Perth’s Fait is known for building climactic, atmospheric instrumentals. Elise Higgins is her name, and she spends her production time solo while enlisting the help of three instrumentalists to create a charged live performance.
She’s just released her Sonder EP, a dreamy shoegaze wonderland in which each track is brimming with clearly defined feeling. Eager to learn just how the record came together, we asked Higgins to give us a track-by-track rundown.
Any instrumental-only release demands top-notch musical character, and the Sonder EP brings just that. Find out exactly how Fait pieced it together.
I wrote Solace with the intention of creating a sonic storm. The song is built around a drone and a hypnotic, chiming guitar… it sounds like that eerie calm you feel before a storm rolls in. The addition of cellos, wailing Ebows and marching drums gradually turn the track into something far more ominous & unsettling.
I’m prone to discarding songs I’ve been working on if I don’t feel an emotional connection to them. Sonically they may be good, but if it doesn’t evoke something in me, they’ll be culled. I’m a bit ruthless like that.
Luckily Chasing Youth is brimming with emotion. It’s a big warm fuzzy hug. Matsu, who directed the video clip, immediately picked up on that vibe and translated the song beautifully to screen.
This came about after I was suffering from writers block…I was tired of constructing songs around guitar and piano melodies and felt the need to do something different. I contacted a local electronic producer, Liminal Drifter, whose work I really admire, and asked if he’d be willing to teach me a bit about production.
It was a really interesting experience as our methods of writing are completely different…mine more haphazard and organic, his more formulaic and technology based. He set me a task to write a song based purely on loops and samples, which I had never done before, and from that Reverie was born.
I’m really proud of it, it’s a distinct & uplifting change from my other work, and experiments with harps, glass bowls, vocal samples and breakbeats.
A challenging song to write. At one point I scrapped it from the EP, citing it as too ‘bandy’. There was just something not quite right with it, it didn’t know what it wanted to be. After some time apart, I pulled it back out again, and came up with a new intro of soaring synth strings and cellos. This changed the whole dynamic of the song, and from there, things started to fall into place.