Focus: SHIPS

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We are focusing today on Dublin’s synth-pop duo, SHIPS. A musical project of Simon and Sorca as SHIPS started in 2012. Continously releasing a strong suite of singles since 2012, the duo has finally released their debut album last May, titled Precession. We have spoken to Simon and Sorca about the making of this album and how the concept of the album, which was inspired by what was learnt throughout their life, the past and future.

Interview: SHIPS
By Satoru ‘Teshi’ Teshima, June 2, 2017

Hello! Very nice to meet you. How’s everything?
Hi, lovely to meet you, everything is well here for us in Dublin.  Thanks for inviting us to chat.

We always ask artists this question. Please describe Ships in three words.
Sorca: Hmmm three? I’m not sure I have one that would do, Simon?
Simon: I’ll stick to empirical descriptions, Duo, suffix, journey

What’s the creative role between the two?
We write songs together and sometimes separately, and we record them here at our home, in Dublin.We both like to sing and play different instruments and we like to sit together and share production ideas, then try to make them happen, and we take turns making dinner.

We read that most recording is done in house. What’s your set up?
We have a small studio set up in the attic. It’s cosy, with a big sky light. There are some synthsisers, bass guitars, regular guitars and a few other odds and ends.
The music is recorded and mixed onto a computer and the rest is history.

You have been making music since 2012. How did it all start?
When we met we had an instant connection around our musical loves and we just took it from there.  We’ve been writing and preforming together ever since. We’ve put out a few of singles over the years, each quite different, mostly just trying ideas out.

And in May, you have released your debut album. What took you so long?
We just followed the natural course of things, we didn’t rush in, and it happened when it was ready.

‘Precession’ is the name of the album and you said that this album draws inspiration from what you’ve learned in the past and what there is still to learn. Can you tell us why and how you reached to this concept?
Much of our experience of life is rooted in cycles.  We are all part of our own set of cycles, from experiences, to emotional cycles and of course, intrinsically tied to the cycles of our planet, our galaxy and our universe. One of the beautiful aspects of experiencing something again and again, is that you get a chance to take with you what you learned from before, and add it to the experience, each time it comes around. Making each personal precession uniquely different, with something new to learn at every moment.

And how is it reflected in the songs featured in the album?
Each song speaks of parts of ourselves that have learned something along the way. They are as much a selection of songs about the self as they are about the experience of being human in general. They kind of speak directly from experience, none are abstract or have storylines, you might say they are upfront and transparant in this way.

I believe that by learning something new, you continue to discover more to learn. Do you agree?
Absolutely! Although at times it might seem daunting that behind every door is another door, it’s also very exciting!

What do you believe in music?
Music is a powerful evoker of emotion that cuts across barriers of language or understanding. Music is for everyone.

What’s next for Ships? Touring Japan anytime soon?
We would love to tour Japan, we’re drawn to your culture’s strong connection with the planet and respect for nature. We’d love to visit and play music there along the way!

Follow SHIPS
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download: Solar Bears, “Interzone”

Dublin’s prolific cosmic electro duo, Solar Bear is said to be working on their third album. They shared a track from the album, which is also an homage to the famous/infamous movie director, Denis Hopper. Read the Hear Me Out interview we did with Solar Bears here.

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listen: Benny Smiles 『Somehow Yours Do』

Dublin’s electro pop producer Benny Smiles is following up his impressive debut EP Sunshine/Moonlight with a new single, “Somehow Yours Do”. Compared to his previous productions, it sounds more upbeat, incorporating sunny synthetic sounds with anthemic choruses. Read our Hear Me Out feature with Benny Smiles here.

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watch: Feather Beds “Walter”

Dublin’s up-and-coming songwriter and last year’s Here Me Out-ed, Feather Beds is ready to release his debut album, The Skeletal System on September 2 this year. Already drawing comparisons to Liars and Sigur Ros, his genre-bending songwriting talent really shines on the new single, “Walter”. You can also grab your copy for whatever price you may pay on his bandcamp. Make sure to check the video, too.

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stream: I Am The Cosmos “Monochrome”

I Am The Cosmos is a Dublin-based electronic duo, which comprises of Ross Turner and Cian Murphy. You can now download their debut full-length Monochrome exclusively via Noisey.

Last year’s Hear Me Out-ed Solar Bears told me about this duo. It’s really nice to know they say they are very much inspired by a track “Shinzo-No-Tobira” (translates to “Gate to Heart”) by the Japanese experimental fusion band from the 80’s called Mariah. Finely incorporating the 80’s airy atmospheric influences which might be born out of the likes of Brian Eno and New Order into a cosmic electro-pop, what they have built here is a refreshing piece of art. Somehow nostalgic, but extremely fun to listen to. Download from the link below.

Download

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