Ireland’s Silences conquer the senses with pristine focus, their hypnotic folktronica remains both hushed and serene, melodic and irresistibly enchanting. The band are on the cusp of releasing a new work – the ‘Luna’ EP – their most mature and realised effort to date.
We were offered a few minutes with Silences, ahead of the release of their new EP ‘Luna’. So, of course we had to ask all about their recent trip to SXSW and what went into producing the new release, plus we get an inside scoop into their writing process.
‘There’s A Wolf’ was the first single to be lifted off your new EP ‘Luna’, how does this song fit alongside the rest of the tracks that feature on the release?
“I think it has elements of all the other songs. The quiet thoughtful moments of ‘Carve’, the electronic sounds in ‘Breathless’ and the shifting dynamics of ‘Failing To Learn’.”
How long did it take to record the EP?
“We recorded it in four days at Attica Audio in Donegal. We did a few overdubs in Big Space Studios afterwards but nothing too major.”
Can you tell us a bit about what went into the recording of the EP – who produced the EP, any favourite moments, maybe there are some surprising sounds that appear on the tracks?
“The five of us were quite confident going into the studio as we felt the songs were all but there. We stayed in a little cottage about half a mile from Attica and that was nice. In the past I usually just stayed with the producer and the guys would come in, do their parts and then leave. This time it felt more inclusive as we were all there for the entire time.
The EP was produced by Tommy McLaughlin and Declan Legge. Declan has produced all our music but for this recording we wanted an additional input. I worked with Tommy in the past and I’ve always been a massive fan of his music and production. ‘Villagers’ are one of my favourite acts so to have his input was really cool.
I think our favourite moment of the EP was finishing the track ‘Breathless’. It’s our favourite song and hearing it back for the first time was a nice moment.”
How do you draw your inspiration when writing the songs? Do you take from daily life and hide meaning in metaphors of the things you see and experience, or is it more taken from your subconscious and literary influences?
“It really depends, it can come from all of those places. I don’t think I intentionally try to wrap a meaning in metaphor. If I can say it and not think it’s tired, I’ll say it. If it feels weird then I’ll try to present it in a different way.”
Your music and visuals seem to be intrinsically linked to childlike wonder, the natural world and human nature. As a listener, I was drawn to the vivid imagery you conjure with your words, why do you think you are drawn to writing in this way?
“I appreciate that, though again it’s not a conscious thing. I like imagining stories and if I can tie an interesting image alongside a relevant message then I’m happy.”
You recently headed to SXSW to play a couple of solo shows, how were the reactions from the crowds in Austin? Were these your first shows in the US?
“The reactions were really positive. I received the offer to play last minute so I was chuffed to go out and get a feel for the place. I’d be keen to go out with the guys down the line. It wasn’t my first show out there, however, I did a couple in LA last year for the UK sync mission. That was pretty fun too!”
Do you get the chance to play solo often these days? Is it easy to get back into the flow of performing on-stage on your own?
“I made a conscious decision after SXSW that I would slow down on the solo shows. I do enjoy them but I’d be lying if I said I enjoyed them as much as the full band ones. Maybe I’ll go back that way in the future but for now I’m looking forward to getting back up there with my friends.”
What is the best thing about performing?
“I asked myself that recently. And I came to the conclusion that when I’m performing or writing or recording I forget everything else. That’s why I love it so much.”
Ireland has cultivated many great artists and bands upon its shores, what does it mean to be a musician in Ireland these days?
“It probably doesn’t mean a lot because there’s so many of us! Only joking, there are loads of great acts here and it’s just nice to be recognised as a part of that.”
Where will we find Silences in the next few months – what’s on the agenda? What’s happening?
“We’ll be realising ‘Luna’ then we’ll be doing our first Irish and UK headline tour. We’ll be coming through Belfast, Galway, Bristol, Glasgow, Manchester and London. After that we’ll be looking forward to some festivals.”
Silences’ new EP ‘Luna’ will be released on 15th April, via Decisive. Details and tickets for Silences’ April tour can be found at Silencesmusic.com.