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Listen: Gulls - In The Snow (UTR Premiere)

Listen: Gulls - In The Snow (UTR Premiere)

Friday 11th November, 2016 12:03PM

Gulls is the solo project of Dunedin-based composer and producer Adam Stewart. Having being caught in a wave of inspiration since the birth of his daughter, Stewart has been toiling away in the studio and has spun together a five-song EP that blurs the lines between folk and electronica, with its introspective lyrics, delicate layering and use of field recording. With the EP ready to drop next month, we have the pleasure of unveiling lead single 'In The Snow', which you can soak up while you read our wee interview with Stewart below...

 Hey! Can you tell us a bit about Gulls and how it all began?

It’s hard to say where it began. I’ve always known that I wanted to be a songwriter but things were constantly getting in the way. Strangely, it took for me to have a child to feel at ease enough with myself to start producing any work seriously. I felt really alive and grounded and capable. I had moved away from my friends, who are all amazing musicians. I had stopped partying and found some space. And then I had all this time and energy and I was finally being productive. ‘Gulls’ was originally the name of a track that I thought was a benchmark for the kind of work I wanted to produce. When I realised it needed a chorus that song became ‘Renee’ and Gulls fit nicely as the name for the project as a whole.

‘In The Snow’ is the first single from your upcoming EP. Please walk us through how the song came together?

This song was born of a really terrifying experience I had when my daughter was only a few months old. Basically it was a miscommunication where, in my delirium, I thought that her and my partner had vanished. The song is kind of about that desperate love that it hurts to feel, especially when the thing itself is taken away.

I write most of my songs based on an experience. It can be a scene or sometimes just a feeling, but this one came so naturally. When I started producing it in my tiny studio space there was this darkness all the time, wintry and cold, Dunedin being new and quite lonely – and those sounds were trying to make their way into the song. I like to use field-recordings and found sound for added atmosphere, and these really helped to level the song for me.

How was the EP recorded, and what were some of your thematic/sonic influences during writing?

When I first arrived in Dunedin my friend had a tiny space at King Edward Court, and through a little hustling I managed to secure it when he left. My partner’s dad lent me his old Tele and I just started recording haphazardly. I spent a lot of nights in the studio and it kind of became my personal headspace. At the start of my daughter’s life I was experiencing so much sleep deprivation that I started having these weird episodes where the size of the world seemed to change. It is commonly referred to as Alice in Wonderland Syndrome. It is basically a feeling of being somehow larger or smaller than you really are; things seem far away, or so close they are almost inside you. During the production of the record I realised that the sound was sometimes making me feel the same way, and this became a kind of theme for me, to try and recreate that feeling. The EP was actually recorded twice. The first one I accidentally deleted from my hard-drive while backing it up. I was distraught. It meant that I had to start over and that was really, really hard, but also really good for me as a producer. It helped me to understand the idea of progress.

Gulls' forthcoming EP will be available on the 1st of December on iTunes and Spotify, as well as on Soundcloud and Bandcamp.

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