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Premiere: Blaek Unveils 'But You Won't' With Captivating Video (+ Interview)

Premiere: Blaek Unveils 'But You Won't' With Captivating Video (+ Interview)

Thursday 13th July, 2017 10:00AM

Blaek is the nom de plume of emerging Wellington musician Rose Blake, who today is unveiling her debut offering as a solo artist in the form of striking single 'But You Won't'. The track, which comes accompanied by a captivating Microcosmos-esque video from director Jacob Perkins, pairs acoustic instrumentation with resonant electronica that come together to provide the perfect bed for Blaek's dulcet lyricism. The song is plucked from Blaek's upcoming five-song EP, which was co-produced by Alexander Green and is out 28th July. Soak up 'But You Won't below and scroll on to read our interview with Blaek...

Hi! To get started can you please introduce yourself and tell us what kind of tunes you craft?

Blaek is a solo project which I've been working on for the last year. It started from a newfound interest in electronic music. I wanted to explore this new medium and experiment with putting my songs in a different space or mood that I've never explored before. I wanted to try new and different ways of communicating ideas through sound and this felt like the perfect fit. I come from a background of classical singing so there is a very strong vocal/melodic influence through the EP. I wanted to craft songs that are intimate and restless.

Today you are unveiling your debut single ‘But You Won’t’. Can you tell us a little bit about the penning of this particular track?

The initial idea for 'But You Won't' came from a lyric in a song I has been listening to - it actually turns out I heard the lyric incorrectly! I began developing this idea using just voice and piano and it came together very quickly. There are two distinct sections. The first half of the song definitely has more of a turbulent quality to it and I wanted the last section of the piece to contrast with this. The strings on this track are a crucial part of creating this contrast.

Lyrically, what themes do you find yourself touching on in your music?

I wanted to keep it simple and honest, to cut through any 'fluff' and communicate a specific mood or idea. In each song I have tried to create small 'snapshots' in time of passing thoughts or memories. I was trying to preserve these moments of clarity because when you find them you only have them for a moment, and then they're gone. I think it’s important that the listener is able to find their own personal connections within these songs.

‘But You Won’t ‘ is being released with a video directed by Jacob Perkins that brings to mind the magnified ecosystems in the well-known French documentary, Microcosmos... how did you decide to pair that kind of imagery with your song?

I really enjoyed working with Jacob. We had very similar ideas about the direction we wanted to go, which focused on using magnified abstract images. The level of detail possible with a macro lens paired with manipulating time created some wonderful and strange imagery. It really adds to the pensive mood of the song and I particularly like how Jacob has drawn links between the processes of nature and the human condition.

We were lucky enough to have a sneaky listen to your upcoming EP!! It sounds very much like pieces of a complete, larger work. Was this premeditated or was it a happy coincidence?

It was very important to me to create songs that worked together and felt connected in some way. I think because of this it does feel like it could be part of a larger body of work. One of the original songs was completely re-worked because it didn't fit with the overall feeling of the EP.

Many of the timbres on your EP have an ethereal quality. Were there any artists that inspired this?

Thank you! I wasn't specifically trying to create those qualities but I think the fact that I'm naturally drawn towards vocal harmonies and experimenting with the voice may have contributed to this sound. I had also been listening to a lot of Burial which gave me ideas about the specific electronic elements and sounds that I wanted to include. The strings used on the tracks were important in creating the emotional intensity and completing the work as a whole.

Wellington-based artist Alexander Green assisted you on production duties. How did the two of you pair up?

Al Green is a good friend of mine and I'm a big fan of his band Groeni. Once I had written the initial songs, I played them to him and asked if he would be keen to work with me, I'm very happy he said yes! I had some really wonderful sessions with him, he is incredibly receptive and patient. It was always about finding the right sound for the music and his ear for detail is incredible.

What’s next on the cards for Blaek?

I'm working on doing more live shows and I'm currently rehearsing a live set with a band. I'm also in the early stages of working on some more songs for Blaek – so there is plenty to keep me busy.


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