National Service, a four-piece band consisting of Fintan Campbell (vocals/guitar), Daniel Hipkin (bass/vocals), Iain Kelly (guitar/vocals) and Matthew Alston (drums), have released a cover version of Last January by The Twilight Sad. The quartet, signed to Fierce Panda Record Label, decided to unleash the hauntingly understated reworking of the 2014 classic after receiving a lot of positive press from their previous single Caving. The band spoke with The Fountain about why Last January and their craving for playing live.

TF: You have a new single out, what has the reception been like to Last January?

Everyone’s been really positive. I recorded a live version during lockdown and James from the Twilight Sad gave it the thumbs up. Also, our manager knows the Twilight Sad’s manager too and sent it over to him. He gave it his blessing as well and was really kind about it so as far as we’re concerned, we couldn’t have asked for a better reception.

TF: What influenced your cover of this track?

We’ve loved Twilight Sad for a long time now and followed their progress over the years. The Scottish music scene in general has been a big influence on us from Kathryn Joseph and Mogwai to Frightened Rabbit, Man of Moon and We Were Promised Jet Packs. Me and Iain went to see them at the Forum the last time they were in London when they blew the PA on the last song and it was absolutely epic. In terms of why that song specifically, the Oran Mor sessions really nailed it for us and that song just stood out. Iain’s a genius with all of the electronic, ambient, ear candy vibes and because of lockdown we were very much limited in what we could, so we followed the minimal, ambient route which came together really nicely.

TF: What is your plan for the remainder of the year, after this release?

Well just before Christmas we recorded a live session for a new live music platform starting this year which should be out soon and we’re currently recording our debut album which we’re super excited about. We finally took the plunge and we’re doing it all ourselves so it’s been an intense period but we’re very happy with it so far. We’re hoping it’ll all be ready in time for summer.

TF: Where is your favourite venue for playing live, where is the next place you look most forward to gigging?

That’s a tricky one because so much depends on the audience and what’s going on with the band at the time. In saying that, we’ve loved playing at the Lexington, The Shacklewell Arms and Omeara. They’re three good venues, where there’s always a decent crowd wanting to hear live music but they’re also venues where it’s intimate enough to feel a real connection with the audience. Given the lockdown, at this point though, we’d love to play anywhere really, just anything to get back on stage. We’re supposed to be playing this year’s Great Escape which hasn’t been cancelled yet so we’ll keep our fingers crossed.