Interview: Meet Soft Streak, your new fave dreamy duo from LA

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Photo - Kristy Smolcic 

It's no secret that we're huge fans of LA-based experimental electronic duo Soft Streak. Our first taste of their sound was with ‘Orogeny’, and we were instantly in awe of what they could do. We met up with Tori and Colton last week to talk about being in LA, new music and the challenges they face.

Are you both originally from LA?

Tori: No
Colton: Neither of us are. I’m from the Bay Area in Northern California and Tori is from Connecticut.
Tori: Yeah, I’m from Connecticut on the East Coast.

How did you both meet?

Tori: We met in our sophomore year of college.
Colton: In 2012.
Tori: So it’s been a while (laughs). We didn’t start making music together right away, but I guess being friends helped before making music.

And how has moving to LA influenced the way you approach music and your sound?

Tori: It has influenced us a lot. I guess we both had different music tastes when we met and part of us becoming friends was sharing music together and sort of figuring out what we liked.
Colton: We really grew up as musicians in LA so it has really influenced us as there’s tonnes of music around and friends who do film and art and that type of stuff.
Tori: Yeah, I think we definitely found our sound together. When we first started making music together, it sounded very different then what it is now. I think just the city has a lot to offer in terms of creativity.
Colton: And a lot of different genres too.
Tori: And music that you can see all the time and every night. So that has been great.

Photo - Kristy Smolcic

Recently you shared your EP Late Bloomer, how long did it take to put that together?

Colton: It was probably over the span of over a year. We were kind of just compiling different songs together.
Tori: We had a different iteration of this project before and we figured out that it didn’t sound like us, so we took some time to figure out what we sounded like and where we wanted to go, but yeah, I would say it took around a year.

I found as I was listening to the EP that it was tightly curated and the flow between tracks was incredible. 

Tori: Thanks.

How much consideration do you put it into the sequence of the tracks and how it flows as a whole?

Tori: I didn’t go into the process thinking about a theme that I wanted to write about necessarily, but it happened organically. I was thinking about things in my life that came out into the music. In terms of flow, we think about that a lot. Just like listening to other people’s projects in order and wanting it to be a cohesive piece of work, I think that’s important to us.

Did you encounter any challenges when putting it together?

Tori: I think because we had the other iteration of the project, which was under another name, we really just wanted to take our time with it and to make sure that what we were putting out was going to be the best representation of us. I think that can be very hard if you’re close to the project and you’re listening to it a lot and then decide what to change.
Colton: Like Tori was saying, we took our time on the project because we were trying to figure out what sound we wanted to do. So even though it was a year, we weren’t literally working on the songs for the entire year. We would do a song, sit on it and think about it and see if it was what we wanted to sound like.
Tori: There was literally a lot of discards.
Colton: (Laughs) Tonnes of discards. We probably did over 30 songs, and then only picked a few.

Photo - Kristy Smolcic

And some of the songs that were discarded, will you ever release them or will you keep them locked away? 

Tori: That's a good question (laughs), I don't know.
Colton: Yeah, some of those will never see the light of day (laughs). Sometimes we'll go back through them. It's happened a few times where we've started something, threw it away and then found it again and reworked it.
Tori: Or have even taken a section of it and added it to something else.
Colton: I think even with ‘Orogeny’, we almost threw that song out.
Tori: We couldn’t figure out what direction it was going to take.
Colton: It wasn’t really working and then we then revisited it and then I added a few things into the production.

I’m so glad you ended up not cutting it!! (laughs) I love that one so much. Have you thought about your next release?

Tori: We have a music video coming out in April. It’s for a new song, we’re going to play it this week. We’re super excited, it’s already been shot, it’s being colored now.
Colton: It’s going to be our first visual, so we’re very excited about it.
Tori: We have some other songs recorded or rough demos, and then we will probably follow up with a single. But I’m leaning towards putting out a bigger project after this.
Colton: I think we’re going to do singles until we gain a little more traction. I feel like with Late Bloomer, it seemed harder for us get more press for a whole project rather than singles.
Tori: In terms of Spotify and streaming services, I think the nature of having playlists instead of other ways of discovering music people gravitate towards singles and putting them on a playlist is easy and you get to hear a bunch of different things. But I’m more interested in an album.
Colton: Artistically, we really want to do it.
Tori: Yeah, a more cohesive album.

So, as soon as SXSW wraps up, are you going to go back and work on new music?

Tori: On the way back, we’re going to playing in El Paso and then we have a show in LA, we’ll have to stay awake for it (laughs).
Colton: And we have a few shows being booked in LA after that.
Tori: We sort of took a break when we were making the EP and wrapping that up, we didn’t play shows in a while, so I can’t wait to play a bunch of shows in LA.
Colton: We’re going to try play as many shows as possible.
Tori: But hopefully play shows and work on the music at the same time.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)
Photos by Kristy Smolcic (Folio)

You can listen to Late Bloomer by Soft Streak below: