Foto-© Marcella Ruiz Cruz (Florence Arman) / Em Marcovecchio (Millie Turner)

Von Zeit zu Zeit haben wir es uns zu einer besonderen Freude gemacht, statt einem regulären Interview, zwei Künstler/Acts zusammen zu bringen, die sich einfach unter einem bestimmten Motto unterhalten. Und so folgt heute in dieser Form auf die vorangegangenen Gespräche von Sarah Walk mit den Pillow Queens und Modeselektor mit Fred again… ein Treffen zweier junger britischer Newcomer, die dieser Tage ein Mini-Album und eine EP veröffentlichen. Mini-Album? EP? Ist das altgediehene Album-Format denn nun endlich zu Grabe getragen worden? Das fragten wir uns und baten Millie Turner und Florence Arman unter anderen darüber zu reden – herausgekommen ist ein wilder Gesprächsritt, der so einige Themen abdeckt, höchst unterhaltsam ist und zeigt, womit es Newcomer in 2021 alles zu tun haben!

Florence: I just heard your EP, mini album thing – do you call it EP or mini album?

Millie: So, it’s a mini album, at one point it was a EP, then it was a album, then a mixtape, then a mini album. So it’s everything, it’s all other things!

Florence: It’s soo good! I love it! I love Eye of the Storm and Talk to Me is probably my favorite, I mean I love all the songs!

Millie: Thank you, I’m so happy, I mean it’s crazy releasing such a big body of work, having not released anything in so long. But it’s been so nice to have it out!

Florence: Especially when you were working so long on something and then you are finally having a thing a the end of it, because everything is so abstract, like sessions all the time randomly, you don’t know if you have a job or not. And then finally there is like this thing at the end and you are like: ah, that’s what I’ve been doing.

Millie: I know what you mean, it’s so strange how everything feels so in the air and even when it’s released it’s strange, I think I’m really excited to finally play it live and that will make it feel more real.

Florence: 100%! Yesterday we had a discussion about vinyl, like how the vinyl is gonna look like of my EP and that finally made it look like: Oh, it’s a real thing! And that’s kind of exciting!

Millie: Oh! You will have a vinyl?

Florence: Yeah, it’s gonna come out!

Millie: Oh my god, I’ve dreamed about having a vinyl. I actually talked about it to someone the other day, I can’t remember who he was, but his band had a vinyl. And they had the inside of the Vinyl made out of sand paper, so every time you put your vinyl out it slightly scratched – so you didn’t want to put it back in. You have to keep it outside and have it play the whole time. That was like the marketing trick.

Florence: It’s so expansive as well to be making vinyls, urgh!

Millie: Yeah that’s kind of the reason why I haven’t done it, although it’s like the main question that people ask me on instagram. Like: ‚When will you have a vinyl out?’

Florence: Well, we only gonna do a limited run, like 100, 200 and then just see what happens.

Millie: That will be a lucky 100 people!

Florence: I don’t know, maybe one person will want it. Like my mum will buy my vinyl.

Millie: Don’t worry!

Florence: But it’s so nice that people are listening to more vinyl now. It’s good to hear that your fans are like, when are you gonna bring out vinyl. So nice that this is coming back!

Millie: It makes a difference when you play a vinyl, the sound is just so much thicker.

Florence: Do you listen to a lot of music?

Millie: You know in the last year I broke up with my ex and then instantly I started to listen to more new music, I don’t know why or if it was related to the break-up, I have no idea. I started to listen to everything. It’s really inspiring, like a lot of new artists. What about you? I know a lot of musicians find it really hard to listen to music that isn’t theirs, or at least as it is your job.

Florence: I mean, I don’t listen to music a lot, I don’t listen to my music at all. I love listening to it at once, because I’m really interested in music and what it sounds like, I just can’t hear it while I’m doing stuff. That makes me really nervous for some reason. Maybe that exposes too much headspace or so.

Millie: I remember I went through a period of time, like two years that I listened to anything. It just felt really weird. I don’t know why, it wasn’t related to music or anything. I just didn’t really enjoy it. And now I’m like: Give me more artists! Playlists are coming out of my ears and nose.

Florence: I really wanna have that again, because I know what that used to feel like. I just hope that I don’t need to break up with my boyfriend in order to listen to music again.

Millie: Don’t worry, I think you can discover music without that. I discovered like strange meditation music, that I’m listening to all the time! I’m kind of addicted to it. It calms me! And my soul!

Florence: Is it like pan flute music?

Millie: Imagine, when you close your eyes, it’s just a man with a flute. That’s exactly what it is.

Von Meditiations-Musik schweifen die beiden ein wenig ab, über Salz-Vaporizer, lustige Gesangsstunden und die wildesten Geräusche, die sie währenddessen machen müssen.

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Millie: …And that’s another thing my singing teacher is saying: you should really think about learning a monologue, because singers learn on their singing voice, but they don’t think about how their speaking voice affects them as well. So you should learn a monologue as well, because on stage you have to kind of perform, you have to act. I don’t know if I’m myself on stage, I zone out. Are you missing live at the moment?

Florence: Well, I started my project like exactly one year ago, so I had one show.

Millie: Oh no!! Great timing…

Florence: Now I’m just pulling together my live set, which is so difficult, because you can’t just try it out and go and watch people play and see how it goes, so it’s like very dry. Like: so you play piano. It’s super, super weird. What about you? Did you play a bunch of shows before the lockdown? I guess?

Millie: We haven’t done much, I’ve done like two shows, but before, like one week before lockdown began, we were touring with Tove Lo and it was amazing!

Nach einer kleinen Zoom-Unterbrechung, starten wir wieder.

Millie: Have you been living at the studio?

Florence: Yeah, apart from the first month, when I was really sick. We got so much done as well.

Millie: Have you been doing a lot of Zoom sessions? Like writing sessions or so?

Florence: Actually not really, I find it quite hard to write over Zoom. I did a couple of Zoom sessions, but I don’t know, how do you find it? Have you been doing a lot of them? I think it works like if you know someone well, but if you kind of using them for the first time, I find it hard to get to know each other and then to get on a vibe.

Millie: I know. I’ve been working with a producer in Australia, who I’ve always known very well and we have been doing always Zoom, because he is in Australia. And he used to live in London, which is how I know him. And I guess as I know him very well, it has been easy to work with him. But it’s strange, I’ve been doing one-on-one-sessions with people I’ve never met before. It’s like, I don’t know what you smell like…

Florence: That’s a very important questions!

Millie: …or who you are – and that changes completely how you write and what you write about.

Florence: A part of it is that you write your own stuff and for your own project. So you have to kind of open up about stuff to be able to write about it.

Millie: Exactly! And I did a writers camp as well, it was my first one and it was on Zoom, which was very weird. I found that very intense, you’re like in a Zoom call with like 40 people and they put you in groups. And that’s cool, as it isn’t about you, you don’t have to open up or anything. So it’s more chilled in that sense. But still it felt so strange. I’m not used to write like that, I like to write spontaneously with people and feel like almost chilled, like have the freedom to do that. But writers camp is much more structured, so my brain was like: ahhhhhh. But I guess, it’s also a very good skill to have, to be in a new environment with a lot of new people and to be able to write and work with them.

Florence: Definitely! That’s cool! Do you have like one team that you usually work with, like on your mini-album or your stuff? Do you always work with the same people?

Millie: No, I try to, but at the moment my main producer is David, he is just amazing and we have always worked well together, so we have done like half of the songs of my new mini album. He did like Search Party, Concrete Tragedy, Eye of the Storm – like the main tracks. And with all my previous releases, he has been the writer in the room, we work so well together. But at the moment I find it kind of very difficult to have so many people in my team that actually don’t live in the city, I live in. Like I have a manager in Berlin, another manager all the way in Nashville and then a producer in Australia. So it has been hard. I’ve tried to build a more local team and I know a lot of people in London, but I don’t have that kind of consistent relationship with them. So I’m trying to find people in London, who’d be interested to be committing so much time and energy in a new project. And now I’m working on a new album, which feels like, done one and now onto the other. So that’s really amazing and I’m really intrigued on where it’s gonna go.

Florence: That’s something that I’m thinking about a lot recently, like how do you go about writing? Because I know some people who are like super structured and just sit down and write like every couple of days and say like, this is my time of day to write. I find that very difficult…

Dominik (Bedroomdisco): Like Nick Cave…

Millie: I actually know his son. Not like really good, but we have mutual friends. What’s his name again? I can’t remember. I met him at a Halloween party. He is an actor, I think he is in End Of The F***ing World. Sorry, this is off topic. I think he plays the guy in the patrol station that get’s locked in. Sorry, let’s get back to the question. I know what you mean, it is so true, like I can’t wait for a song to come through, sometimes you have to catalyze the process. That’s the bit that I try to find, like to feel, you have to write it, this is amazing. That kind of urgency. And that isn’t something that you can switch on, annoyingly. I don’t know, for me, I find inspiration in things that are around me, if I see a film or if I have a conversation with someone and he says something and I’m like, ‚oh, that’s really cool’. I’ll write it down and sit down at the piano and just spruce it out. Sometimes when I sit at the piano and listen to music, I almost start rapping, like freestyle. And sometimes things come out that I’d never would say and then I kind of look back at these moments and work from there. But in that kind it’s more playing, like the music is cultivating a mood and sometimes you can get into a flow. But that doesn’t always work. It’s more about provoke more situations in that you can be more creative.

Florence: Completely. Like at the beginning of lockdown I was so inspired, because I felt so much emotion and I felt, I have to do something. I was so dramatic about everything I did, I was like: ‚Yes, let’s write a song about how I’m sad today!‘ And then the last few months I found it very hard to get back into that mood, everything felt just a lot harder. Like there is no inspiration, you need a change of scenery at least, some sort of stimulation in your life…on the other hand I had so much time to do stuff on the production, because I didn’t have so much other stuff to do. It was just so cool to really concentrate on the production and artworks and videos. I was able to be involved with everything and do so much myself, just because I had the time to.

Millie: Like more headspace to refine a vision. That’s so great. Did you find it at some point in lockdown that you haven’t got the outlet of life, that you kind of question your whole career? Because I’ve really loved going back to the roots of making the music, coming up with the visions – but not being able to apply that almost feels surreal, because you can’t do a live performance to see an action, or you can’t do a video and see it made without the effects of Corona.

Florence: I mean I have nothing to compare it to, because I don’t know what my project would be without Corona. I think the live thing would probably have been a big thing. And just like interacting with people who listen to my music, just like personally, I’d love to just meet them. There’s defiantly people writing me that and that’s flattering. Like people listening to my music, I’d never would have thought that there would be people listening to my music.

Millie: Definitely. Also on social media it always feels like you’re talking to little icons. And you always see them as little icons, that are actually people. And I feel like, when I see them in person I’m like: ‚What’s your name on Instagram?‘ Like, hold up your icon so that I know who I’m dealing with. Do you have any plans for shows?

Florence: Yeah, now that things are starting to set up there are a couple of shows and festivals and stuff in the summer. What about you, do you have shows planned?

Millie: Yeah, I’ve one show in July, I don’t know which venue yet, but in London. I need to confirm a lot of things, a lot of it is very in the air at the moment, but I’m just so excited to play again. Like live stream and stuff is very different, it would be nice to have some real live experience.

Das Mini-Album Eye of the Storm von Millie Turner ist Mitte Mai erschienen, die EP Out of the Blue von Florence Arman erscheint am 18. Juni.

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