Foto-© Tonje Thilesen
Ein Hoch auf die Freundschaft – Melina Duterte (Jay Som) und Ellen Kempner (Palehound) waren schon Jahre lang gegenseitig Fans voneinander, als sie etwa 2017 zum ersten Mal aufeinander trafen und so etwas wie Liebe auf den ersten Blick füreinander empfanden. Ein Jahr später besuchte Kempner das Homestudio von Duterte in Los Angeles, um dort zum Spaß ein paar Aufnahmen zu machen. Aus einer losen Session wurden schnell das Ziel ein gemeinsames Album aufzunehmen. Im Januar 2020 packte das Duo das gesamte Aufnahme-Equipment von Duterte in zwei Autos und fuhr zu einem gemieteten Haus in Topanga, Kalifornien, wo sie im Laufe von zwei Wochen das Debütalbum Doomin‘ Sun schrieben und aufnahmen. Ein typischer Tag im Haus in Topanga bestand darin, dass die beiden Langschläfer gegen 11 Uhr in die Küche schlurften, um Eistee aus der Dose zu trinken und sich ein Mittagessen zu machen, bevor sie anfingen, an ihren Instrumenten herumzuspielen und Tonhöhen-Riffs und Akkordfolgen zu entwickeln. Nachdem Kempner und Duterte die Form des Songs herausgefunden und die Grundlagen erarbeitet hatten, verbrachten sie ein paar Stunden getrennt voneinander. In dieser Zeit schrieb Kempner die Texte im Baumhaus im Hinterhof, während Duterte als Produzentin arbeitete. Oder Duterte schrieb die Texte auf der Terrasse, während Kempner sich die Gitarrenparts ausdachte. Etwa auf halber Strecke ihres Aufenthalts in Topanga kamen Buck Meek und James Krivchenia von Big Thief im Haus vorbei. Meek brachte Gitarrenpedale und eine schöne alte Martin-Akustik-Gitarre mit, die er den Beiden großzügig zur Verfügung stellte, und Krivchenia nahm für einige Songs Schlagzeugspuren auf, während Dutertes Partnerin Annie Truscott (Chastity Belt) Streicher aufnahm, um noch ein paar zusätzliche Akzente zu setzen. Herausgekommen ist auf jeden Fall ein Album, das nur so vor Energie strotz, Mitsing-Hymnen und Gitarren-Wände liefert und wohl zum mitreißendsten gehört, was der Mai an neuen Album zu bieten hat! Passend zum heutigen Release von Doomin‘ Sun haben uns die beiden ein Track by Track dazu geschrieben!
1.Back of My Hand
Ellen: This song was inspired by a moment when I was really intrigued by standom. I tried to adopt a character of someone whose obsession with celebrity was eating them from the inside. I feel like a certain level of longing for glamor lives in all of us and i wanted to harness the pain that i’ve felt as a result of that to tell a story.
2. Sand Angel
Melina: This is the first song we ever made together. Ellen came over to LA in March 2019 and we finally hung out together after years of being fans of each other and never having the chance to cross each others paths. We wrote and recorded this in my bedroom and we were extremely nervous about writing together for the first time. Lyrically this song is about having tortuous recurring romantic/sexual dreams about somebody.
3. Stay in the Car
Ellen: This song is a true story of a brief moment I experienced back in December 2019 when I was in Florida for my partners top surgery. I left to go pick up food nearby and as I was sitting in my car on my phone before going in, a big pickup pulled up and this incredible woman who was decked out all in red and jewels and had the wildest orange hair id ever seen got out and started impatiently yelling at her boyfriend asking him what he wanted from the store. I was enchanted by her and really wanted to stand directly in her light and know more about her.
Melina: We wanted this song to be a visceral listening experience, inspired by The Pixies and The Breeders.
4. Went Out Without You
Ellen: There was a night during the making of this record when a friend invited me to go out with her and a group of her friends to an amusement park one night. It was the first time in a while that I’d gone alone to hang out with a large group of strangers who all knew each other. I forgot what that felt like and was practically shaking with anxiety all night. I felt like I was in middle school again.
Melina: We used a lot of different tape loops for this track using piano samples and manipulating the pitch on my Tascam 4 Track. James Krivchenia drums on this and played freely without concrete direction.
5. Spin Out
Melina: This song is about the frustration I was constantly feeling towards white cis men close to me, men in power, and the human tendency for self destruction. Both Ellen and I play drums on this track and recorded a lot of guitar and synth layers for texture to sonically make it sound big.
6. Anything At All
Ellen: One morning Melina was showering and had this bass line idea stuck in her head and went downstairs to play it. Ellen came down from sleeping and joined in on drums and started recording what we were doing. After we got the basic tracks down we wrote lyrics about queerness, lust, and longing. We feel that this song is an even blend of our tastes and writing styles and to release it feels very hopeful and joyous to us.
Melina: This song was originally a demo I was sitting on for a long time and it felt right to bring it into this album as a sort of moody ballad. It’s just a classic love song about being in love but depressed at the same time.
8. Sick Of Spiraling
Ellen: I started these lyrics when I was on tour a few months before recording and was really homesick (a dated concept at this point..). I struggle with my mental health a lot on the road and have always found comfort from my partner. This particular conversation we had that the song is based on took place after I almost got hit by a car when i was walking back to the venue one night. I didn’t tell him that’s what had happened but I was shaken and feeling very untethered and vulnerable. When we were working on the song in the studio, i set it to this riff id been fixated on for a minute. It took on a real road trip, rollin with the punches song feel and we realized we had to get our friend James Krivchenia to play drums on it because nobody can make a song bounce and swell like he can.
Melina: I had this chord progression idea for a while and had no idea how to navigate the arrangement and lyrics etc. Bringing it to Ellen solidified the song in a really cool and experimental way. We were inspired by Beck’s Sea Change album and had my partner Annie play strings. The lyrics were about a day when Ellen was on tour with Big Thief and they all went hiking in New Hampshire.
10. Doomin’ Sun
Ellen: I’d been messing around for this chord progression for a while but not finding any lyrical inspiration for it. The week we were recording was when Australia was experiencing the devastating fires and red skies and between takes I would look at pictures and read articles about it. It was really upsetting and terrifying and we decided to channel that fear into lyrics about being cogs in the machine of climate change.
Melina: For the end of the song, we ran Melina’s vocals and a couple synth notes through the 4 Track cassette player and used the pitch wheel to create a warbly and dystopian like soundscape.