Exclusive: Stream RKDA's compelling debut EP, CS
With nods to post-punk, industrial and lo-fi electronica.
Melbourne electronic trio RKDA (pronounced Arcadia) are a group to watch. Having released latest single Quartz earlier this year, today we're stoked to premiere the EP from which it comes, CS, and it's an eclectic four-tracker that winds in and out of post-punk, lo-fi, organic electronica and left-field pop with ease. At times lush and atmospheric, at others hauntingly sparse, it's some of the most intriguing yet accessible music we've had the fortune of coming across in recent times. Please enjoy CS below, along with a few questions we sent RKDA to get to know them a little better:
Tell us about about yourselves?
Well, we live in Melbourne. We each come from different musical backgrounds, which definitely influences our songs and I think it’s pretty evident throughout the EP.
Only Guy has really been in a band previously. Both Ana and myself (Laura) were in a band (different bands) in high-school but that never went anywhere. We use to hang out at similar gigs and ended up becoming pals. When RKDA first started it was just myself (which only lasted a couple of months). Guy was teaching me how to DJ and co-produced the first song META, which Ana created the video for. Between a few late nights, lots of pizza and wine we started bonding a fair bit and they became more than co-producers – we made it official with Spaces. It all just came together effortlessly, which is really nice. We’re like a little family now.
What kinda tunes we talkin’?
Well the EP CS is an ode to my ‘90s synth in a way, which is a Yamaha CS6x. A lot of the songs have layers and layers of sounds from it so we thought it’d be nice to name it after the synth. We had a list of other names but it was the one that felt right.
We’ve acquired a bit more gear over the past couple of months and have had fun incorporating it all into the new tracks. There’s definitely a wide range on the EP from a bit of a post-punk vibe with Quartz, slow-dark jam with Frontline, pop-ish tune with Lenanshee and a rave track – Coffee. We actually started working on Coffee prior to Spaces – our last single. We sampled a coffee pod machine one late night when we were working on META and Guy chopped it up into a beat. It went through a fair few evolutions and we nearly gave up on it but I fought to keep it in and I’m really glad we did.
We’re fairly new at working and writing together and we all have a different approaches. For this EP we each started off by working on a track ourselves – whether it was just an idea or a full song structure. We wrote a track a week for a couple of weeks and then put them all on the table and culled the list down to our favourites and started working on them. Once we narrowed it down we’d each work on the other person’s tune by ourselves as well as together. We definitely work better bouncing off of each other.
Because Ana and I were both away for about three months in different countries to each other and Guy was still in Australia during the time we wrote CS a lot of it was done via email and skype. I came back from overseas with my phone full of voice memos.
Each time we work on a song we get better at knowing each other’s strengths and weakness as well as workflow.
What does everyone do outside of RKDA?
Guy is an audio engineer. If you go to a gig in Melbourne you’ve probably seen him behind the sound desk. He’s the one always in a nice suit ;-). Ana is an architectural photographer. The lucky duck gets paid to be flown in a plane and take pictures of buildings. She also shoots bands every now and then. I used to run Semplesize in my spare time but stepped back to concentrate on the band. Ana and I actually met through the blog. She used to be one of the photographers for it. Besides that I’m also studying my Masters at uni among other things.
Any shows coming up?
Yep!!! Our manager Riot Expert is launching their label Riot Expert Records, which will also be our EP launch. We’ll be playing at Shebeen with fellow Riot Expert artist Aeora (among others) on the 28th of May (event HERE). We’re also hoping to make it to Sydney and Brisbane.
Our latest release is our debut EP CS. The first track off of it was Quartz, which came out about a month ago. We’ll also have a video clip out soon for one of the other songs, but I don’t want to give too much away.
What’s the rest of the year have in store?
Well currently for our live setup we’re adding a drum kit and changing it around at the moment so that’s in the immediate future. After that we’re just hoping to write and write and write and write so we can release more tunes. Everything is still very new for us so it’s hard to predict the future right now.
Where can we hear more of your music?