Jade Hopley from our GC Live team recently had a chat with Spectoral about his Latest EP Release ‘An Incorruptible Dream’. As well as what influences his incredibly relatable songwriting and unique production style. Read more to find out what you can expect from a live show when he tours near you this coming summer…
JH: An incorruptible dream is your sophomore release, and you have managed to band together a plethora of industry heavyweights to work with you on the release. What was it like working with this team?
Spectoral: Actually really inspiring. I learned heaps working with these people who have been in the industry a lot longer than I have. The Tim’s from Hercules studio they were fantastic to work with and really taught me how to I guess understand what’s best for a song so we made slight little changes here in there that I just never would have seen coming to both the sound and very slightly the lyrics. So that was really good.
I also loved working with Robin waters from the boat table he’s a songwriter and producer and pretty much all hands on everything and yeah he’s taught me heaps about the act of songwriting and how to go about constructing an arrangement, and I guess song structure, that works really well. I think I just wouldn’t be the musician I am today without their insights and what I’ve learned.
JH: Before you worked on this release where you mostly just producing stuff at home on your own?
Spectoral: Yeah exactly so this EP has been and I guess last year as well, I’ve really started to branch out and collaborate a lot more and it’s something I really enjoy so yeah I want to do that even more in 2019 as well but, yeah before this I was really just, I guess like all solo acts start out nowadays just a lone gunmen in their bedroom studio. Trying to make some songs.
JH: You seem to have mastered the art of song writing, with an EP full of beautifully relatable tales, how did you get into song writing?
Spectoral: Well thank you for saying that about my music. I got into songwriting I guess because my parents bought me an organ when I was really little and that kind of became keyboards and pianos and the yeah I was interested in tinkering will the pedals and switches and knobs on the organ and making up my own songs so I guess became, I was just naturally curious and but yeah also my parents listening to a lot of really great music from as early as I can remember they listens to alternative kind of stuff. A lot of, you know, 80s and 90s electronic as well as pop. Yeah, I think it’s just really influenced me having a keen interest in music.
JH: Do you have any rituals to get you into the songwriting zone?
Spectoral: Yeah, definitely. I like to go for walks, long walks, with nothing playing in my ears while I’m writing lyrics, because for me I need to kind of get into this headspace and really sit with a song for a while and try to get the exact right words that I want lyrically, but I always do that after I have established a beat. So I’ll spend a few nights in the studio and just work on a beat and I’ll get most of the instrumentation down before, I’ve written Majority of the lyrics. But I guess I won’t even do that unless I’ve got an idea in my head. So I’m not one of those producers who kind of experiments and ends up with a random song that they never saw coming. I’ve always got a vision for a song from the very beginning. So plucking an idea out of like a memory bank is really where it all starts. And I tend to Dictaphone a lot of my ideas into my phone just at really random times, like in the car or wherever I am, walking down the street even and then I’ll just play them back later, and Oh, yes, it’s time to make that song. So yeah, that’s, I guess how it all starts.
JH: The first single from the EP is Moving On. Which is a story of unrequited love, however it’s not your story, it was inspired by a friends experience. What was your friend’s reaction when they heard the song for the first time?
Spectoral: I said to her I’ve written this thing about you but I’m not going to play it to until it’s fully mastered and everything so that you can hear it as I intended it to sound. So she knew it was coming for a few months beforehand and you know to the subject matter was about I think anonymize it enough that it’s not a big deal but she was really touched that you know she became one of my muses. Most so my songs are about me but yeah occasionally verses or maybe in entire songs like in this case will be about getting into headspace of one of my friends or family members or someone just close to me.
JH: So you get a lot of your inspiration just from observing and watching the world around you?
Spectoral: Yeah just interpersonal relationships is a huge thing because I mean my life has some facets of drama and great writing opportunities, but not everything so yeah I do find you know, just that personal connection with other people tends to come out.
JH: I think it really comes out in the music as well, like in the in the lyrics, as I mentioned before, a lot of a lot of the songs are tales that are quite relatable. Alot of us have been through that you know that unrequited love and seeking approval, and you can really hear that come out. When I was listening to the EP I was like oh I can I can relate to that and then the next song and come on I’m like I can relate to that one as well so it’s really easy to and like a lot of the time, you put music on and you just kind of hearing it and listening to it and it doesn’t really draw you into the story but I found that quite a few of the tracks on your EP really did.
Spectoral: Thanks so much I think it’s definitely hard to make a song that’s really personal to me and also generic enough to apply to everyone else want to make like to general a pop song, but yeah these themes are you know, they’re about love and loss in fact that you The EP being called on incorruptible dream. It’s all about different dreams that people have. Maybe that’s ending up with somebody or achieving a certain career goal, or just yearning for a feeling that you once had. Yeah and the dreams never go away but they definitely have an effect on the dreamer I guess like every single track on a six EP explores that in one way or another.
JH: There’s no doubt that you’ve got a really unique experimental style your fusing together textured low fi hip hop, electronic pop and you’ve got such sultry soulful vocals, We’ve kind of talked about where you get your inspiration from lyrically, But what/who inspires your sound?
Spectoral: I absolutely love Sampha. He’s been a huge inspiration. Also Frank Ocean. He’s got a more minimal production style. But I think that he, he does these beautiful switch ups and he’s music and I’m trying to just study that a lot more. I also love electronic and IDM music. I come from a background of listening to really weird stuff like Apex twin and other down tempo acts like Boards of Canada. So I really love instrumental textured music. And while I don’t want to take it down that road completely, I definitely want to bleed in some sounds that maybe are not typical of that sort of indie pop, indie r&b genre, just yet. So yeah, I’d say the textures and field recordings and things that people like Boards of Canada put into a lot of their music. I love Royksop as well. From Australia I’m really liking, more modern sounds like Safia and Hayden James. I definitely listen to a lot of music and I’ll get ideas from everywhere. But yeah, probably Boards and Canada and Sampha, are my two biggest at the moment.
JH: You have already garnered quite a lot of respect in the industry mostly due to your to your live shows. I am wondering what you love most about performing live. And, what can someone expect from us Spectoral show?
Spectoral: There’s nothing better than getting a show and then having a whole bunch of people come up to you and tell you how wrapped they were with it. I just love looking out while I’m performing and seeing people singing along or, you know, just grooving along to a song. It’s amazing when you know that fans are so into it, that they know all the words. I do tend to do very intimate shows at the moment. I’m doing smaller venues. But you know, I try to really just take over the venue with the mood and I’ll do a very vocal and engaged performance with the crowd. So I guess that’s what you can expect. We’re also throwing more visuals into it now. We did a show at Horse Bazaar in Melbourne, in that they have a rear projection screens that was really really fun, just adds another dynamic to everything.
JH: So now that An incorruptible dream is released what are your plans? Are you going to be doing shows locally or Australia wide?
Spectoral: I’ll be doing some dates. I’m going to announce them on social media soon. Just a handful, we are not going to do too many, but definitely throughout the summer there will be some shows here and there. And I’m already deep into writing a follow up EP. So I’ve started alot of collaborations with different acts and artists and with the next follow up to this is going to be filled with guests so I’m really excited about that.
Check out an incorruptible dream at all the usual outlets and keep up to date with him on the socials.