photo courtesy of the artist
the prescient arrival of the future’s here & it’s terrible was hard to ignore. 2016 had already registered as an extraordinarily bleak year, but the ep – the second from dream-pop duo see you at home – came on the cusp of a defeating and volatile summer, one that’s still in full-swing. see you at home confronts that bleakness head-on titularly and attempts to reconcile with it sonically, crafting intimate sketches that pulse slowly, allowing for ample introspection amidst sparse guitar soundscapes. we recently caught up with the duo to talk about their nascent project and longstanding friendship. check out the transcript below.
see you at home is a relatively new project, at least from a consumer’s perspective. could you detail a bit of history behind the band? how long have you two been making music together?
we’ve been playing music for quite a long while now; both of us have known each other since we were four years old, and we’ve been making music together since we were fourteen. we had another band before this, but eventually that broke apart when some of us went to uni and got jobs. see you at home kind of spawned when my (josh’s) uni timetable gave me a day off in the week and i decided to try and make some lo fi songs in a bathroom. it was literally just a guitar and an 808 drum for the beat, and we liked the sound of it so we decided to expand on the idea.
your songs are incredibly intimate and feel effortless in their execution, the byproduct of what must be a very fruitful collaboration. can you speak a bit on your songwriting process, and if you notice any clear benefits to working as a duo?
thank you so much! the effortlessness is a product of layers and layers of obsessive production on my (josh’s) end, haha, and then the cool, calm-headed musical ear of arthur. i would spend hours trying to get certain sounds to come through in the mix properly (to the point of insanity) and then arthur comes in to fix any doubts. that’s definitely the main benefit for me for working in a duo; it’s hard to tell if a song is good or terrible having worked on it for so long, like when you hear a word too much and it doesn’t sound like a real word anymore.
a lot of the collaboration and musicality comes from us knowing each other for basically our whole lives, i think. when we jam out our songs we can usually get into a pretty cool flow quite easily because we share a similar mindset musically. in terms of our songwriting process, i think it’s quite muddled. we’ll usually stitch together thoughts and lyrics we’ve had at various points in our life that have a similar theme to try and create coherent songs from honest, sometimes scattered emotions.
titularly, the tone of your two eps couldn’t be more different. was your collective headspace noticeably different while writing the material for the future’s here & it’s terrible than it was for everything is okay?
definitely. there was a big shift in our collective emotions going through both eps. i guess for the first ep we had just left uni and the world felt free and open and we were, to an extent, positive. the second ep, a few months later, was a shift in tone when we realized the stark reality of real life, haha. that said, a lot of the underlying themes in everything is okay were still quite sorrowful, but i feel like the way we handled those feelings was with a more optimistic outlook than the second ep.
what five songs would constitute the perfect see you at home mixtape?
ooh, that is a tough question. there are so many songs that we’d love to put on the mixtape, haha. i’d say that we’d go for the following eclectic mix, some of which we’ve drawn on for inspiration, and others which have resonated with us at various times in the last couple of years.
• deptford goth – “feel real”
• la dispute – “nine”
• bon iver – “holocene”
• brand new – “jesus christ”
• julien baker – “sprained ankle”
at the rate you’ve been releasing music, a new ep could potentially surface before the year’s end, but that expectation is admittedly presumptuous. are there any concrete plans for more see you at home material at this time?
at the moment we’re trying to sort out our live set, as we’d love to do some gigs, but we absolutely want to put out as much music as possible. while there’s no definitive timeline, we are busy trying to make some skeleton tracks and demos.
both everything is okay and the future’s here & it’s terrible are available to stream and purchase from see you at home’s bandcamp page. both actions are highly recommended; the duo’s compact catalogue serves as a much-needed refuge from life’s unsavory portions. indulge.