We had a chat with Michael Whitney and Luke Zahnleiter about marking the beginning of a new era with album 'Figures in Sight.'
Just last year, Glitter Veils were YOU. They'd play around Brisbane's dream pop scene with only a few songs to their name, but with this new costume change there's a new album too. Figures in Sight is the title of the duo's upcoming release, to be dropped on Terrible Records' sub-label, Flexible.
The band's two glimpses of the debut album, "Gossamer Folds" and "Soft Touch," seem more brooding and experimental than what they had under YOU, but still retain those hazy, daydream synths we're so familiar with.
Ahead of Glitter Veils' launch at Alchemix Recording Studios next month and an east coast tour in April, we had a chat with Michael Whitney and Luke Zahnleiter about marking the beginning of the band's new era with Figures in Sight.
NOISEY: How did you two meet?
Michael: I think Luke and I met while I was on a tour with my previous band Nite Fields in 2011. From there it was kind of a natural evolution where you see someone from a distance and can tell cryptically that you will be really good friends at some point. I was looking to play some of my bedroom recorded stuff live and at a local 4ZZZ festival he caught my eye playing a set of jagged noise guitar in an improvised group he was playing with at the time. Awkwardly/awfully I asked him at a New Year's party shortly after if he would like to play guitar with me whilst my current lead guitarist was standing right beside him. It was terrible!
Luke: From then, we've lived together, made music together and most importantly, played a lot of Fifa.
Why do you guys work well together as a duo?
Michael: I think we fill in the gaps that are missing in the others abilities and eye for detail. We come from pretty different backgrounds musically and there is friction at points, but there is a deep level of trust which I believe is the most important thing. We can communicate without really communicating… It is exactly like the movie Dead Ringers.
Luke: I've worked with so many different musicians in the past and there always seemed to be something missing. Some would speed through bass lines brimming with bung notes in order to be "raw"…others would just pontificate about music history while I pretended to listen. The thing that works with us is that we respect each other's opinion in order to create the best end result possible.
Why the name change to Glitter Veils from YOU?
Luke: There are a heap of bands using the name YOU. Terrible records brought it to our attention. Also, it was getting pretty confusing to search for and articulate. "I'm going to see YOU tonight," "I love YOU," "YOU suck." "You get my point."
Michael: Also, YOU began more as a confessional bedroom pop project that wasn't intended to really be public and the music through the process of recording the album has progressed into a collaboration between Luke and I. The name is more a signifier of this and alludes to where I believe it will head in the future.
The singles, "Gossamer Folds" and "Soft Touch", do sound darker. Was this intentional?
Luke: I don't think it was intentional per se, but rather an organic reflection of our environment when we wrote them. I was going through some personal issues when I wrote the basis of "Gossamer Folds" and it was probably an unintentional attempt to sonically mimic something I really shouldn't have been doing.
Was there anything in particular you guys wanted to experiment with more, musically or thematically, on Figures in Sight?
Michael: I think writing with more limitations, space, a narrower tonal pallet and clearer narratives that focus on broader issues.
Luke: We both stem from guitar-based bands but we rarely listen to guitar music anymore. In saying this, I still love guitar when played in an interesting way, so I wanted to meld it with a bed of instrumental hip-hop and electronic influences. We experimented a lot with poly synths, soft synths, drum machines and samplers.
How do you hope listeners react to your new album, other than just enjoying the songs?
Michael: I hope it gives people an environment to escape into. Their own world, to drift off, reflect possibly, sulk, feel giddy, dance, cry all off the above. Because I think at this point in time, people need an escape more than ever.
Luke: I hope they appreciate the music and slap down mountains of cash, of course. Music can be such a strong trigger of nostalgia, so I would love if someone heard Figures In Sight in the future and were transported back to that time they were driving alone at night or getting low and dirty on the d-floor.
What are you most proud of on Figures in Sight?
Michael: That after listening to it after 25,000 times over various stages over two and half years, I still think it's ok. Also, that it combines some of our favourite things in music. It's honest, raw, emotive, melodic, insular and tells a story that I hope people will connect with.
Luke: The fact that we didn't rush it and were fastidious in creating something we'd listen to ourselves. Also, I feel like I've bottled some nostalgia to drink when I'm older.
Listen to Figures in Sight in full:'Figures in Sight' is out today via Terrible Records.