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Catch Up: Emily Littler (Street Chant)
Tear My Whole Face Off
Tear My Whole Face Off, by Street Chant
From: Isthmus of One-Thousand Lovers, (2013)

Catch Up: Emily Littler (Street Chant)

Tuesday 30th July, 2013 10:17AM

Auckland trio Street Chant caught us by surprise a couple of weeks ago releasing a new EP seemingly out of nowhere. Titled Isthmus of One-Thousand Lovers and released to help promote a recent collaboration with Auckland street store Arcade,  it features four previously unreleased tracks that sound quite different from their previous releases along with a cover of Blam Blam Blam's 'There is No Depression in New Zealand'.  Thinking it was high time for a catch up with the band, we put some questions to guitarist/vocalist Emily Littler about the EP, her solo work as Emily Edrosa, their recent shows with The 3Ds' David Saunders and that elusive second album...

Hey Emily, how's it going...

Good, finally starting to feel better from Winter blues and flus...

The new Street Chant EP came as a bit of surprise, had it been in the works long prior to its release?

We thought of the idea of doing it in May, mainly just to give away with the Arcade colab t's and crews that we had planned for ages prior. It was only meant to be three tracks and a bit more throwaway but as we recorded it and added more tracks it became a bit more of its own thing. We recorded and released it in 3 weeks though, which is quick for us and hopefully a bit more indicative of how we will work in the future.

Tell us a bit about the writing and recording of the EP...

I wrote 'Brunch' about 2 years ago while coming up with material for our new album then rewrote the lyrics a few weeks before the EP came out. 'Little Children' I wrote the and recorded a few months ago when I got a new organ to test it out. The others are really new, like a few months old. We recorded the drums in our practice space then did everything else in my room within a few days.

It sounds quite different from previous Street Chant material and seems to be quite influenced by your solo work - is that a fair observation?

We didn't realise it would be so different cause we forgot no one had heard our new album haha. Plus working so quickly there was no time to think about it until it was done, then we realised it might be a not what people expect. Being that it was an EP rather than an album we just wanted to experiment with stuff anyway. I wouldn't have thought my solo stuff and the new Street Chant stuff would be similar at all except for I guess they are both me moving further away from guitar rock and focusing on recording and instrumentation than just songwriting in general and not caring about the other stuff. Its hard to say because I am in it but to me they aren't similar at all.

Are there any underlying themes to the EP that stand out to you now it's finished product?

I didn't realise how dark it would be. There's obviously the political side of things- 'Brunch', 'Little Children' and our cover of 'No Depression', they are all quite pointed in that way. But then 'Isthmus...' and 'Tear my Face off...' are very anguished too. We aren't out of it totally but this winter has been a pretty bleak one for me I suppose, and the current government just makes life all the more hard. The EP and our new album are both quite NZ-centric.

Back to your solo project - Emily Edrosa - do you have any ambitions for this work specifically or is Street Chant still your main focus?

I enjoy doing Street Chant more because its always more fun when there are more perspectives/ideas. Plus I get to hang out with my friends. I like doing Edrosa in my room and doing the recordings just as something to do, but playing live to a backing track is really really unfulfilling and every show I think will be my last. That said, I still want to release my Edrosa EP and see what happens, I love the music but Street Chant is like my family and it seems like I always come back to it. I love SC even more now we are feeling less limited and can do weirder stuff like the EP. I want to write pop music for other people too, and just make much music as I can before I can't do it anymore.

Street Chant have been playing with The 3Ds' David Saunders a bit lately, how did this relationship come about and what do the shows entail exactly?

We have kept in touch with David since we toured with The 3Ds on their reunion tour in 2010 and offered to be his band back then. He hit us up about it for The Drab Doo Riffs show a while back and it's fun so we are doing more shows. So far we have done some 3Ds songs, and some covers. Its pretty jammy and heaps of fun to be playing songs that we love, its like a party for us.

Is this a relationship you'll be continuing with and if yes, what else have you got coming up?

Yeah, for the foreseeable future we will be David's backing band. We have some new material of David's that we are going to record and get out as soon as possible. Also we have a show at the Kings Arms on September 13th, and a South Island tour in September too.

And finally, the question you probably dread, how is the album coming along? When do you imagine it'll be ready for release and what can we expect sonically - something more like your singles last year or the new EP?

I don't dread it, I want people to know where we are at...and we haven't scrapped it...yet! Our album is all recorded and is sounding really great. We know from our last album that whatever you put out you have to live with for a long time so we wanted to be really happy with it. Now after doing the EP so fast, we now know that working fast is best though, I can't deny that the album has taken far far too long. We are so lazy but also such perfectionists, it's a bad combo to be but I am glad we didn't rush it.

I had really bad writers block towards the end of recording Means and just after, so from the songwriting point of view I am glad we didn't just force it. The singles last year are probably the most straight ahead stuff on the album but we are gonna remix them anyway. The rest is like that meets the EP. Some cool sounds, def not Means 2.0. Hopefully we can mix it really quickly and it will be out whenever it is out. The music industry makes you wait for ages on finished products but I am normally pretty good at pushing for stuff to get done. I really can't wait for people to hear it and to get started on something new.


related gigs
Fri 2nd Aug
Kings Arms Tavern, Auckland

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