Thesis Project is a brand new 10” vinyl series curated and designed by artist Gregory Euclide. The series brings together two musicians who haven’t been able to work together before. The induction’s the appropriately titled THESIS 01, and it’s a beautiful uniting between 12k’s Taylor Deupree & Bon Iver’s Sean Carey. The four short songs are beautiful to behold, and this edition sets a precedent by releasing the feathered wings of emotion back into the wild. A dreamy layer of reverb and some sleepy, dazed vocals swirl through the ambient ether, splashed in flamingo-pink. Electronic textures dapple the air, bringing colour and transparency to the fresh-as-morning’s-dew music. A subdued ecstasy’s here, like the return of a lover after the two have been separated by cruel distances. In some places the music’s able to find that rest, that finality, in an embrace: the lyrics embrace the textures. The lyrics are right when they sing about getting ‘lost in your eyelashes’.
The electronics are smooth spheres that tinkle away like pretty bells. Sometimes, cute note-reversals produce a bit of turbulence over an otherwise smooth blanket of sound. Staccato rhythms flow through the veins, but they dapple the music with their light raindrops of sound – ‘rain coming on a clear day’ – kissing the skin instead of puncturing it. The soft singing is a kind of medicine, a warm comfort on a rainy day. The vocals are lovely to listen to, quenching a thirst as they water the electronics.
During the recording process, different element were sent back and forth and then massaged into one wholesome track. The resulting songs are seamless and shiny; the artists gel right away. Collaborations are always half-gift, half-surrender, but the process ran smoothly. There were never any differences of opinion, false starts or slow deliveries. In short, it’s pretty much a perfect pairing.
The vocals are slightly shy and introspective – they are true, coming from the heart – and they wrap around the song’s textures easily. The lyrics really fit into the song’s shape and the brighter vibe of the music, appearing like a rainbow after a clearing of the rain. The lyrics shine through, sculpting a more defined mood, but the lyrics have to find a way to fit over the textures first. The loop returns and the lyrics return. The percussion is also bubble-light, but it does pick up speed later on, running over the slabs of hard stone on ‘The Iron Town”. The world is not without hurt, and a painful, last-gasp realization bleeds up and out of the concrete: ‘am I too late?’
‘Grey Days Past’ wraps itself up in a snug piano. Innocuous chimes are ushered in, taking over from the voice by quietly singing at the piano’s side, and field recordings are gently lowered into place. These ambient songs are heartfelt and tender explorations. Each release will come with a set of original artwork prints and are available individually or by subscription. At the time of writing, no digital release is available.
Deupree: ‘I’m a very shy person in the studio, always thinking that what I come up with isn’t very good, so in a way working remotely with someone who I don’t know well worked to my advantage, I think. Perhaps if we were in the same room I would have been more hesitant and self-conscious…I think if we worked together in the same studio our process may be similar.’
Carey: ‘I can also be quite shy in the studio, depending on the situation. Sometimes solitude brings out the best in me…I didn’t know Taylor’s music at all before this, but diving into it was like discovering a new author or something, where everything just clicks and lines up with my own aesthetic…it’s so nice to approach something that already has a “vibe” and my role was to form the “vibe” into more of a song, I guess. After improvising, writing lyrics came naturally out of the melodies I was hearing in my head.’