Track By Track: Halcyon Drive - Untethered EP
The Melbourne trio give us a BTS look at their second EP.
Melbourne indie-pop trio Halcyon Drive have today unleashed their brand spanking new EP, Untethered - the title track for which we had the fortune of premiering a little while back. In addition to that track there's four other gems, recorded with producer Steve Schram (San Cisco, Eagle & The Worm), and the group have sent us a little track by track detailing the release. So tune in below, and catch the guys on tour over June/July (dates down the bottom):
The genesis of the song surfaced during an impromptu jam, where a 909 clap rhythm was smothered all over the top of an already far from straight beat; the combination unexpectedly sat well. Although the foundations were formulated during jams, the song really took shape during demoing following a great deal of experimentation. This is definitely the most full-bodied sounding Halcyon Drive song to date, integrating multiple electronic elements; from an arpeggiated dirty Wurlitzer to sprinkles of purposefully placed vintage electronic samples for pops of interest.
Untethered was developed under the working title Squelch, a reference to the rather sloppy wet clap sample that can be heard at the beginning of the track. Untethered is particularly heavy on the bass drum rhythms which ensures the forward momentum of the tune. The song is rather unusual for us as the chorus features two key aspects seeking attention; the scattered guitar riff and the vocal melody. We like to think it isn’t a competition between these elements, but rather offering an opportunity for the listener to choose what to focus on.
EVERYWHERE I GO
I remember being on a plane to a gig in Sydney with Mick when he started mumbling this melody, incessantly singing it for the rest of the day; it would go on to form the chorus and aspects of the bridge melodies. The shortest song, but the most challenging during recording to realise the right feel, structure and instrumentation. We got there… eventually…
This was spawned from a melody that Mick brought into rehearsal which would have been criminal to be left on the cutting room floor. Flash would evolve into a sort of quirk-pop track driven by the fat bass in the verses juxtaposed with the prettier choruses. The song features my favourite lyric from Mick on the EP; “I’m sorry that you’re bent.”
BOOKS FOR THE HOLIDAYS
In contrast to Everywhere I Go, this ditty was smooth as silk to record. It features what we dubbed the ‘owl’ vocals; the song is littered with these softly delivered ’oohs’ and ‘aahs’ which complement the principal melodies. The snare roll moments were recorded with a 60’s piccolo snare and a single mic inside the expansive and resonating living space of the Mudbrick house where we were cooped up for nine days. This is the most sensitive track on the EP.