Mon, 03 Nov 2014 08:33:05
SYKES can transfix with just a lyric or a melody. Their Gold Dust EP [iTunes link] is one of the most powerful releases of the year. It immediately enchants with the kind of mystique that made The xx and The Weeknd superstars. You'll fall into it after just one listen and stay there forever…
In this exclusive interview, Julia, Will, and Kristian of SYKES talk Gold Dust and so much more.
Get Gold Dust on iTunes!
What's your take on Gold Dust as a whole? It flows really well from start-to-finish. Did you approach it with one particular vision or vibe in mind?
Julia: We had a very clear vision for the EP when we went into the studio, but two weeks before we were still unsure on a clear direction. Then we wrote the title track “Gold Dust” and everything seemed to fall into place. It gave the whole EP direction with the synths and melodic guitars. It was a bit of a gamble as we had never played the song live before we recorded it but our producer believed in it so much that it set the tone for the whole record.
Is it important for the songs to come to life visually for you? You can see Gold Dust as much as you can hear it.
Will: Completely, we believe that the song is only half of the final package. Nowadays YouTube is such a massive platform for listening to new music that the visual for the track needs to be spot on. We also really enjoy the process of planning and directing the videos ourselves, and thanks to a lot of help from our friends we have been able to create some cool videos so far.
What artists shaped you? Who do you come back to that you began listening to as a kid?
Kristian: My parents have literally just given me their Vinyl collection and I have rediscovered some songs that would have been playing in the background when I was a kid and definitely made me a music lover. I’ve been listening back to Fleetwood Mac, Genesis, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and found songs that I have completely forgotten about.
What's the story behind "Away She Goes"? What does the song mean to you?
Julia: We really fell in love with the lyrics of this song, which we wrote a while back. They are honest, and written about giving advice to a friend in a destructive relationship. We re-worked the music several times before finding a sound we felt the lyrics and melody deserved.
The title track stands out as well. How did that come together, and what is it about?
Kristian: Well we wrote "Gold Dust" less than a month before we went into the studio. It was written about a friendship and whether the listener feels it is a friendship within a relationship or between friends we wanted to keep it quite open. For all of us it meant a variety of different things but the underlying theme is that when you find a good friend you should keep hold of them and never let them drift away. After recording it we knew it was going to be the title track off the EP.
What influences you outside of music?
Julia: We are all heavily influenced by art and design, Will And Kris both studied design at university. I love movies so that would be my biggest influence outside of music. Altogether our passions outside of the band seem to influence what goes on within it.
Kristian: We are pretty sure Julia secretly wants to be a film director because she starts to act like one on music video shoots by demanding coffee and donuts from the rest of us!
Julia: Mmm donuts...
If you were to compare the EP to a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?
Julia: I would compare the EP to some kind of rom-com thriller combo as there are a couple of love songs in there with some grittier darker songs thrown in.
What's next for you?
Will: We are excited to tour the record and play our music in front of as many people as we can. We have also started writing songs for a full-length album so we will be looking to get back in the studio soon to start recording.
Have you heard SYKES?