Sons of Raphael, courtesy of Photo Passport Services, St John's Wood Post Office

sons of raphael are here to wake us from our post no wave, neo shoegaze minimal malaise

We got the band of brothers drunk on sake, and now you get to hear their brand new track, Rio.

by Clementine de Pressigny
07 November 2017, 12:24pm

Sons of Raphael, courtesy of Photo Passport Services, St John's Wood Post Office

Loral and Ronnel are the Hampstead Heath-dwelling brothers behind Sons of Raphael. That's the new band that you should know about before your friends get the chance to tell you about this really good new band you should know about. So far -- two songs out -- they're a bit pop-infused space rock, a bit droney, a lot echoey, noisy, party dropout fun. Sons of Raphael are just what we need, and they have incredible hair.

The duo, who both play guitars, with Ronnel on singing duty, are about to play a string of shows as support for Metronomy, though 18-year-old Ronnel and 22-year-old Loral say they've not heard of the band, they don't know what they sound to like. They say they don't listen to music, they don't go to gigs, they were named after the founder of Scientology, haven't heard of Louis Theroux and mostly only eat Japanese food. Lorel has terrible eyesight but doesn't wear glasses, he likes the Kennedys -- JFK had presidential hair -- and fig and walnut ice cream. Ronnel wears his own wisdom tooth -- the cause of his moaning at the start of their new track Rio -- on a chain, and takes lyrical inspiration from a New Testament scholar. He gets weekly passport photos of himself that he leaves around their shared flat, which is annoying for Loral, though they never fight.

All this was gleaned from Ronel and Loral over Japanese and sake, ahead of them taking to the stage for a show in east London. They have a weird, droll, awkward charm. They're endlessly entertaining. They've got a lot of stories, they spun us all sorts of yarns and we don't mind one bit. Because artists should always take a bit of artistic license, and because when they got on stage it was abundantly clear they belong up there. Watch them in action, and read on to find out how you too can have luscious hair like our fave new band.

Watch the brand new video for their brand new track Rio, premiering on i-D below.

Where did you get those accents from?
Ronnel: I went to an international school.
Loral: I didn't go to an international school. I really didn't like boarding schools.
Ronnel: I really loved mine. That's where I recorded all these songs as well.

So you filmed the video for Eating People there, they must have liked you to let you do that.
Ronnel: Yes they certainly did like me. There was a very nice headmaster and a nice priest, who was very liberal and open. The deputy headmaster didn't like it though and he actually forced me to play rugby for the rest of the year. Can you imagine that? From the very little time that you've known me, can you imagine that? No, you can't!

How did that go?
Ronnel: Oh I escaped, I made up diseases and stuff. Would you do the same?

Yes, anything to avoid sports.
Loral: I like sports. Well, we like watching them, we don't like playing them. NBA games. I was watching the Celtics game last night, they won by 8. That was a very good game. And we play tennis.

I'm terrible at tennis. So, it's your first show tonight?
Ronnel: This is our… third.
Loral: Second and half because the first one wasn't really a show.
Ronnel: We played in Belfast, that was fantastic. We made friends with a couple -- we went to their 60th anniversary and then to a bingo club with them. They were really nice people.

When did you start playing music together?
Loral: We did the video...Eating People...
Ronnel: Yeah, I guess so. We never planned it to happen, it was sort of natural.
Loral: I just bought lots of film reels to experiment and before they expired I wanted to film something with them so I had the idea of doing something in his boarding school, and he was like, hey you can film me playing my song and it play it with me. It just happened.

Wait, so how did you get a manager so quickly?
Loral: I don't know, it's unusual, because we only played the first show like two months ago and we only released the first thing about week ago. But we didn't have anyone on our team for like a few months and now we have a manager.
Ronnel: And now most of our team, a large proportion, are pregnant women. Let me tell you something about Sons of Raphael, we are pregnant-friendly!

Well everyone should be, really.
Loral: Yeah I'm going to have lots of sons, sons of raphael.
Ronnel: We'd like to have lots of children.

So, talking about expanding the fam, are you going to get a drummer?
Ronnel: Oh absolutely not, no.
Loral: You can't trust them. It's very nice to be in a group with your brother.
Ronnel: I can trust him, he can trust me, and you can trust machines.
Loral: A drum machine will never disappoint you.

Plus, you have to explain everything to drummers so many times.
Loral : Yeah, and we want to keep it in the family, because that's easier.

I heard that you guys were named after L Ron Hubbard, is that true?
Ronnel: Right, yes yes, my parents reversed his initials, L Ron -- Ronnel.

Because they were...
Loral : They weren't in Scientology.
Ronnel: They were researching it and they were quite inspired by it.
Loral: They weren't very happy that we mentioned that. Have you seen that film about Scientology?

I saw Going Clear, and the Louis Theroux one. Actually Ronnel, you look quite a lot like Louis Theroux.
Ronnel: I don't know who that is, is that a compliment?

Yes definitely. It's weird that you don't know who that is. You both have amazing hair, what shampoo do you use?
Loral: I bought a new one, it's made out of Rosemary, it's from the organic shop.
Ronnel: I don't really want to reveal my secrets but I'll tell you one thing -- I don't know if you've noticed my chest hair, I use coconut oil.

Ok, cool. So tell me about your musical influences...
Ronnel: Elvis

Have you ever listened to Loudon Wainwright III?
Ronnel: No.
Loral: I don't really listen to music.
Ronnel: Honestly, I don't really listen to much. When I run I listen to my music.

So what's the meaning behind the songs you've put out so far?
Ronnel: Right, well, Eating People, I wrote about a religious sermon by a priest called John Fenton, it was very controversial, about the last supper of Jesus. And in terms of Rio, I think honestly it's very much about liberating the self from the imprisonment of the flesh.

Nothing too heavy then. So you've written and recorded a lot already?
Loral : Yes, that's why it's hard to describe our music because you've only heard those two songs, but in my head we sound nothing like those two songs.
Ronnel: Yeah, I think the songwriting really evolved.
Loral: I think people who listen to these two songs will be surprised later on.

Watch Sons of Raphael's debut video for Eating People, directed by Loral Raphael and Daniel Brereton.

Sons of Raphael will release of their debut double A-side single Eating People/Rio on Friday 17th November 2017, through Moshi Moshi.

Moshi Moshi
eating people
sons of raphael
Loral and Ronnel