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Sister Crystals

Sister Crystals

Interviewed by
Courtney Sanders
Friday 29th March, 2013 7:44AM

Chicago-based four piece Sister Crystals are due to release their debut album in a couple of months time. They've already dropped a single called 'For So Long' and UnderTheRadar caught up with the band to find out how they formed, what their sound's all about and what they've got planned for the album's release.

How did you guys form?

We started making music after we met at Columbia College in Chicago. We lived on the same floor in our dorm building and just began tinkering around together with music ideas. It just happened really naturally and never really was a question of whether or not to start writing together.

When you started out did you have a specific idea of what you wanted to sound like or was it more organic than that? Discuss how you developed your sound into what it is today.

Things happened pretty organically for us. Generally when ideas were tossed around for songs the orchestration process happened on its own. Everything felt really natural and still does.

Do you have any particular reference points or ongoing inspirations?

Our inspiration is just what we like and music we find. We are constantly listening to different things, new and old. It all seems to come out in our songs one way or another. Also, a lot of our inspiration comes from our friends music. Chicago is doing a lot of great things right now musically.

You're due to release your debut LP real soon: tell us about writing and recording that one.

We actually started recording this album at the end of 2011. We worked every week on it and found out we didn’t really like where it was going. We had written newer material on the side and felt more excited about those songs so we started from scratch and recorded this album in about two months. When we were writing songs we would mostly just play with loop pedals and write all these small parts. We recorded them on our phones and later we pieced a lot of things together and constructed them into full length songs. Its really helped to make our music more dynamic and interesting.

Are there any specific themes or reference points on the forthcoming album?

There’s really no particular theme. All the songs are pretty much forthcoming of where our minds were at during the time of writing. Before we began recording the record we had pieced the majority of these songs together mentally. We had set days to go into Feeltrip, the space we record at, and it gave us time for these ideas to resonate in our heads. The days not spent at Feeltrip were spent making a really vague structure for these songs. Once we got into the studio we let ourselves basically doll them up.

I'm assuming the album is finished and you can listen to it as body of work now: how would you describe it? And, is it how you envisaged your debut album would sound?

We were honestly pretty surprised at the fluidity of the record. It really is a front to back listen. It wasn’t necessarily intended to be that way but it turned out as such and we are really happy about it. I think dynamically this record is more all over the place than we’d imagined it to be. No two songs sound the same or have the same build. All our friends we have previewed the album to have all had different favorite tracks. That’s really relieving to hear.

You guys are based in Chicago right? Tell us a little bit about any music scene or community there? Is there a group of like-minded musicians? Is there a particular 'sound'?

Chicago is unique in the sense that you go out to a show and no band sounds exactly the same. With that being said there is a really tight community here. We love to support our friends endeavors and in return everyone is really supportive of us as well. There are some really amazing bands coming out of Chicago right now, so watch out!

Once the album is released what are you guys planning on doing? I guess tell us what your plans for 2013 are?

We hope to tour! We are really excited to just get this album done and out and all we could hope for is to just be able to tour on it, we are working on setting a tour up for the summer.

Your sound arguably fits into a very 'now' sound: female-fronted electronic shoe gaze. Would you agree with this? Do you think there's some sort of universal collective creative subconscious going on or do you think it's more random than that?

I think we can say its kind of hard to hear what our sound is. We work for hours on these songs and listen to them so much its hard to hear them as an outsider anymore. But I’m sure its a subconscious thing. We really love a lot of new music coming out and we listen attentively. I’m sure our tastes show through to some degree. Its what we dig on!

What other musicians are you digging at the moment?

Tame Impala, Twin Peaks, Big Colour, Chris Cohen, Mac Demarco, UMO, Foxygen, Ponderosa Twins Plus One, Jackson Scott, Lotus Plaza. So many!