Soft Powder

by the partae

Where are you currently based?

I’m currently based in Naarm (Melbourne).

How did you first start playing music?

I learnt the piano when I was really young and picked up the guitar in my teens after watching videos of Led Zeppelin. I also vividly remember my Dad playing Elvis and Roy Orbison covers with his friend; I was always surrounded by music growing up.

What’s been happening recently?

Aside from releasing new music for the first time in over two years, I’ve been celebrating the Lunar New Year with friends and family which has been nice! I’ve also been working on more new music so I think I’ll release it soon.

Your latest single ‘Running Through The Dark’ is out now, what influenced the sound and songwriting?

The song encapsulates the chaotic mood I was in at the time. I had a lot on my mind and I was quite stressed, a lot of which I had internalised. It was at the start of the pandemic when we were in lockdown, and I wanted to write a song which felt like I was escaping the thoughts in my head. As we were stuck at home all the time, I wanted the song to have a “tunnel vision” feeling, and I wanted to feel like I was running through the streets at night. The sound of the song is influenced by abrasive guitar solos of the 80s, like the spacey, “chorusey” sounding ones that Metallica, Van Halen, and The Cure were creating. The sound of the song is also influenced by the repetitive drum machine beats you hear in Kraftwerk songs, and the manic, neon-lit atmosphere in Wong Kar-wai movies.

How did you go about writing Running Through The Dark?

Running Through The Dark was actually written unintentionally. During lockdown, I was bored and decided to do a Vapour Trail (by RIDE) cover, so I was playing around with some synth sounds and drum machine beats. I got sidetracked after finding some sounds I liked and I ended up going with it and writing Running Through The Dark. The Vapour Trail cover never happened.

Please tell us about the recording/production process:

After experimenting with the synth and drum machine sounds, I recorded them onto my computer and created some loops. I would then play the loops repeatedly whilst playing around with my guitar to find something that worked. I would do this with each instrument, layering each one until the loops started to feel cohesive and take the form of a song. I would then bounce some of the audio track loops out to my phone, which I would then play through my mic’d up guitar amplifier. This process makes the audio tracks sound more “present” and “real”. My friend taught me that trick! I then mixed the song myself and sent it off to Will Yip for mastering.

Who are you listening to at the moment?

My two most recently played artists on Spotify are Mazzy Star and Turnstile (their new record is so good).

What do you like to do away from music?

I like to think a lot, and I also like to watch films.

What do you have planned for 2022?

Although it’s difficult making plans at the moment, I want to release more music and hopefully play some shows. I’m also playing live guitar in my friends’ band so that should be fun as well. I also want to collaborate with some friends, something I haven’t really done in years.

Favourite food and place to hangout?

Hmmm my favourite food is probably roti canai. I used to eat it with my parents whenever I went to Malaysia to visit my grandparents. It’s hard to find an authentic roti canai in Melbourne, so my favourite place to hangout would be wherever I can find some.

Running Through The Dark is out now.
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