RENDEZVOUS: A Quick Catch Up With Enola Gay
Melbourne artist and producer Enola Gay creates beautifully layered and intensely warm soundscapes. Centred around the smoothest of vocals, the raw lyrics are an obvious entry into their inner world – a world of total depth and authenticity. Each track is glittered with seamless percussion, arranged with subtlety and filled with enormous groove. We caught up with Enola Gay to chat about their brilliant self-titled debut EP and how they get those tracks to sound so damn moody.
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When did you start making music and when did the Enola Gay project begin?
I started playing music very young, I had a guitar in my hands from about the age of 6, although I never pursued it seriously until a few years ago. Music is what I have always wanted to do, but it was a series of events in my life that led me to actively pursue it. From that point in time I have thrown myself into it completely, and it has been a constant process of learning, particularly because being a woman, I really wanted to be self-produced, so it took a long time to get those skills and confidence up. So yeah, it's been a real process.
You released your self-titled debut EP earlier this year. Can you tell us a bit about the recording process?
Most of the EP was written and recorded in my home studio at Coburg. Once I had the demos together I worked with producer/engineer Jono Steer in his Castlemaine studio where we added additional instrumentation, production and mixed the EP.
Can you give is a bit of a brief outline on your creative process? How does a song come to life?
Each track is always different in the beginning, for instance, ‘Running’ started as a breakbeat drum pattern within Ableton which I then built the rest of the song around. But for ‘Losing to Berlin’, I worked with the synth first, building up core progressions and textures. One thing that seems to be consistent throughout the whole EP was that the vocals always came last in the writing process.
Do you enjoy making music solo or do you prefer the idea of collaboration?
In general, I prefer to write on my own, mostly because of the nature of my work and how it generally involves, in the beginning stages, for me to be super vulnerable. I find that’s easier to do on my own. However, I thoroughly enjoy performing with others on stage and prefer for it to be a collaborative experience.
The way you arrange your music is very moody. How do you know how to evoke certain emotions via song? Is it just intuitive?
Initially, I always feel the initial concept of a song, the spark, is always intuitive, but once I have that core idea captured, I can then approach it in an intellectual way, and lean on my theory/production to enhance whatever that initial idea was.
You mentioned that some of the music on your EP is around the theme of isolation. Do you think making music is something that isolates people or connects them – or both?
Personally, I would say that it can do both, but instead of isolation I would say it's more along the lines of, it can create solitude, which can actually be a really beautiful and rewarding thing. For the most part I feel that music connects people, especially when it is a shared experience e.g. a dance floor or a concert.
Lyrically you also discuss addiction. Is that an easy task? To be so open?
I don't find it easy, but I do feel it is necessary and important, I want to connect with people through my music, I want to be human and that requires honesty.
Your track ‘Losing To Berlin’ suggests you might want to escape Australia. Where else in the world would you like to make music?
Actually, for me the song is about how loneliness, and how sometimes the night feels like it has a promise of connection - love, lust. Like when you’re at home, and it's that feeling that drags you out or that feeling that makes it hard to sit still in your body, particularly when you’re young and you feel like you are missing out.
Who are some local artists that you are loving at the moment?
RVG, Darkwater, Johnny Hunter, Moden Heaven and Cazgen. I saw Cazgen’s first show the other night and it was wild.
What do you want people to feel when they walk away from an Enola Gay live show?
On the edge of both dancing and crying, and hopefully at the same time.
You obviously have an ear for music. How do you go on the dance floor?
I reckon I got some moves (laughs).
Enola Gay’s self-titled debut EP is out now via Burning Rose Records.