Cloth have been part of the fabric of the Glasgow music scene for three years now. Formed by the Swinton twins, Rachael (vocals, guitar) and Paul (guitar), they met their third member Clare Gallagher (drums) at college, before being signed to the non-profit, crowdfunded label Last Night From Glasgow, who have released their early singles and will be the home to their debut album when it arrives later in 2019. We spoke to Rachel and Paul to discuss the band’s origins, the advantage of being twins in a band together and the roots of their music.

Rachael and Paul, you met Clare Gallacher when you were all at college together. What were the forces that brought you together? Did you know immediately that you were going to be able to make it work as a band, and why was being a trio the right size for the band?

Paul Swinton: We got to know each other in music college through classes where the focus was on developing elements of live performance. Clare was a standout drummer from the get-go so we made a decision to move quickly and poach her to form a band which preceded Cloth. That band was actually a four-piece and was a lot of fun but we ended up gradually putting it to rest once myself and Rachael went to University to pursue further music studies. After graduation, we knew we wanted to forge a career in music and that our band should definitely include live drums. Having that history with Clare and all being good friends it made sense to build things as a 3-piece.

You are the latest in a long line of bands with twins in them – Bee Gees, The Breeders, The National, The Proclaimers. Is there something in the synergy between twins that is beneficial to the creative process?

Rachael Swinton: I think there definitely is. When you’re working with someone you’re very close with there’s a real understanding and freedom to experiment without the worry or stress of things not immediately working out. We’ve been writing together all of our lives so we know each other’s strengths and can play to that.

What is the story behind the name Cloth?

PS: Our music is quite minimal and we wanted a name which encapsulated that – something which didn’t have too much pre-conceived meaning to it which could be nicely permeated by the music. I think ‘Can’ is world’s greatest band name so was keen to go down a similar road.

Glasgow is a great music city. Do you have any memorable early gig experiences around town?

PS: We actually went to a lot of rock and metal gigs when we were younger! Highlights would probably include seeing Dillinger Escape Plan almost destroying the ceiling pipes system in the Cathouse and seeing Extreme at the Academy supported by Hot Leg who were a sort of glam reincarnation of The Darkness. The codpieces at the latter still haunt to this day.

You’ve been compared to Cocteau Twins and The xx. Do those connections make sense to you, and who do you consider to be influences over your writing and playing?

RS: Those comparisons definitely make sense - those are two bands that we greatly respect and admire (we actually made a pilgrimage recently to the Bella Union shop in Brighton when we were there to play The Great Escape - Simon Raymonde was there but we were a bit too nervous to go over and speak to him). I think those bands have been influential somewhat in terms of how we approach composition but in the early days when we began this band it was Sleater-Kinney’s intricate dual-guitar, no-bass approach which opened up our eyes to the possibilities there. Things actually started off a little louder and more abrasive musically and then as we kept writing we began rolling off the distortion and experimenting with a cleaner, more minimal sound where parts were only allowed if they really brought something to the table. We’re not interested in throwing a load of instruments at a track to fill things out - we like preserving the space for things to breathe properly.

Do you write together as a trio?

PS: No, myself and Rachael write all of the songs.

How are preparations for a debut album?

PS: Rachael and I are working with Derek O’Neill (King Creosote) on the mixing side of the album at the moment, and will be putting out the first single in a few months’ time. The album will come out in November.

How does the live arrangement work with the three of you, as you don’t have a permanent bassist – can you envisage using other musicians on stage?

RS: In order to get the low end that a bassist would provide we use octave pedals which effectively turn our guitars into bass guitars, and Clare also triggers bass samples from an SPD pad. On a song like ‘Demo Love’ for example Clare will play a bass line on the pads while she drums and on a song like ‘Old Bear’ myself and Paul will alternate in playing bass parts. Other times we’ll go full Sleater-Kinney and not have any bass at all.

We’re quite content with the dynamic of the three of us live. Down the line we’d like to buy some bigger, shinier equipment to expand things that way.

You’ve released singles with the non-profit label Last Night From Glasgow, which is crowdfunded. How are they to work with? How did that relationship come about? Will they be releasing the album?

PS: Last Night from Glasgow are great to work with and very supportive of what we want to do. The whole thing came about because we had a friend who knew Ian’s (label founder) wife so we asked if she could get one of our tracks to him. She sent him ‘Demo Love’ and shortly afterwards we met up for a pint and decided quite quickly to work together. It will be LNFG who release the album later this year.

In an ideal world, who would Cloth like to work with or collaborate with in the future?

PS: We’re big fans of David Wrench and the work he did for FKA twigs and Sampha so we’d love to work with him one day. We also really admire Nick Launay, particularly his work with Anna Calvi so he can invite us round if he wants.

Cloth play BBC Introducing stage at Latitude Festival in July.