1. When did you begin making music, and did you ever ponder a different career?
I actually have a visual arts background and am still currently a practising artist and designer. It’s a good complementary skill to music-making — For me, the two fields feed off of each other. I design my own album artworks, posters and events. But music is my first love and has been a part of my life as far back as I can remember. My grandmother was a piano teacher and I’d sit with her when she played organ in church. I started playing guitar when I was 9 and had classical and finger-style training in high school. Since then I’ve spent many years deliberately unlearning my formal training to arrive at a more intuitive approach — a musical shorthand led by my personal internal logic.
How would you describe your music?
I am interested in a certain abstracted intimacy — a sound that feels soaked, an underwater sound that drenches and overwhelms, where frequencies are delayed and voices gurgle into a drone, where the pace is glacial but the temperature is volcanic. At least half of the songs on the new record are in a strange triple time which has prompted me to class them as ’Blue Waltzes’ as a subset of my ‘Burial Hymns’.
What have you been up to so far and what can we expect over the coming months?
Other Electricities has just released my new album, MAW — It’s a succinct cycle of ten songs in line, stylistically, with previous singer-songwriter outputs. In content, it presents a world in a time after time, where the modern myth of progress has failed, where knowledge has been lost in a radical process of re-wilding both the landscape and humankind. A second sister album, called YAW, is also scheduled for release next year. As a complementary collection, YAW attempts to do instrumentally what MAW describes with voice and words. The pieces act as fragmented artefacts from a forgotten catalogue of this strange imagined culture primarily written for and performed on a tempered prepared classical guitar. I’ve also recently allowed myself to be involved in a few collaborative projects. I play noisy guitars in a post-punk no-wave band called ZOO LAKE and write and sing vocals for a dark-folk drone project called SLEEP NOISE. I’m also excited for a new shoegazey-dream-pop endeavour with a fond friend named WILLPOWER. Form this list it should be apparent that the common feature of the music and projects i’m involved with is this love of the altered state of mind, this sedated psychedelic escape.
If you could duet with anybody who would it be and why?
Liz Harris (Grouper) — although I’m quite sure that it wouldn’t be a duet as much as lengthy improvised session filled with delayed guitar modulations and washed with keening gleaming vocals that float on a deep undulating organ drone.
What’s your desert island disc and why would you take this one album?
Talk Talk — Spirit of Eden. I’ve only realised this recently but much of the music I hold dear (Slint, Codeine, Zelienople, Low) either knowingly or unwittingly owes much to this moment in Talk Talk’s history. I rediscovered the album while I was desperately looking for a mastering reference for MAW. After writing, recording and mixing MAW in what seemed like a hermetically sealed bubble, it was hard to step back and teaze-out where all the unconscious influences stem from. I found a sonic ally in Spirit of Eden (and Laughing Stock). In 1988, we didn’t yet experience the so-called ’loudness wars’ in terms of mastering, so the records at this time still had beautiful dynamics. Spirit of Eden really pushes this. I also love the varied and sudden texture and colour changes. The compositions are sprawling — I feel like I could listen to it over and over and every time pick-up on something I haven’t heard before. There’s very little formula here — the songs seem to meander and wander but without getting completely lost. I’d love to spend an indefinite amount of time just listening to this record to try and figure out all its shadowed secrets.