BIMM x DIY: IDER by Dani Murden

3rd August 2021


Earlier this year, we announced our latest partnership with DIY magazine to celebrate our #MusicMadeUs campaign. As part of this new partnership, students from across our colleges interviewed artists and industry professionals in collaboration with DIY and through the lens of Music Made Us. They also received guidance and mentorship sessions before the interview with DIY’s journalism and editorial team.

BIMM Institute Manchester’s Dani Murden interviews IDER as the pair reflect on their journey from adolescent Cornish folklore to ‘f*** it’ genre-fluidity in the big city.

IDER’s honesty and authenticity has grounded us all over the years with their valuable life lessons and observations. Since their debut single in 2016, it’s clear the pair of synth-pop songwriters have undeniably had things to get off their chest through their genre-fluid tunes and harmonious vocals of urgency. It is in the lead up to their second album release five years later that the North London duo are reflecting on their journeys from their now somewhat unrecognisable Cornish folklore roots which transported them to today.

I got fully swept up and involved instantly

Megan Marwick and Lily Somerville, the two beings that form IDER, met when studying Popular Music at Falmouth University and collaborating on projects for their degree. However, their friendship soon flourished into folk duo ‘Lily and Meg’ and the pair submerged themselves into the scene of Cornwall. “I got fully swept up and involved instantly,” enthused Meg. “To begin with I said to my parents that I’d probably be back after a term, there’s nothing there.” However, it appears that the friends dedicated themselves to the change of scenery and community of the Cornish music scene as they began performing as an acoustic duo at intimate live sessions by the sea.

It’s evident why the pair had their doubts; both of them were relocating – one from the outskirts of Birmingham and the other from East London. This move, however, is what catalysed the beginning of IDER, the project they now refer to as some kind of third entity of them both in unity, compared to them as two individuals performing together as ‘Lily and Meg’. “It felt like a natural progression in terms of finishing uni. There was a moment when we said to each other, do we really want this and what will it mean if we do?” At the back end of completing their degrees, the pair met their manager who still plays a vital role in their development today. “She was very instrumental in moving us into IDER. She gave us encouragement, support and the push we need to take this seriously.” It is clear that it wasn’t just this that played a role in the creation of the project; it was combined with the evolution of the band’s attitude as reflected through the development of their music. Although they both shared a strong disregard towards their previous moniker when moving to London, they now reflect on it as ‘growing older and them giving less of a shit’. “It’s part of the journey and part of the story; we don’t identify with that anymore but it’s part of the road to where we are now.”

It’s part of the journey and part of the story; we don’t identify with that anymore but it’s part of the road to where we are now

As the duo has grown from their adolescent roots, their tunes have shown a clear reflection of evolution and self-awareness. Their 2019 debut album, ‘Emotional Education’, explores self-existentialism, the mind and growth from heartbreak. The album title speaks for itself; the record is a hand-hold for those in the midst of the millennial experience – self-doubt, growing older and, dare we say it, finding themselves. ‘Emotional Education’ is certainly a personification of the evolution of the duo musically and their talks of trusting the journey. “The music industry instils the idea of not honouring growth and progression. It’s like you’ve got to peak right now and be the best version of yourself and we were so afraid of that originally,” Meg states, “Whereas now it just feels like ‘fuck it’, it’s all part of the journey and it’s so important to honour it all. The longevity creates long-lasting careers.”

Whilst Megan was brought up in a tiny Hackney household with the majority of her living room taken up by an old majestic grand piano, Lily grew up in Tamworth surrounded by a big-personality family who created hilariously inappropriate songs to celebrate every significant family occasion. It’s clear the pair feel a lot of gratitude for their musical roots being watered and encouraged from such a young age. In an age where music can be seen as a risky career business, the duo coated themselves in lyricism and writing through their teenage years in an attempt to figure out who the heck they were growing up to be – little did they know!

Nowadays the pair are living together in a converted sewing factory in Bethnal Green, creating and co-producing their second album ‘shame’, due to be unleashed this summer. “[‘shame’] feels very unapologetic and much more direct… it feels genre-fluid and unconsciously structured because we haven’t felt like things need to be super-polished.” Whilst production is a new endeavor for IDER, their abundant energy has definitely been applied to this upcoming album. Due to writing the record in lockdown in their home studio (merged with their self-created home-pub space), they’ve had less control from the pros of production, and more room for the happy accidents that give the album its experimental aura. Just when we thought the pair couldn’t teach us any more about the human condition, they are ready to hit us with more wisdom and limitlessly created music that challenges all we thought we knew best, encompassing the whole of IDER’s message of honesty, trust and boundlessness.

Our Music Made Us campaign is told through the students, graduates, journalists, experts and passionate people who have been shaped by this creative outlet. Discover their stories here.

Photo by Dani Monteiro