Track x Track: CLYPSO - 'LIGHTS OUT' EP

Track x Track: CLYPSO - 'LIGHTS OUT' EP

Sydney musician takes us through her kaleidoscopic new EP of varied dance influenced vibes

Image credit: Michelle Pitiris/@sheisaphrodite

We’ve been huge fans of CLYPSO here at Pilerats for a minute now, first getting to know her back in 2017. Fast forward seven years and CLYPSO has been busy in the lab developing her skills as a producer, musician and vocalist, releasing her debut EP Cameo in 2019, followed by a steady stream of singles ever since. The latest stream of singles have culminated in her sophomore EP and most complete release to date in the form of the seven track collection, LIGHTS OUT.

Quite a literal title, LIGHTS OUT was inspired by CLYPSO having a syncope episode (passing out) that led her to hit the pavement on Sydney’s iconic Oxford street, hitting her head, smashing her teeth and splitting her lip. Upon regaining consciousness, memories returned in splintered, fragmented form with scrambled imagery and flashbacks feeling like the present.

This fragmented theme spills over to the EPs diverse-yet-cohesive production. The EP can be broadly described as “dance pop”, but this doesn’t do justice to the variety of sounds and influences CLYPSO channels, ranging from club focused dancefloor cuts, synthpop, electro, disco, dancehall and more, with some iconic dance music sounds featured throughout.

LIGHTS OUT is the latest achievement in a nearly decade long music career for CLYPSO that’s so far seen her work with the likes of  The Avalanches, Jamie XX, Neneh Cherry, The Magician, Kwame and more. On the live front, she’s supported some big names including Channel Tres, Groove Armada, POND and PNAU, while taking to festival stages like Listen Out, Meredith Festival, Spilt Milk, Festival Of The Sun, and Lost Paradise.

To celebrate the release of LIGHTS OUT, CLYPSO was kind enough to take us through the record, track by track:

My new EP explores the surreal state between losing consciousness and revival. Following a syncope episode on a rainy night in the middle of Oxford St in Sydney, she lost consciousness, fell, whacked her head, smashed her teeth and split her lip. A scattered memory of images, flashbacks and revelations before coming to as well as her experience while recovering inspired the songs in this EP.

INTROspect:

This intro track was the last to be written.The inspiration of this track came while travelling in Japan, while still recovering from the accident. It is particularly inspired by the art of Kintsugi, where broken fragments of pottery are put together again leaving visible gold seams. In the track the repeated vocal line “It gets worse before it gets better” with the cinematic strings acts as a mantra that sets the tone of the EP. Breaking, deconstruction, healing and coming out stronger with the golden cracks in plain sight.

I’VE SEEN THE LIGHT:

This song not only is a literal meaning of regaining consciousness but also signifies the light at the end of the tunnel. It follows a 2 year hiatus from releasing music and the ending of long standing personal and professional relationships. This song stylistically and thematically is the song that ties both CLYPSO eras together.

Some of my favourite lyrics in the EP are within this track , “Leave it all behind, new skin, new tomorrow”, “ Colours of the sun, they won’t wash it off this time”. It’s a thumping celebration of new beginnings accompanied by the affirming lyrics in the chorus coupled with heady, raucous hint of 90s club dance vibes.

HOLLER:

The first single from this EP comes out with a punch from the very first second, with the vocal tag “Slide the weak away”. An original sample, it’s my voice pitched down from a phone memo. Holler is a song about silencing the noise within the mind as well as the critics and naysayers who always have something to say; the biggest critic being your own mind. The full length video that accompanies the song is a visual representation of the surreal fragments experienced while unconcious; the golden moon, the fishbowl, the shadows, the old phone; the flickering, the chopping and changing. It’s a world where things don’t necessarily make sense but also do.

POLAROIDS:

While out cold on the pavement, I recall having a vivid childhood flashback before coming to. “It felt like I was gliding by on a bicycle through the neighbourhood I grew up in”. That is where the feel and bounce of the track comes from as well as the line “Just memories of a girl that lived next door”. This dreamscape invoked a sense of questioning fading and layered memories, randomness of our experiences and the legacies that we leave behind. This song has a mountain of intricate vocal layers and so many hidden harmonies that she hopes the listener finds juicy to unpack.

FAST:

This interlude track is a catch-me-if-you-can tease of a track. It is about self-belief, running in your own lane, being ahead of the pack and creating distance from situations that rightfully need it.

ON AND OFF:

This sexy club number is the most stripped back track of the EP. Made up purely from the synth riff while playing around with her Kurzweil synth, bass and beat, it’s one built for voguers. It’s a song of contrary emotions, push and pull, with the verses designed to be quite disorientating and intoxicating all at once.

YOUR PART OF MY STORY IS OVER:

This song is more than about a person or situation, it is an inward-looking break-up with yourself. It is about letting go of things and thoughts that are holding you back, celebrating the goodbye and knowing every season has a reason.

The last track on this genreless EP sums up the diverse CLYPSO world of music making. The track is a quirky mesh of bossa nova, tabla beats tucked into the main beat, gospel organ riffs, a horn section, a spoken semi-sung two-part bridge, double time insect like hi hats and barbershop quartet-like harmonies all in 2 mins 54 seconds.

          - CLYPSO, May 2024

CLYPSO's new EP LIGHTS OUT is out now via Astral People Recordings

CLYPSO LIGHTS OUT EP Packshot

Follow CLYPSO: Instagram / Facebook

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