathon in New York received good reviews.[10][11][12] The Chicago Reader noted that their set was "influenced by Siouxsie & the Banshees, but with an anthemic quality that makes me think of PJ Harvey and heavy doses of the rhythmic jaggedness and angularity of British postpunk."[13] The group expressed their liking for these bands, and added : "We listened to a lot of different music [...] Our influences are male and female in equal measure."[14]

On 9 December 2012, the BBC announced that the band had been nominated for the Sound of 2013 poll.[15]

The band's first album, Silence Yourself, was released on 6 May 2013 via Beth's own label Pop Noire and Matador Records.[16]

Savages played on the second day of the Coachella Music and Arts Festival in 2013 and were well received by reviewers.[17] In 2014 the band, together with the Japanese art-rock four-piece Bo Ningen, performed Words To The Blind, a sonic poem where both bands play simultaneously.[18]

On two occasions the band asked local choreographers in London and New York City to perform a dance piece on a 30 minute version of their track ‘Dead Nature’ in the middle of the crowd. In a Pop Matters interview with Guy Mankowski the band discussed how at another of their events at the Ministry of Sound the crowd were placed around the musicians in order to ‘create total immersion and intimacy’.[19]

"Husbands" was featured during the end credits of the 2015 science fiction film Ex Machina.[20]

In July 2015, Savages, A Dead Forest Index [21] and choreographer/dance artist Fernanda Muñoz-Newsome created two nights of performance as part of Station to Station: A 30-day Happening[22] at the Barbican Centre in London. The performances took place in the Barbican Gallery and incorporated music, poetry, dance and the interplay of light and darkness. The performances were recorded and released on vinyl at Station to Station.

In November 2016, the band curated their own program during the tenth Anniversary Edition of Le Guess Who? Festival in Utrecht, The Netherlands. The program included performances by Beak, Tim Hecker, Jessy Lanza, Bo Ningen and Hannah Peel.

The band's second album Adore Life, was released on 22 January 2016 via Matador Records.[1] The band then went on a world tour in support of the album, wrapping in July 2017 at Presqu'île de Malsaucy in Belfort, France.[23] The band has not performed together or released new material since then, with each member instead focusing on other projects.

Side projects[edit]

Beth released her first solo album To Love Is to Live in June 2020. She also actively teamed up with other musicians, such as the Strokes' frontman Julian Casablancas; as duet singer for a Sort Sol and Lydia Lunch cover, "Boy/Girl", Trentemøller; as featured artist in the song "Complicated" and as singer-songwriter for the song "River in Me", and Damon Albarn of Gorillaz; as featured artist, in the second single from album Humanz, "We Got the Power".[24][25][26][27] Earlier in 2017, she revealed a collaboration with Primal Scream front man Bobby Gillespie for her upcoming solo works.[28]

Hassan formed an experimental electronic duo with fellow bassist Kendra Frost as Kite Base in 2015.[29] The band released their debut album, Latent Whispers, in May 2017.[30] Together with Milton, Hassan also formed Otomo X, an experimental collaborative group with London-based DJ and producer Martin Dubka. Milton and Hassan also formed a duo, 180dB, in 2018. Their debut single, "Road Trip," featured former Perfect Pussy vocalist Meredith Graves and Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner. Hassan began her solo project, Esya, in 2019.

In June 2017, Thompson announced the introduction recordings/sketches of her solo project, Bashan, formed over several years whilst recording and touring extensively with Savages. She also worked with filmmaker and director Nick Ebeling, completing her first score for a 2016 American documentary film Along For The Ride, which premiered at Venice Film Festival in 2016.[31]


  • Jehnny Beth - vocals (2011–present)
  • Gemma Thompson - guitar (2011–present)
  • Ayse Hassan - bass (2011–present)
  • Fay Milton - drums (2011–present)


Studio albums[edit]

Year Details Peak chart positions Sales
2013 Silence Yourself[38]
  • Released: 6 May 2013
  • Label: Matador
  • Format: CD, vinyl, digital download
19 75 70
2016 Adore Life[40]
  • Released: 22 January 2016
  • Label: Matador
  • Format: CD, vinyl, digital download
26 57 53 39 99
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.

Collaborative albums[edit]

  • Words to the Blind (2014) (with Bo Ningen)
  • In What I'm Seeing; The Sun (2015) (with A Dead Forest Index)

Extended plays[edit]

  • I Am Here Live EP (2012)

City's Full, Give Me A Gun, I Am Here, Husbands


  • Flying To Berlin / Husbands (2012)
  • She Will (2013)
  • Shut Up (2013)
  • Fuckers / Dream Baby Dream (2014)
  • The Answer (2015)
  • T.I.W.Y.G (2015)
  • Surrender (2016)

Music videos[edit]

Title Year Director Album
"Shut Up" 2013 Giorgio Testi[41] Silence Yourself
"Husbands" John Minton[42]
"Marshal Dear" Gergely Wootsch[43]
"Strife" 2014 Antoine Carlier[44]
"Fuckers" Giorgio Testi[45][46] "Fuckers"/"Dream Baby Dream"
"The Answer" 2015 Adore Life
"Adore" 2016 Anders Malmberg[47]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Organisation Award Result
2012 BBC Sound of 2013 Sound of 2013[15] Nominated
2013 Mercury Prize 2013 Barclaycard Mercury Prize[48] Shortlisted
2016 Mercury Prize 2016 Hyundai Mercury Prize[49] Shortlisted


  1. ^ a b Barry Nicolson (22 January 2016). "Savages - 'Adore Life' Review". NME Magazine. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  2. ^ Clark, Nick (11 September 2013). "Mercury Prize 2013: List of nominees in full". The Independent. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
  3. ^ "Mercury Prize 2016: David Bowie gets posthumous nomination". BBC. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  4. ^ a b Mossman, Kate (29 July 2012). "Savages/Palma Violets – review". The Observer. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
  5. ^ Kot, Greg Savages break even their own rules Chicago Tribune. April 5, 2016
  6. ^ a b Snapes, Laura (22 May 2012). "Savages: a post-punk act from London that thrives off of violence and twisted desire". Pitchfork. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  7. ^ a b c Emily, Mackay (5 June 2012). "Radar Band of the Week No:91 – Savages". NME. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
  8. ^ a b Lester, Paul (25 May 2012). "New band of the day: Savages (No 1,276)". Retrieved 2 October 2012.
  9. ^ McKinley Jr (15 October 2012). "Six Hopefuls Worth Watching at the CMJ Music Marathon". NYTimes. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
  10. ^ Goldberg, Michael Alan (24 October 2012). "Don't Miss These Bands at CMJ". Village Voice. Archived from the original on 19 October 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
  11. ^ Lazarus Vasta, Simon (24 October 2012). "Now Take Them Out, Devils: The 5 Best Moments of CMJ 2012, Part 1". Nypress. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
  12. ^ "CMJ 2012's Most Talented 10". Spin. 22 October 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
  13. ^ Raymer, Miles (19 October 2012). "My CMJ highlight so far: Savages". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
  14. ^ Gleeson, Sinead. "Savages : Where the Wild Things Are". The Irish Times. 10 May 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2015. “We listen to a lot of different music. I like jazz, as well as listening to Joy Division and Siouxsie Sioux, ” says Beth. “For me, it’s boring to compare music to music . . . there’s so many interesting things that influence it. When we write a song we just try to find a way to write a good song. It’s very simple".
  15. ^ a b "Sound of, 2013 – Savages". BBC. 1 January 1970. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
  16. ^ Jenn Pelly (19 March 2013). "Listen: New Savages Track "She Will", From Debut Album Silence Yourself, Coming on Matador Records". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  17. ^ Jonze, Tim (14 April 2013). "Coachella festival 2013 day two: Phoenix, Hot Chip and Savages – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  18. ^ Todd, Bella (15 November 2014). "Savages and Bo Ningen: 'It's about doing something outside our comfort zone'". The Guardian.
  19. ^ Guy Mankowski (20 January 2014). "'This Crisis Has Given Us Power… It's Time To Use It' An Interview with Savages". Pop Matters. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  20. ^ "Ex Machina (2015)". Soundtrack.Net. Autotelics, LLC. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  21. ^ "A Dead Forest Index". A Dead Forest Index. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  22. ^ "Barbican : Station to Station". Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  23. ^ "Savages Concert Setlist at Presqu'île de Malsaucy, Belfort, France on July 9, 2017". Setlist.FM. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  24. ^ "Julian Casablancas and Savages' Jehnny Beth Cover Sort Sol and Lydia Lunch's "Boy/Girl"". Pitchfork. 4 December 2015. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  25. ^ "Trentemøller – "Complicated" (Feat. Jehnny Beth) Video". Stereogum. 9 December 2016. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  26. ^ "Trentemøller links up with Savages' Jehnny Beth for new song "River In Me"". The Line of Best Fit. 24 June 2016. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  27. ^ "Damon Albarn Enlists Oasis' Noel Gallagher and Savages' Jehnny Beth for New Song "We Got the Power": Listen". 23 March 2017. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  28. ^ "Savages' Jehnny Beth announces solo show, shares studio photos with Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie". 17 January 2017. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  29. ^ "Kite Base – "Dadum" (Stereogum Premiere)". Stereogum. 3 August 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  30. ^ "Much more than just a Savages side-project, KITE BASE share new track and album details". Loud And Quiet. 6 February 2017. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  31. ^ "BASHAN". Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  32. ^ "Savages – Silence Yourself". Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  33. ^ Adore- charts. Retrieved 10 February 2016
  34. ^ "Album Search: Savages" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
  35. ^ "Savages" (in Dutch).
  36. ^ "Savages – Chart history: Billboard 200". Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  37. ^ "Billboard 200". Billboard. 25 May 2013.
  38. ^ "Silence Yourself by Savages". Matador Records. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  39. ^ "Upcoming Releases". Hits Daily Double. HITS Digital Ventures. Archived from the original on 14 December 2015.
  40. ^ "Adore Life by Savages". Matador Records. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  41. ^ "Shut Up – Savages (2013)". IMVDb. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  42. ^ "Husbands – Savages (2013)". IMVDb. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  43. ^ "Marshal Dear – Savages (2013)". IMVDb. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  44. ^ "Strife – Savages (2014)". IMVDb. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  45. ^ "Fuckers – Savages (2014)". IMVDb. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  46. ^ "The Answer – Savages (2015)". IMVDb. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  47. ^ "Adore – Savages (2014)". IMVDb. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  48. ^ "2013 Shortlist – Barclaycard Mercury Prize". Archived from the original on 9 February 2014. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
  49. ^ "See the 2016 Shortlist". Retrieved 11 October 2016.

External links[edit]