the AU interview: Jep and Dep (Sydney) talk folk noir, single launch and the big trip to Europe!

Jep and Dep are an effortlessly cool duo, hosting a catalogue of dusky folk-noir tunes. Their latest single "Tears in the Rain" has stepped off their critically acclaimed LP Word Got Out and deservedly into the limelight. Officially launching the track at Newtown Social Club on Saturday 28th March (tickets HERE) before traversing Europe, this coupling is unique, bold and absolutely superb.

Your new single "Tears in the Rain" offers an impressive set of haunting tones and dark vocals. How did the track come about and what does it reflect?

A lot of Jep and Dep songs talk about relationships and the choices we make when we are in them—to go, to stay, to stick it out, to get out while you can. Tears in the Rain acts like a conversation between two lovers discussing whether the doomed aspects of a relationship outweigh the love. The track was came about by a dream Darren had about a woman whispering the words “Well I love you so much, It’s not enough my dear”. We thought that was such a great line and image, so we decided write a song about it.

What is your take on ‘folk noir’ and how does your latest single fit in?

We call ourselves ‘folk noir’ because we are a little darker than a lot of ‘folk’ that is out there. We wanted something to describe us and that represents our sound, which 'folk-noir' does quite well. ‘Tears in the Rain’ is very folk noir to us; it’s sparse, its dramatic, its theatrical, it’s minimal. And… it’s in black and white, ha ha.

The official launch for "Tears in the Rain" is taking over Sydney’s Newtown Social Club on Saturday 28th March. What can we expect from your live performance and how does it compare to your studio sound?

Yes! It’ll be a great night. We bring more darkness and intensity to our live performances mainly because we rely just on our two voices and guitar. There’s something so amazing about being on stage with a hushed crowd listening to our songs—so it’ll be real special. Sometimes we bicker between songs like a married couple, and sometimes we say nothing at all. It’ll be a surprise!

Your debut album Word Got Out kicked things off as an independent release and received rave reviews from Rolling Stone Magazine and Sydney Morning Herald. What was it like to receive critical acclaim for all your hard work and how will it push you to keep growing?

It was a real thrill to get such positive words about an album we worked so hard to make and that was (and is) real special to us. Being Independent we do everything ourselves, so for press like Rolling Stone and SMH to give it the thumbs up, really means so much to us! If anything it will push us to stick to our guns and write songs we want to write because we want to write them!

You’re heading to Europe for two months to play shows throughout April and May in Finland, Berlin and Paris. What are you most eager to experience and what are you most nervous about?

We are so excited for this trip and have worked our A***s off to make it happen. We are eager to play to other audiences and meet some great people along the way. Playing with Mirel Wagner in Finland will be a highlight as well as getting our album released on vinyl. Jess is most nervous about the flight, but nothing a few whiskeys won’t fix.

Tell us how Jep and Dep began. What kick-started the band and what has the journey been like from inception until now?

We’ve been Jep and Dep for a few years now but it’s probably in the last year or so that we’ve really found our sound. The story is: We began dating each other and then we started writing songs together.
Darren’s story: is that Jess forced him into it (the music not the dating).
Jess’ story: is quite different to Darren’s.

Your catalogue of music videos is permanently set in a monochrome world. What idea was behind that trademark move and what does it represent?

It was a deliberate choice as we see our music in no other way—setting it to black and white fits the mood of our music, represents our sound and the ‘classic’ nature of our songwriting and songs.

Who are your biggest musical influences and how do they inspire your distinct sound?

We’re a big fan of Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra, Nick Cave (especially his murder ballads) and Leonard Cohen. They’ve all got a darkness and drama they portray, especially when in duet mode--and we connect quite well to that.

What are your three favourite tracks right now and why?

J: Some Say (I got Devil), Melanie. It’s an old song but I recently found it on vinyl and am listening to it on repeat at the moment. It breaks my heart everytime.
D: Gouge Away, Pixies. Because I’m obsessed with the Pixies again at the moment, even if it’s uncool.
J & D: Hold On, Lost Ragas. An incredible Melbourne band. They’ve just released a live version and it’s so good.

What does the future hold for Jep and Dep?

In the next few months we will head to Finland, Germany and France to play a string of shows and release our debut album on vinyl through Royal Mint Records in Helsinki. We plan to write and record more songs in Europe, which will take form as our second album!

Check out Jep and Dep's clip for Tears in the Rain, listen to their music on Spotify and keep in touch via Facebook.