The amazing music of Lunar Twin originates from the meeting of two kindred spirits living in different places: the Hawaii-based Bryce Boudreau (lyricist, vocalist) and Salt Lake City-based Chris Murphy (instrumentalist, producer). The perfect blend of shadowy lush and sophisticated synth layers, piano notes and smooth beats with seductive noir-ish vocals.
Their 6-track minialbum ‘Night Tides’ was out a few days ago…’dreamwave’, but I’d better say ‘electronic soul music’ at its most suggestive and creative peak.
Many thanks for the interview. Let’s start from the genesis of your project, how did you meet ? What attracted you? And above all what are the elements that make this musical complementarity so unique?
BRYCE: Thanks! I met Chris through some very old musician friends of mine that he was in a goth band (NightSweats) with. They were on tour in the US and I travelled with them for a few shows and during that time Got to know Chris. I recognized that he brings a lot of elements to the overall sound of any group he is in. So a few years later I contacted him about working on music together.
CHRIS: We met while I was on a tour to Denver at a music festival .It wasn’t until later on when we chatted and decided to make some music together. Having just two people in control of the musical creativity allows us to each have a stronger voice in the music making process.
Was the idea to make your life as musician purely incidental? Did you already dream of it in your teens and what were your first inspirations and influences?
BRYCE: I guess I always like music since I was a young child. Classical, am radio, Mexican music, Motown. As a teen I really liked stuff like Joy Division, The Cure, The Ronettes, Crash Worship, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Gary Numan, Kraftwerk… As I get older I listen to a lot music from all over and met a lot of bands and artists that were actually doing It and living that life. That led me to start writing, recording and performing.
CHRIS: I had been making music even at an early age. Guitar, clarinet, and samplers such as the ASR-10 really helped me fall in love with creating and expressing through music. Music is one of the main ways I have always expressed myself. My siblings all make music as well as my parents so it helps to have been in a musical atmosphere as well.
Chris lives in Salt Lake and Bryce in Hawaii, separated thousand miles from each other. You have stated: ‘Totally different places of isolation are the nexus of our songwriting’. Please, could you talk about the relevance of these two natural elements in your music, ‘the sea’ and ‘the desert’, and ‘the nature’ in general?
BRYCE: It’s no secret that ‘‘the natural world’’ is under attack globally, indigenous and Animist cultures have always had deep connections to the skies, wild lands, seas and oceans elements of nature that to them are truly profound. The primeval. I am definitely influenced heavily by and respect the non human elements of the planet. But I also love and can’t deny being moved by the huge amounts of diverse culture you can find in huge cities. Like you would find for example in São Paulo, Athens, Rome, Los Angeles or Mexico City. So these far away places and Hawaii and the Salt Lake desert are ‘a Muse’ in some sense.
CHRIS: It’s sort of a yin/yang for us. When surrounded by the desert, the music seems to reflect the heat and climate of the area, whereas the ocean can have a very different impact on the sound. I think that is why our sound works so well together. Sometimes you can’t have one without the other.
Bryce is the lyricist, please, could you talk about your writing technique and its sources and inspirations? How much does it draw from personal experience and how much from external sources?
BRYCE: For Lunar Twin we began, by writing and finalizing the music to one song at a time. Then I listen to to a demo of the music until a pathway into the song reveals itself .this can take minutes or months singing and recording demos of what ever comes to mind naturally, from the vibe of the music. I then edit and re edit till I have something ….. inspiration… I like a lot of different kinds of authors and songwriters just to mention a few Ishmael Reed, Langston Hughs, Celine, Black Elk, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Maya Angelou, Jorge Luis Borges.
Let’s talk about the genesis of your amazing genre-defying sound, how would you describe it? Do you have any sensations, hints about further possible developments?
BRYCE: Thank You! Not that into a genre or classification, but in the way something makes you feel when you experience it; I never know what will happen, when I sit down to write music.
CHRIS: I guess it has sort of dark ambient undertones, but without being negative. With this project, I think we try to make music that lives and breathes and has layers and textures that aren’t always noticeable. Sometimes the subtleties are just as important as the main melody.
Your sophomore 6-track mini album ‘Night Tides’ came out last month. Could you provide to our readers a deep insight into it? Which are the differences and similarities compared to your debut self titled EP? Did you, thematically, have an all-encompassing vibe/building feeling you wanted to portray in this new release?
BRYCE: Yes ‘Night Tides’ came out 3-17-17. It was a longer process than the first record, which we wrote in about 9 months, this was more like 18 months. It’s different from the debut. In that is sonically a slightly more noir theme. A vibe we were into was warmer latitudes, night time.
CHRIS: The album as a whole is meant to flow from beginning to end. The ocean plays a big part in this album. The ebb and flow of the tide and the effect the moon has on it. This album is also much more refined than our last and I think we will continue on this path. We are definitely finding our vibe and sound and hopefully others will enjoy it too.
Could you talk about this nocturnal dark edginess that seems to pervade your tracks underneath the skin of an exterior sophisticated and hypnotic down-tempo mood? We talked before about the significance of the nature’s elements, but also the urban ones are well present I guess…
BRYCE: Cool that you see it that way. suppose like most things in life, there is a yin and yang element to it Darkness and Light. I previously lived in San Francisco and Los Angeles, around a lot of different kinds of people and cultures. Elements of a city like diverse cultures, graffiti artists, crowds, etc influence you as a person subliminally and in a conscious way to.
CHRIS: Thanks ! Cool that’s how you feel about it thank you.
With a sound with such distinctive cinematic qualities, didn’t you ever think about the possibility of writing a movie soundtrack? Are you movies fans, what are your favourite ones?
BRYCE: We would be into to being featured in a soundtrack. I love cinema old and new Federico Fellini, Francis Ford Coppola, Wes Anderson, Krzysztof Kieślowski, I also really like the Wim Wenders film ‘‘Paris Texas’’ starring Harry Dean Stanton and ‘‘Buffalo 66’’ by Vincent Gallo and a Colombian film called ‘‘The Wind Journeys’’ by Ciro Guerra.
CHRIS: I’ve written music for documentaries and have always felt that it was good experience. I love all types of movies, but sci-fi is probably my favorite genre. I grew up with movies like ‘‘Blade Runner’ and ‘‘Total Recall’’ and love anything that has to do with space
In 2015 you released the ‘Champagne (Remixes)’ EP on the German boutique record label Emerald & Doreen Recordings. Shall we expect other similar reworking ‘treatments’ in the near future? Do you have any interest in the club/dance electronic music?
BRYCE: We enjoyed working with Emerald & Doreen Recordings. And we are doing a new remix record with them, featuring Berlin edits of ‘Waves’, ‘Coral Sea’ and ‘Prayers Of Smoke’. And remixes. We both love electronic music and clubs; and club music are fun for when you wanna dance absolutely.
CHRIS: Definitely, we’ve experimented with more dance and electronic tracks but they have thus far just been as writing ideas and remain unreleased. I feel like the vibe of this album really pinpoints the vibe we want to create though.
What’s your favourite part about playing live? Do you recall your first gig as Lunar Twin and what are your highlights so far?
BRYCE: Playing live is liberating after all the studio time we log. We haven’t played a lot of concerts but we like preforming as much as we can and intend to do live dates in Europe at some point soon.
CHRIS: Just being in front of people and sharing what we’ve created is a great experience. When you can make somebody feel a certain mood by playing instruments is definitely one of my favorite things.
With which artists/musicians would you like/dream to collaborate?
BRYCE: Brian Eno, Terrance Warburton.
CHRIS: Tycho, Bonobo, Leonard Cohen.
Could you pick any favourite bands/artists are you excited by recently?
BRYCE: Fransisco Y Madero (Jalisco, Mexico/San Francisco, USA) , Romin (Ireland), Ummagma (Canada /Ukraine ), Whimsical (USA).
CHRIS: I’ve been listening a lot to Beach House, Flume, Schlohmo, and Gold Panda and Ummagma lately. Also Meter Bridge, The Veldt, SPC ECO.
Many thanks for being our welcome guests, just the usual question about your near and future plans.
BRYCE: Thanks Fabrizio and Last Day Deaf for having us here! We plan on making a few videos for the release, and the remix record in Germany releases this summer and we will be working on new material.
CHRIS: We have the remix album coming out in about a month with six or so remixers and 3 different songs. Really excited to hear what comes from this. After everything with this album is done though, we will start demoeing again and working on the next album. Thanks Fabrizio for the interview and for the thoughtful questions.
Photo credits: Lincoln Murphy