‘Swirling, modal, motorik’ | Interview with Slight

Imagine watching the earth from far away. The flutter and wow from the mellotron and the heavily psychedelic guitars, specially crafted by Montreal based project Slight would create the ideal soundtrack. Read our interview below!

Describe your sound in 3 words             

Swirling, modal, motorik

Tell us a few things about Even Keel. What is the main idea behind it?

Even Keel is a swirling and groovy ode to the ‘binary star’ phenomenon. It’s when two stars orbit each other in a unique pattern that astronomers first observed in the 1800s.
I really love when songs aren’t based on the typical pop subject matter. That’s why it was so fun to write a song about stars and orbits and gravity.  

A dear friend once described our music as ‘celestial,’ and I think that’s right in a sense. We played into that a bit with this song. We also wanted to slow down and explore a deeper, heavier groove with room for long sustained notes and flowing vocal delays. It ended up being totally addictive to play the classic Mellotron flute pattern and arpeggiated guitar chords over top!

What made you gravitate towards psychedelia?

The great Genesis P. Orridge once said that, “all music is psychedelic.” I’m a believer in that point of view. When you’re really immersed in the timbre and harmony and rhythm of a song you’re having a mind-expanding experience in my opinion.

I’ve always been drawn to the music that explores that space and pushes it as far as it can go.
In more practical terms, I’ve also found it to be a rich style for musical experimentation. Heavy effects and unexpected chord changes feel totally at home and there aren’t strict conventions the way there are in some genres.

Aliens from a far away galaxy visit us tomorrow and want to learn what psychedelia is. What makes a song psychedelic?

This one is hard because there are a lot of signifiers that artists use to lump themselves into the neo-psychedelia bucket.

Fuzzed-out guitars and washy vocals are certainly hallmarks of the genre, but I’d claim it goes deeper than that if I was talking to a complete newcomer.
I think a strong feeling of immersion in the music, along with the sense that your expectations could be subverted at any moment is pretty foundational to psychedelia. 

How do you relate to the music scene of Montreal?

Montreal has been our musical home for over a decade now.

In fact, we co-founded one of the most important DIY spaces in the city (the plant) and ran hundreds of shows there before landlord issues finally took it down during the pandemic.

I think the music listening public has a general impression of the sound that’s typical of Montreal bands, but in reality it’s much richer than that. There’s an incredible wealth of experimental music happening in the city, and robust scenes for every genre you could imagine.

We draw on all that, even though we’re a more conventional, song-based band. I don’t have much to compare it to since I’ve never really lived in a different city while developing a music project, but I can’t imagine doing it anywhere else!

Do psychedelic drugs have notable effects on music perception?

Psychedelic drugs have been shown to potentiate music appreciation. 

It’s a bit of an old cliche, but I think most music fans have had the experience of connecting with a more far-out sound while under the influence in some way.

It’s easy to see how the original psychedelic music genre was born out of that. 

But as I said before, I think the impulse that drives that connection operates across genres and experiences. For example, something like Pauline Oliveros’ concept of Deep Listening, where music and meditation-like techniques converge, can expand your consciousness of sound in a similar way.

Favourite album of the past decade?

If we’re going by the numbered decades, my favourite from the 2020s so far is Inlet by Hum.

It’s got a truly beautiful take on the heavier, sludgier side of shoegaze. The guitar tones are awe-inspiring and the drum production is completely unique. On top of that, the songs are amazingly well-written and explore different territory over the record—exactly the way a classic album should. It’s thrilling and listenable from cover to cover the way I rarely find these days. If you haven’t heard it yet, go out there and give it a try!

What isn’t a crime but should be?

When it comes to musical pet peeves, I think my biggest is when a member of the band that isn’t the drummer starts randomly playing floor tom during the set. I haven’t seen it in a while, but there was a bit of an epidemic at one point in indie rock that became pretty insufferable—I’m glad it’s a thing of the past!

Thank you!

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