Their sounds are atmospheric, ethereal, and pretty damn addictive. So before they drop their self-titled EP tomorrow, we caught up with the band for a run-down of each new track.
Ahead of its official release tomorrow, we caught up with Sydney four-piece Slow Culture for a track-by-track run-down of their incredible new self-titled EP.
We started writing Idle Motion in a hostel in Budapest in 2016. Jack had these chords he’d been playing around with for a while, but hadn’t figured out what to do with them.
The hostel ran music nights where travellers could get up and play, so while we were running through a few covers he played the chords and we started to jam with it. We recorded about 30 seconds of it on his phone, before we got back to rehearsing.
Our little talent show set was a complete disaster, but we got a song out of it at least. When we got back to Sydney, Ben remembered the phone recording and we started working on it properly. We fleshed it out a bit and laid down a rough demo in the studio.
The lyrics are about feeling stagnant, and watching the world move around you so we made the vocals as simple as possible, sticking to the same melodies while the song moves around it to add to that sense of familiarity and routine.
Pig is the first song we wrote for this EP. At the time, we were trying to establish how we could incorporate all our influences and build our own sound. There were so many different versions of the song that we wrote, but it never quite fit together.
Like most of this EP, the track came together in the studio. We put down several takes, none of them worked. Our producer, Richard, kept telling us that we needed to focus on the melodies, so we went away and re-built the song around the vocals.
We were all living at Lee’s house at the time. Ben had been messing around with sampling for a few years and one night announced that he’d be upstairs, working on the track. We all crammed into the room upstairs while he put in the piano parts that you hear going into the second verse.
It was an experiment in how we could blend genres together, constantly narrowing it down to its final version.
A Wheelbarrow (Come This Way)
This one came together quickly. From memory, it was the last thing we wrote for the EP. Living at Lee’s, we established a routine of writing. Ben had broken his kick drum and our evening writing session was looking like it might not happen.
We found a small bin, and made a make shift kick, balancing it against a couch. He started playing around and Jack put the chords over it. We thought it would make a good warmup jam. A day or two later we played it as a full band and everyone agreed there was some potential there.
Jack wrapped some chords around Lee’s guitar line that you hear at the end of the song and we all decided that we should keep it short and instrumental. It was probably the most fun to record.
Once we had the basic skeleton of the track down, Ben and Payton locked themselves in a room with a Moog and Ableton and dived headfirst into the synths and samples, layering the track with their own influences. We usually open our shows with it, so we’re stoked that people might know it now.
We’d all just come back from overseas and were all feeling a little lost when we wrote Drawn. Jack had sent a phone recording to Ben, which was then worked on one afternoon at Payton’s house.
Over the course of a year we kept coming back to it and adding new parts, playing old parts differently and generally revising it. Heading into the studio, we thought it would be a nightmare to record.
Surprisingly, it came together easily. After we got the masters back from the EP we continued to play around with it. As a band, we’re really prone to revising and rewriting things. We seem to have accepted that the other tracks are how they are, but for some reason we can’t leave Drawn alone.
We don’t play it how it is on record at our shows and we have about 4 different versions of it. It’s sort of a homage to people who are in your life for a very short period of time, but are such a big part of your memories associated with it.
Catch Slow Culture at the EP launch on Friday October 5th at The Chippo Hotel. More info here.