Electonic duo SLUMBERJACK have teased out another track from their forthcoming debut LP, Dichotomy, in the form of “Better Off”, featuring the vocals of Sydney-sider Lucy Lucy. It might come as a surprise to many that the duo hasn’t yet released a full-form album, having released a number of singles and EP’s over the years. Their live shows have established SLUMBERJACK as one of the leading electronic acts in Australia over the past decade.
In “Better Off”, the vocals of Lucy Lucy glide over the lush bass production, creating an emotive slice of electronic pop.
The duo talked about the track having a ‘poppier’ sound than most of their other tracks: “We’re constantly exploring further and further down the path of pop music but never want to lose the rawness and original essence that was the driving force for the SLUMBERJACK sound. “Better Off’ is us pushing that line; starting with something super poppy and roughening the edges until it feels right.”
Showing their versatility and penchant for finding interesting sounds for their music, the band gave some insight into how “Better Off” fits into the upcoming album: “You can hear the Doshpuluur, a Tuvan lute, throughout the record which is reminiscent of the Oud we used at the beginning of ‘Fracture’. And of course, the whole goal of the Dichotomy album is to shine a light on juxtapositions, so the dark sounds are set against big luscious chords and beautiful vocals from Lucy Lucy.”
Lucy Lucy was one half of the electronic duo Yuma X, before launching her solo career under the ‘Lucy Lucy’ moniker in May this year, debuting with the catchy “$25”. You might also have spotted her guesting with What So Not in the past year. With a fun and dynamic stage presence, and a killer voice, it’s little wonder that she is in high demand for collaborations.
To celebrate the release of “Better Off”, SLUMBERJACK and Lucy Lucy went head to head, asking each other the questions they were keen to get answers on. Read on!
Questions from Lucy Lucy to SLUMBERJACK
What did you find the most challenging part of putting this song together?
One of the things that we struggle with most is not cluttering our records. When there are two producers in the room, you tend to get two times the number of ideas and we have to constantly remind ourselves that there simply isn’t enough room to use everything. This track was particularly difficult as we came up with a number of different versions all with their own really cool ideas. Distilling that down to the final product was a painful process as we had to get rid of a lot of great stuff.
This is a bit of a step in a new direction for SJ- In my opinion, it’s one of the most pop-sounding songs you’ve produced. What inspired the change?
Since we started the SLUMBERJACK project, our relationship with pop music has evolved significantly. Over the years we’ve gained a deep appreciation for how difficult it is to write something that is simple and catchy without sounding cheesy or underproduced. There is definitely an art to it and we’ve been testing those waters in records like “Better Off” where we present a SLUMBERJACK version of pop music.
In what ways as producers and individuals do you both contrast and complement each other?
In the early days, we had fairly defined roles – Morgan was the music theory and chords guy and I (Fletcher) handled a bit more of the technical producer side of things. We’ve been doing this for a while now and have taught each other a lot so the roles are pretty evenly split at the moment. There is definitely still a dichotomy (pun intended) in our personalities and I think that helps us make decisions that sit in a nice middle ground.
How long have you both been growing your hair? Can we expect any transformations anytime soon?
We both haven’t had short hair since we started touring. It’s this unspoken rule that it has to stay now as it’s become a part of the look. I can safely say, no major transformations coming soon but I will definitely require a post COVID lockdown trim.
What’s on the cards for SJ in 2022?
2022 is an exciting year for us. We’re releasing our debut album, DICHOTOMY and we have a pretty epic tour planned to follow that. Musically, the album inspired us to write a ton of offshoot content but I don’t want to get ahead of myself just yet… Very excited for people to hear what we’ve spent the last 18 months working on.
Questions from SLUMBERJACK to Lucy Lucy
What stuck out to you the most when you first heard the demo for this song?
How painfully real the lyrics were!!! And how they were brought to life by the melody and the production. I felt like I could hear the desperation and the frustration of having someone on your mind you can’t get over.
If you had the ability to instantly learn any instrument – which would it be and why?
I’d love to master the piano. SO basically I’d like to be Morgan haha. Guitar is epic, but there’s something about being able to sit down at a piano and play your heart out. I think I’m slightly biased too because I love Elton John.
How often are you writing music vs doing other stuff? Do you have any secret side hobbies that need to be revealed to the world?
Ideally, I am writing every week, however, it was apparent to me early on in this lockdown that sitting down on my own trying to write a full song just wasn’t working. I wish it wasn’t the case but I have had to accept that I thrive off being in a room with another person when I write so I’ve recorded a few ideas here and there that ill take into a studio and try to explore once restrictions are lifted. In saying that, I took to learning French and I am OBSESSED. I have only been learning for about 5 weeks but I’m addicted! I sit down most days and take myself to “school”. And I’ve been learning ceramics! I’m pretty terrible but it’s so meditative sitting down at the wheel and creating something from a big blob of clay.
Seems like every musician we meet is a bit of a foodie and has some strong opinions. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life – what would it be?
Don’t do this to me!!!! This is so hard. I am a mega foodie and love cooking. I think if I’d have to settle on one thing it would be Mexican. If we’re getting specific, I’m going to say tacos. I’m a sucker for tacos
It feels like the start of the Lucy Lucy project has been so jam-packed already! What have you got coming up?
You’re not wrong at all. I genuinely have days where I’m like hang on- is this happening? Did that happen?! Did I really just put out a record with Example and What So Not and now you guys? I’m so freaking grateful I could cry. Actually, I cry a lot…it’s a bit of a running joke. I’m honestly just planning on being a bit of a ‘yes’ woman. I didn’t work with anyone when I was in my duo so I’m really enjoying the process of doing as many sessions with as many different people as possible to see what happens. I’ve got one more release for the year which will be a Lucy Lucy single. Then there is also one more feature on a friends album but I won’t say who as I don’t think he’s said anything about it yet and I believe I am the first vocalist he has worked with so it’s a bit of a big deal for him! Then next year I’m just planning on consistently releasing songs and hopefully playing some cracker shows and would love to tour!
Dichotomy from SLUMBERJACK will be released via Sweat It Out on Friday, 21st January 2022. You can order merch bundles and pre-save it HERE.