Sunrise. Sunset. The last light may have fallen on Naminé, the successful recording project of Darcy Baylis, but we all know tomorrow is another day. Over the horizon and above the clouds, Darcy has emerged with new songs and renewed focus. And for an artist who'd already toured nationally with a debut album before finishing high school, we're excited to see where he's headed next. THUMP has first listen of the single, to be released on new Melbourne label Downtime. "How Can I Live" is a clever blend of subtly distorted dance and euphoric pop, with traces of his RnB past. It's a confident announcement of a fresh chapter for this Melbourne producer.
THUMP: What's been keeping you occupied, creatively and otherwise, since the release of your debut album Celestial Love last year?
Darcy Baylis: I've been pretty busy with school. I'm in my second year of a composition course at the Victorian College of the Arts, and I'm pretty much putting most of my energy and concentration into it. I think it's led me to become more obsessed in how music is made than making it myself, which is probably why this is a 2 track EP and not a full-length or whatever. I definitely have a lot more music to come, though - I've just been getting less lazy with the writing process.
What were some of the reasons that prompted the shift from recording as Naminé to recording under your own name? Are you encouraging audiences to relate to your art in a new way, and does this signify a philosophical shift in your approach to making music?
Naminé was just a stupid name I had left over from a post-hardcore band I named in 2008. I kept it just because I found it aesthetically pleasing but I've grown really detached to it and its meaning over time - it kind of embarrasses me now to be honest. With that being said, I definitely think that releasing this EP under my own name makes more sense than a moniker. Lyrics about heartbreak, anxiety and depression are definitely more common in singer-songwriter types than say, House and Techno producers.
Modern classical composer Steve Reich and Detroit techno artist Omar S are cited as influences for the new songs, the day and night, in some ways, of your current listening habits. What have they given you?
I think Omar S was one of those artists who helped initiate me into the world of club music specifically. He inspired me to keep searching for new ways to experiment with what is still a relatively young style of music, in the way that people like Holly Herndon, Laurel Halo and Sellar OM Source have been doing more recently.
I think in regards to Steve Reich and all the other great post-modernists (Philip Glass, John Adams, Arvo Pärt etc.), it's their methods and views that really excite me. Aside from all the obvious influence Minimalism has had on contemporary electronic music, the way in which Reich pulls from Gamelan music, African Percussion music and traditional Rock music in the space of one career really demonstrates the all-encompassing approach to music creation that I strive so hard to achieve. Essentially, I'm trying to find inspiration in everything.
There's an intriguing duality in the music of your new EP, a sense of apprehension, but a euphoric quality to the music and lyrics - can you describe how these tracks might represent your current interests as a songwriter and as a producer?
It's really nice that you use the word "duality", because that was definitely a conscious decision on my part. I'm trying to juxtapose this euphoric, sexually charged pulse music with intangible, invisible concepts like paranoia, anxiety, depression and delusion. Like I said before, I'm really trying to find inspiration in everything. Specifically with this EP I was listening to a lot of Black Metal, Wagner and Baths. It's all pretty grim stuff, so I definitely hope that the EP could represent introspective and sensitive music for people who don't usually listen to introspective and sensitive music. Or Emo House, as it were.
Is there anything else we should know about these songs that you'd like to share?
Enjoy them! They took me a long time to finish, and while the lyrics may seem pretty dire, I'm just really happy with the way they turned out and can't wait to share them with people.