Indie pop artist Edward R. recently discussed the inspiration behind his track 'Call Me Home', new EP Agrabah and what it was like spending time writing the EP in a small cabin. Read his responses to our questions below:
You released your single 'Call Me Home' recently, what was the inspiration behind the track?
'Call Me Home' came from a jungle of thoughts. Real mixed bag this one. Overlapping concepts and lyrical messages. I was more interested in the music and beats in writing 'Call Me Home', which is strange, because, in retrospect, the lyrics transport me straight back to that point in my life more than the music does now.
I was experimenting with layering melodies and harmonies, specifically; not just having harmonies just support the melody.. but having the layers and layers of vocals be their melody, in their right. From there, it was just a matter of finding words that fit into the phrasing and rhythm of the song. It took a couple of days to flesh out the lyrics, words that weren't meaningless but still had the right pronunciation and infliction.
I had recently read David Byrne's 'How music works' and he touches on this concept. That read really helped solidify my writing techniques. It was nice to know someone of his calibre had been doing the same techniques that I was doing, and years before me, too. Not that I thought I was completely original in this technique, more so, everyone I had written with didn't voice lyrics like this, so, finding out something like that really helped reinforce my confidence.
At this point in time, I was focusing on journeys in songs. Developing the crescendo fast enough, I could fit it into a 3 and half minute pop song, you know. 'Don't bore us - get to the chorus', type thing.
What was your favourite part about recording your new EP Agrabah?
Honestly, I don't think I've never enjoyed being by myself for so long. Solitude was extremely entertaining for me. No one to interrupt my thoughts for hours on end. Having nowhere to be and complete freedom to what ever I wanted, musically. Exploring my own musical conquests and not having to pretend like I was enjoying it. Everything I wrote for Edward R. was never intended to be heard by the public. That was a nice feeling, no pressure.
I heard that you locked yourself in a small cabin on your parent's farm (also called Agrabah), what's the story behind that?
Yeah, Agrabah was aptly named by a good friend of mine when we were 16 or 17. The house became a refuge for me and amongst my friends. I decked it out pretty well. Had my studio, had parties, put on private shows, kick-ons, you name it. Agrabah was the best thing to happen to the Sunshine Coast in my eyes. I lived there for 12 years or something. My parents built the main house soon after purchasing the property but left Agrabah in tact - the initial plan was to rent it out to travellers and what not...but, I had other plans for it.
Agrabah was home to 6 or 7 bands that I played in and was associated with. Upon returning from London though, It became my own personal beat lab, where, as you know, I wrote bulk tunage, not just for Edward R. but for some other projects I'll be experimenting with soon enough.
Who did you work with when you were making the EP?
Occasionally friends would pop by and put in their two cents, which, for the most part, I took with a grain of salt. We had Matt Voigt mix it and Steve Fallone at Sterling Sound master it. Apart from that, I recorded, produced and wrote all of it myself.
You have some shows coming up on the East Coast, what's the best thing about performing live?
When recording the songs, they can be pretty sterile sometimes, so, taking them into the rehearsal space and bringing them to life is pretty rad., that and snake hips, that's a deal sealer for me.
What's been your favourite show ever to date?
Of shows that we've played, the Temper Trap tour, specifically - playing the forum, was a damn highlight of mine. A sold out crowd is always going to tickle your bag.