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Introducing: LYTTET

by DavidBeech
DavidBeech
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on 06 December 2014 in Features
Release date Out Now

Encapsulating a somewhat trans-European identity, LYTTET, are a band for whom geographic boundaries mean little. Taking their name from a Scandinavian word, the pair, originally from County Kildare, now bounce their ideas back and forth across the English Channel, since producer Peadar Kearney relocated to Toulouse. A somewhat atypical production method this may be, but for LYTETT, it works, affording them the ability to craft soundscapes that feel both sparse and sonorous, luscious yet managing to uphold a foreboding feeling of isolation, offset only by the respective vocal tracks, which, in turn, bring almost tangible levels of emotion to delicate, yet otherwise desolate backing tracks.

With their second single 'Distance', LYTTET build on their debut wonderfully, yet whilst both share the shame haunting beauty, 'Distance' forgoes the rich shimmery warmth offered by 'Forever Those Days', instead opting for a much icier feeling, driven by sharp percussion and an almost-nonchalant, yet paradoxically loaded, vocal delivery.

We caught up with the duo following on from the singles release in order to find out what we can expect from them going in to 2015.

 

Hi guys, thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. First of all, who are you and how did you start making music together?

LYTTET is Peadar Kearney and Claire Nicole, both from Co.Kildare, Ireland. Their paths had crossed numerous times over the years on the local music scene, both having played in different bands throughout their teenage years.

In late 2012, Claire discovered Peadar’s Soundcloud stream and became a fan - writing to Peadar to compliment him on his work. Peadar had been interested in getting some vocals on his tracks and responded to Claire asking her if she’d be keen on recording some vocals for them.

The name LYTTET, is there a story behind it?

LYTTET is a Danish/Norwegian/Swedish word. It’s the past participle of the verb ‘to listen’ in all three languages and it directly translates to the English word ‘listened’. It’s pronounced differently in each language and we thought it’d be interesting to see how people would pronounce it in English also! You can use the speech synthesis tool on google translate to hear the differences - we like the Danish pronunciation best.

With one of you based in Toulouse, the other in Dublin, your music is put together via exchanging files online. How does this method compare to more traditional ways of composition? Do you find being somewhat removed from each other geographically allows you to be more removed and therefore constructively critical of your music?

Claire: As far as songwriting goes, I suppose the traditional method is to bring an idea into a room and present it to a band and jam it out. But even before the advent of easy file sharing on the internet, people were recording onto tapes and circulating ideas in this way too. Writing in the privacy of one’s own space and on one’s own time is, in my opinion, the optimal way to write as it’s completely free of inhibition. I’ve jammed out ideas with bands before and when things stick, it’s a great feeling, but it doesn’t seem to create anything more or less unique either way.

Our collaboration hasn’t generated an atmosphere of constructive criticism. We’re maybe just lucky, in that we really respect each other’s output and even luckier that it seems to blend as well as it does together. It’s a very free and open exchange mostly. When Peadar sends me tracks, I listen to them and I know pretty much straight away if I will be able to write something for them. We don’t force anything on each other when it’s not a fit. We do discuss things like format a good bit and Peadar often reworks things from time to time, but we’re very nice to each other - so that sense of being removed hasn’t created a critical environment.

Similarly, your forthcoming single is titled 'Distance', is this an allusion to the distance between the two of you, or does it have a different background entirely?

Claire: I think songs take on many different meanings. This song conjured up the idea of ‘long distance relationships’ for our producer and he used this as a guideline when he was working on the track. Personally, when I was writing the words, I was trying to match and embody the feeling that the song generated in me. It doesn’t have any guitars and is quite a sparse quirky landscape and this made me feel a kind of helplessness but also a kind of apathy that almost physically weakened me and this is what I was trying to convey both lyrically and vocally in that idea of being light like a feather and fading into the distance.

Your music is a mixture of aesthetics, fusing together dream-pop and shoegaze aspects with sharp electronica, was it a concious decision to make such laid back, albeit eclectic music, or was it something which naturally came about after a few sessions together?

Peadar: Ambient music is what definitely comes most naturally when I write melodies and chord progressions. But I listen to a lot of rap and I think that influences the beats that I write, even for a atmospheric track like ‘Distance’ I tried to make a beat you could nod along to. I’m definitely influenced by whatever I’m listening to that the time though, for this track I was listening to Inc., the Nicolas Jaar BBC essential mix and A$ap Rocky. I don’t make a conscious decision to make any particular genre of music, I just work on tracks and they often ends up sounding like this.

There was quite a large gap between your debut single 'Forever Those Days' and 'Distance', can we expect a similar gap between this and your next release, or are you hoping to get more material out there sooner?

We’re on track to release our debut EP in early 2015. We actually have a large repertoire of songs at this stage and waiting, though it was out of our control for the most part, has meant that we’ve gotten a better picture of how best to present coherent and forthcoming bodies of work. Patience is really key in this process.

What can we expect from LYTTET going in to 2015 and beyond?

We’ll probably play more live shows in 2015, but this output may take a different form. Claire has just moved back to Dublin from Montreal and so, distance (ha!) is not as big an obstacle as it was over 2013/2014. I suppose we’re still striving for an entirely organic process when it comes to playing live and this is something we’ll be working on more now that we’re both in Europe.

Finally, any exclusive news or wise words you'd care to leave our audience with?

Claire: I wrote something a while back about the creative process, probably as a defence against criticism, but that really was about embracing our interdependence as humans. I’ve always been fond of collaborating with other people for this reason and I think that in general people need to value this more and encourage and support each other in being creative. We try to share things we like as well as our own stuff with people.

Thanks guys, it's been a pleasure.

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