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“‘Enfold You’ began as an attempt to write a pop song from somebody who doesn’t necessarily appreciate a lot of pop music.”
Dublin musician and vocalist Wastefellow has been on our radar for a long time, blending seamlessly the world’s of electronica, bass, pop, R&B and grime into something truly unique. He’s just released his latest video which he says was initially an attempt to create a pop song.
“As these pop ideals filtered through my own experiences and workflow, they began to distort and change until the final product was something different, like an imagined pop music. While this was happening, it occurred to me that the romantic idea of love represented in so much pop-music and culture is something that (leave out similarly) we often try to emulate.
“This ‘ideal love’, which is imagined and very much unreal, distorts in the moment two people attempt to re-create it, and results in some- thing entirely changed, entirely personal and entirely real. ‘Enfold You’ is an imagined pop song, written as an ode to imagined love.”
We caught up with him to discuss some of the artists, videos and tracks that have been influencing him recently.
Tropic of Cancer – ‘Panda Bear’
“This one takes a bit of context, but it’s probably the song which has had the most direct influence on this release. Both of the new tracks that I’m putting out, ‘Awakenme’ and ‘Enfold You’, started out from the same two bar sample of an orchestral(ish) tune called ‘You Gave Me Oh Lord’, by Bitboul, Costa & Yared.
“Both songs have gone through a lot of different versions to become what they are now, and the sample has been progressively chopped up and obscured with each new version (it’s basically not a part of ‘Enfold You’ at this stage), but when these tracks started out, it was pretty much their backbone.
“Originally, ‘Awakenme’ was supposed to be a very sparse tune, basically just me singing over this short sample on a loop. I used to open a lot of gigs with that version of it, but I could never really get it to sit right in the studio. Panda Bear’s ‘Tropic of Cancer’ is (big surprise) essentially just him singing over a tiny harp loop from a Tchaicovsky piece. I remember hearing that record and being really blown away by how he had written this gorgeous, six minute plus tune out of a four second sample. So a few months later, I came across the opening of ‘You Gave Me Oh Lord’, and immediately thought of ‘Tropic of Cancer’. I thought trying to write something similarly sparse and simple based around this sample might be a fun challenge. Although the tracks I ended up finishing (over a year later) became something totally different, I wouldn’t have started them without ‘Tropic of Cancer’, so yeah, definitely a big big influence.”
Tim Buckley – ‘Song to the Siren’
“Anyone familiar with this tune might find it a bit more of an obvious one, as the title of my release, and the last few lines of the single are pretty much directly lifted from ‘Song to the Siren”s chorus (and you sang, sail to me, sail to me let me enfold you, here I am, here I am, waiting to hold you).
“This is probably my favourite love song, and really one of my favourite songs full stop. There’s a sense of fatalism to it, the line about the broken boat, the way he has re-worked the whole myth of the siren, which is just an incredible piece of writing, it manages to wring so much emotion out of a handful of words and a relatively simple idea. In a lot of ways, ‘Enfold You’ is a song about trying to re-create things that one has heard in other loves songs, about how they often shape and form one’s idea of what love is, so when I was writing it, including a big nod to ‘Song to the Siren’ just made sense. Should also give a big shout to This Mortal Coil’s excellent cover version, which really flips the song into something darker and more atmospheric.”
CLU – ‘Trance Lament’
“This EP was sort of a game changer when it came out last year. I remember putting it on for the first time and just being totally floored. The structure, the sound design, the way the vocals were treated, the way the tracks share sounds and kind of melt into one another; it all added up to this singular, concise and flawless record. It takes all these disparate, recognisable elements, and mixes them together into something that didn’t really sound like anything I had heard before (and still doesn’t). I feel kind of stupid saying this, as there’s been so much incredible music coming out of Ireland for years, but at the time it seemed kind of mad to me that this was a local release, it sounded more like it could have come from outer space.
“I feel the stuff I write is pretty different to the ‘Mood’ EP in sound and style, so I wouldn’t say that it had a direct influence on what I’m doing in that way, it was more a case of hearing that record, and immediately being inspired to put in a lot more work, to try get better at what I do. I was listening to it, and just thinking ‘This is amazing, I want to be able to make something this good’. Hopefully I’ll get there someday!”
Clark – ‘Peak Magnetic’
“So this track, and ‘Death Peak’ the record that it’s on, are currently having a pretty big influence on material I’m working on at the moment. Had been a Clark fan for a while when ‘Death Peak’ was released, was really into the record when it came out, so when I found out he was playing at Picnic this year I was mad excited to see him doing it live (he headlined The Little Big Tent where I had played earlier in the day, that was pretty cool!).
“That show was a pretty transformative gig for me, it was really overwhelming. A lot of ‘Death Peak’ isn’t exactly dancey, there are long stretches with little to no beats, but it always maintains this crazy intensity throughout, building to these searing walls of sound and melody. I was interested to see what he would do with the tracks live; was he going to add in a few more kick drums for the 2am festival crowd? Would people be that into the show if he didn’t? He didn’t dance-ify the tracks in the end, and from where I was standing at least, it seemed like he had the crowd too wide-eyed to notice. It really was an incredible show, hearing those tracks (which already sound like the end of the world) performed on this massive scale was emotionally overwhelming. The second half of ‘Peak Magnetic’ was probably the highest point of the show for me, but the whole thing really left me totally awed and inspired, and pretty much everyone I spoke to who caught the gig came away from it with the same feeling.
“More than anything, that show inspired me to take a new look at how my own stuff works live, and kind go back to square one with it in a lot of ways. The way his set flowed from track to track, building to these moments of dizzying intensity, and captured the crowd so totally, while often staying pretty far out from dance-y territory is something that I would really like to be able to capture at my own shows. I’m definitely working in a different style of music to Clark, and I don’t think I’ll ever be in the techno-leaning territory that he’s known for, but trying to capture the emotional intensity that I felt at that show has become a really big part of new material that I’m working on at the moment. So that show, record, and this tune have become a pretty huge influence as a result.”