Signed to Paul Epworth's label, Wolf Tone, Essex girl-boy partnership, Plaitum, have been best buds since their nappy days (or thereabouts, if you'll humour the exaggeration) and, as they have so many interests in common, it made total sense for Matt Canham and Abi Dersiley to join musical forces and become the UK's answer to MS MR.

As the duo prepare to release their debut album, Constraint, trust The 405 to interrupt proceedings with some nagging questions all about it *eye-roll*.

If we had to summarise Constraint in one sentence it would be...

Matt: A big loud album about some pretty dark stuff.

We chose the title Constraint because...

Abi: The album is loosely based around the concept of being trapped in an explosive relationship - the tracks all have their own individual meanings and stories but fit into that narrative. The title Constraint also kinda invokes a slightly sexual tone, which is reflected in a few of the songs (namely 'Ovation'). And we weren't allowed to use "Sgt Plaitum's Lonely Hearts Club Band" for legal reasons.

The first song we wrote for the album was...

Matt: 'LMHY'. This is a pretty difficult one to gauge - we've been writing songs together for almost 5 years now and have had some of the songs on the album in some form for almost that long - they have pretty messy beginnings, chiefly because we had no concept of things like "organisation" or "saving as you go" (we actually lost most of - and had to reproduce - the track 'Eagle' very early on because it wasn't backed up from my old Windows XP laptop, which got ran over by a flight case after a gig and was irreparably broken). However, 'LMHY' is traceable because it initially contained a sample that we could never clear, because we didn't know what it was from (it was recorded from the tv while we were writing the track at like 2am from an old film that was on). In searching for the origin of the sample we had to go through every Ableton session we had to try and find the original, which, it turned out, was recorded about 2 weeks before 'Eagle', the next oldest.

Our working routine for the album involved...

Matt: Writing the tracks in my bedroom over the course of the last 4 years, before spending about 3 weeks in a studio with Tom Havelock, a great writer who helped to convert the then 6/7 minute long synth jams into actual songs, with structures and endings and fewer ego-tripping synth solos. We then took them back to my bedroom to get them sounding cooler. From there we had the album recording proper when we headed to the Church studio to re-record most of the Ableton demos as full tracks. We'd work weekends, then come up early Monday morning to record. We had 2 weeks of tracking - working on the instrumentals from 10am-6pm before we got to recording vocals. From there we had a few days with Paul [Epworth], who listened to what we'd done and suggested changes we could make to streamline the songs and bring out the key elements of it. We then had a few weeks of mixing and finishing the production. It was a fairly unique process - Matt Wiggins, the mix engineer, was great at mixing as we went, so we'd be constantly adding ideas and changing stuff, which must be incredibly annoying when you're trying to mix - sorry Matt!). It was just a process of constantly chipping away superfluous stuff - we always start with way more ideas than are necessary then cut some back - until they sounded how we wanted them to.

Our favourite part of recording process was...

Abi: Recording random items. Nothing more satisfying than making a cheese grater sound good. It's definitely exciting making day-to-day objects make sounds you wouldn't expect them to, using old thunder tubes to make low rumbling sounds over the more dark, atmospheric tracks or tip-toeing in cheap adidas trainers next to a very sensitive microphone, which - by the way - makes the perfect "woman walking in stilettos" sound.

The song that took the longest to get right was...

Matt: 'Yearning'. It was written way after most of the others, we were writing and working on it in my bedroom in down time while working in the studio on the other tracks - it only really made it on to the album last minute - but it had a few elements we were really attached to, namely the groove and the way it built up. It went through so many permutations we lost count - at one time it broke into a massive choral breakdown and one version was a 7 minute long nu-disco groove with loads of crazy arpeggiators - so getting it to make sense was pretty difficult. The struggle to get it right was worth it - it's my favourite track on the album and as it's got a pretty different vibe to most of the album so it gives it a different dynamic. It was the last track we finished for the album too, as we were running out of studio time, it was the only one that hadn't come together. I still have flashbacks about getting the drums right on that song.

We knew Constraint was finished when...

Matt: Paul came down and listened through to it. Throughout the process he'd been coming down to help out - mostly giving us ideas and new ways of looking at things - but the ideas were getting fewer the closer we were getting. Having listened through to the album, there was one more edit - it was, predictably, drum edits on 'Yearning' and we were running out of time to do it. Having spent another few hours on that, he popped in, had one listen, left, came back with some beers and congratulated us on our now finished album.

The song each of us is most attached to on the album is...

Matt: 'Sway'. I'd been playing around with the chords for ages - they're the first ones I can remember playing - and I'd turned them into a beat around the time we started writing Plaitum songs together. I played it to Abi a few years later and she started singing this really nice melody over it and the song spawned from there. I think because it had been this thing I'd been playing every time I got near a piano or keyboard for years - I'm not very good at keyboard and especially not at learning other songs - so it was my go-to thing to play. Having that as a finished piece of music was really nice.

Abi: 'Eagle' to me is a very tender kinda track, it's really empty so there's nowhere to hide. The whole track is like a long, subtle build to this almost anti climatic ending. Which kinda explains the subject of the track - a realisation that things don't always go as planned. The track couples off with 'Yearning' as the slow release outro, a sort of gasp of fresh air after the intensity of the rest of the album.

From all the tracks, the one we're most excited to play on our forthcoming headline tour is...

Abi: 'Yearning'. We've been performing a slow, stripped back version for a couple of sessions now and it's getting to a strong place. Of course, we have the full fat version to perform for our live shows, which has a really vibed out guitar solo. It's nice to be able to jam and bring back that live element again on stage like we used to when we were doing small gigs around Colchester and London. It's easy to forget that we are actually musicians that play instruments when you write on the computer so much.

The lyric we are most proud of on the album is...

Abi: "I left my hopes and dreams and smokes and creams left to choke in the wall now" from 'Slave Red Stag'. Us in a nutshell. I think this really gets to us because one point in our lives we did leave our hopes and dreams and smokes and creams left to choke in a wall. We are now out of that funk and that makes us proud.

Constraint is out on 7 April 2017 via Wolf Tone.