We enter into BATTS’ debut EP 62 Moons to sounds of Saturn. The record begins with an ending. Hauntingly beautiful we are pulled through the length of ‘We’re Done’ as if by the fingertips. Teased all the way through by Tanya Batt’s beautiful refrain.
For her debut offering she has created a work that feels resolutely sparse yet filled with depth. Lyrically full and in itself entirely realized, it draws influence from all over, most notably folk and dream pop. We caught up with BATTS to chat about what’s behind her and this impressive debut.
If BATTS were a cake, what kind of cake would you be and why?
Mmm.. Maybe a Pavlova, because the base is consistent but then it’s covered in cream and lots of little fruity treats.
What got you into songwriting and can you give me a few of your favourite lyrics of all time?
I’m not really sure at what point I got into it, I always wrote stories and lyrics when I was a kid. I just loved telling or making up stories.
Some of my favourite lyrics are;
“It is not a mean world, it’s beautiful, I’ve seen it.” – Whitley
“Sometimes I feel like I don’t have a partner / Sometimes I feel like my only friend / Is the city I live in, the city of angel / Lonely as I am, together we cry” – Anthony Kiedis
“Put on your red shoes and dance the blues.” – David Bowie
“I used to be certain I’m not longer sure, just what it is I’ve been waiting for.” – Canary
“What’s the good in knowing, where the wind is blowing, when my wings are broken.” – Christopher Coleman
That was hard to try and think of those I’m sure there are literally a million. Lyrics are my favourite thing about a song.
’62 Moons’ is a beautiful record that seems intentionally sparse in all the right places, could you tell me about your writing process and how ’62 Moons’ came into fruition?
Mmm, well I was writing all of these songs at home on my guitar and not doing anything with them as I was making electronic music at that point in time. My partner reminded me of this when I was about to quit music. He just said maybe I wasn’t creating the music I should be, and that I was writing all this stuff at home and doing nothing with it. That was a huge wake up call, and I just took those songs, and crafted them into the exact sound I wanted to be creating with my band, and the EP feels like a perfect insight into my brain and what I want to create. I very much so know what I want a song to sound like when I write it and my band are phenomenal musicians that seem to understand what I want and bring it to life.
Could you tell me a little bit about the title ’62 Moons’?
The title is named after the amount of moons Saturn has. Saturn is my favourite planet and I’ve done a lot of research on it, it just seems so magical to me that it has 62 Moons orbiting the planet. Considering I had already planned to open the EP with the sound of Saturn’s rings it felt only natural to name it after one of my favourite things about Saturn.
What was the recording process like for you?
It was so much fun and completely painless. I wrote all the songs at home and then took them to the rehearsal room with my band and added all the other elements to bring them to life. From there the songs were live tracked within the day (minus ‘For Now’ which was tracked at an earlier date). We set up in Isaac Barter’s home studio and just went through each track about three times max and that was it. Was a lot of fun to just play through the songs with the incredible musicians I get to play with.
Do you have a highlight moment from the EP?
When I got the sample of ‘Saturn’s Rings’ and put it on the intro track ‘We’re Done’ myself and Isaac Barter thought we would have to change the key but when we added it in it was in the exact same key. It was pretty overwhelming and very cool. Also the jam out at the end of ‘Somedays’ is an absolute favourite moment of mine off the EP and just being able to play music with musicians and people I love.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
Andy Shauf, Big Thief, Canary, Sharon Van Etten and always Bowie and Michael Jackson.
What is your dream collaboration?
Sigur Ros, Stevie Nicks or Justin Vernon.
If you were to recommend your listeners one book, what would it be and why?
Stoner – John Williams
I’ve recommended this to a lot of people, some people come back and are angry because the book made them so depressed and others absolutely love it. I revisit this book a lot because I just feel sorry for the lead character and feel every time I read it that I’m there with him and maybe he is less alone.
Photo Credit: Michelle Grace Hunter