An Interview With Littleuniverses
An EP release from Littleuniverses delves into a number of genres and showcases a vibrant and colorful display of songwriting that sale both cinematic and vast, to edgy and alternative and plenty more in between. And it's all done in a 4 song spectrum.
The Corners EP begins with a gritty and alluring rock track that fills the air with synths and guitars that end up laying out a rainbow of rock fusion and all with an attitude you absolutely get attached to straight away.
From there the record moves into indie-folk and singer songwriter and with the songwriting style change, so does the style of the vocals and how they are performed.
Each of these songs have a character of their own and each one takes you foe a completely different ride.
The release hits ambient and almost haunting dream-pop and more as it plays on and the more you listen, the more you pick up on subtle aspects that you didn't realize were there before.
This was a beautiful record and spans such a wonderous and breathing range of feels and styles that its almost intimidating.
The best part is how it all somehow connects and makes perfect sense together.
With such a great release, we wanted to have a chat with Littleuniverses to find out more of where these songs really came from and what may be next.
BuzzSlayers: Okay so let's start with the Corners EP. This record has some personal tracks that span some different genres for sure! Where did this EP come from?
Corners is a sort of exploration while being isolated within the 4 corners of my apartment’s home studio for reasons of quarantine and creation.
The EP is quite personal as it digs into what I was feeling from March 2020 onward. Writing it was an interesting process. I tapped into my evolving emotional states as the days went by. The process in which it was created and recorded was influenced by the quarantine. In a sense, being in quarantine was having the utmost ability to select what kind of information I was going to take in because I was in lockdown. Ultimately, we always have that ability to choose the content that we intake, but the lockdown really facilitated this for me. Musically each song holds its unique atmosphere and is a representation of my state of mind when I wrote each of the songs. Corners’ cover looks the way that it does because it visually conveys the emotional states/personas of myself writing each song.
BuzzSlayers: I'm hearing so many styles from dream-pop and alternative rock to singer songwriter. Who are some of your biggest influences?
If I had to narrow down a list, my biggest influences would be Nick Cave, NIN, PJ Harvey and Beach House. I also listen to a lot of metal and electronic music but would have to say that these four had a huge impact on me and my life. When I wrote the songs on Corners, I gradually deepened myself into isolation. I’m led to think that when you keep to yourself for long periods of time, this “silence” with the outside world kind of calls up all sorts of memories. In my case experimenting with extreme loneliness also “called up” songs and even scenes from films which led me to write in the different musical genres.
BuzzSlayers: So how did this all start for you as an artist? (“this” being Corners)
At the beginning of 2020 I had the intention of writing a full-length album or a 6 song EP and was performing my songs. Then in March 2020, when the first quarantine/lockdown was imposed where I live, I wrote Getting By. From that point onward, I put my New Year’s plan of a full-length album into question because I wanted to write music that was entirely composed during the COVID-19 quarantine. I wanted to see what I could do in my apartment, how I could do it and in a sense push myself to places in my mind I could only go from spending what is possibly an “unhealthy” amount of time alone for me. I knew I had to make the most use of the instruments that I have in my apartment (guitar and keyboard) but also purchased an effects pedal that I felt could help me better communicate musically a certain state in which I felt at times. This pedal gave the organ tone in Broken Dreams. DIY is a big part of my nature and that, mixed with my “quarantine experiences” led me to push the boundaries of what I was able to create in my apartment and resulted in Corners.
BuzzSlayers: What are you performing on the EP aside from vocals?
Guitar because Corners was very guitar driven.
BuzzSlayers: Do you produce your own stuff?
I don’t because I really enjoy working with producers. As a solo artist working with producers is the closest thing to being part of a band right now because we discuss inspiration and bounce ideas. On Corners I worked with producers Zach Ezickson and Scott Jacoby at Eusonia studios via video calls.
BuzzSlayers: What's next for you as an artist?
I’m in the process of writing a 12-song album which I plan to release in 2022/2023. I plan to create a series of music videos with this album and to tour post launch. I’m very excited about it. Right now, it’s in its very early stages. It’s truly the biggest undertaking of my life. I really look forward to being able to share these songs. So far, they are the deepest pieces I have ever written.
BuzzSlayers: How do you write your songs? Is it lyrics first, then music? How does it work for you?
Most of the time, everything is born from the lyrics. I write a lot of poetry and most of my music stems from these poems. The musical accompaniment usually happens at night waking up with a melody after my mind fully processes the poetry. I also write the music after playing around with sounds that best describe the vibe of the song and then just take it from there. I go through many days of insomnia when I get into composition. The insomnia is both exhilarating and annoying. After several days of not sleeping, I feel like the light of the world shines through to me with a little pin hole. Sometimes it creates some interesting things. Other times I feel it just makes me lose all my positivity. I’m constantly evolving my process, but lyrics are usually first.
BuzzSlayers: Do you have a home studio where you track your songs?
I do but in 2020 living in an apartment with neighbors that were always home because of the quarantine, let’s just say I spent most of 2020 recording in a tiny dark closet. I’m 5’11 and this closet is so small that I had to sing the vocals on my knees. I never would have thought that I would record my first EP that way, but I think the whole experience just really allowed me to visualize how to make the most out of my space without disrupting the peace. I have a room in my apartment that I made into my home studio and it’s the place in which I wrote, composed, recorded and dreamt up this EP. Basically, now I have rearranged my home studio to allow for singing/recording while standing lol. I don’t want to sing in a low oxygen dark space anymore, but I do however wonder if the closet mixed with the heavy nature of 2020 contributed to the extra drama to my vocal performance…
BuzzSlayers: Are you putting any thought to live performances at all?
Absolutely! All the time! My goal is to perform my songs and create a memorable experience that will feel sort of like a movie… where the audience connects so much that they forget where they are. I love that feeling and it’s what I want my performances to accomplish. With COVID regulations starting to lift, I hope to start making this dream a reality.
BuzzSlayers: Can we expect any music videos coming from you this year?
I would like to make a music video for Broken Dreams and explore ways to make this happen. For now, the focus is in shaping the new album, but I always like to add new content to my YouTube channel. Seeing how unpredictable 2020 was, and how life can be for that matter, I don’t disregard the idea of creating a video for another song off Corners within the next couple of months.
BuzzSlayers: What sort of things really inspire you to write?
Movies, books, sounds, silence...life experiences… I included silence because of 2020. Silence indirectly inspired Broken Dreams. I wrote it one night after a long telephone conversation with my best friend. When the call ended, I really felt the void of silence and darkness in my apartment. It was that feeling mixed with the topics of our conversation that made me think of David Lynch’s opening scene in Mulholland Drive and its long dark meandering road. I somehow felt overwhelmed with ideas and the lyrics and melody came to me in one giant wave. If I continue to be specific from my experience writing Corners, Murakami’s IQ84 played a big role. I would set my alarm each morning and read a few pages before starting my day. I love words and well written phrases that make me become one with what I’m reading. I think by reading a bit early every morning I had connected myself to the book and its characters. It got me thinking about isolation and distance in relationships. At that same time, I also decided to explore as much news as possible on how the coronavirus affected society. All of this resulted in a song (Isolation). Before it Begins was written after being forced to stop singing for a month because I had developed a cyst in my throat from coughing when my neighbor’s apartment burnt down. When the cyst in my throat healed, I felt extra grateful for all the good things in my life and wrote the song. I think my inspiration comes from different places but no matter where it comes from, I always try to isolate the feeling that sparked it and use it to drive the song.
BuzzSlayers: This EP seems like a big undertaking. Is there any advice you'd have for other up and coming artists out there?
If you want to do it, you will make it happen and find a way to make it. So really keep thinking about your art, visualize it coming together and it will guide you to find ways to make it happen. Personally, I find the more I think about something the more I problem solve to find solutions to get it done. Clearly, my closet wasn’t optimal, but it helped me create. So just keep visualizing and you will find a way.
BuzzSlayers: Before we go, what would you say to fans of the music?
I would most definitely want to say thanks for letting me come into your life. Music and art have always helped me get through life, inspiring me to be better, overcome obstacles and especially find a way to express what I might not be able to express otherwise. I hope these songs somehow have that same effect on the fans of my music.