Written by: Jen Dan
Technically, the airwaves should be full of carefree summer jams right now, but for totally apparent reasons this summer just doesn’t feel that carefree at all. In fact, it’s on fire! Both literally and metaphorically. For anyone regularly following the news, the affect of a prolonged exposure to the daily doom and gloom can be rather overwhelming.
Challenger Deep, the new release from the duo DIVVAS, sounds as bleak as the world appears to have become. Taking its title from the deepest known sub-aquatic point on our planet, this is the type of music which, by design, explores emotional spaces that are remote, if not fully hidden from sight, and full internal tensions.
It’s a record that will satisfy fans of Thom Yorke’s solo release or the darker bits in the Radiohead catalog. There are also inflections here that evoke artists such as Anonhi and even FKA Twigs.
DIVVAS are Dave Eleanor on vocals and electronics and Corinne Nora on vocals, guitar, and bass. Challenger Deep is out on BlauBlau Records / Slow Dance.
Here is what the pair had to say about how they met, how they created these songs, and what the future of the project might be.
Hello! It’s so good to touch base. The two of you met at a show… It sounds like destiny was at play here!
Dave: Well, in Switzerland you almost always get to meet the other musicians, since the scene is really not that big. It actually took us a quite a while to meet. We decided to do a track together, which worked out so well that right after recording it the band was born.
Have you ever had such an intense musical exchange with anyone else?
Corinne: Hard to compare; no collaboration is the same; it’s always very different. I had intense workflows in other projects in the past, yes, but maybe never for such a long period as it has been with DIVVAS. We’ve been having this exchange since June 2019. When I think back on the last year, there was probably not a single day without a text from Dave popping up on my phone. So we’re constantly on it; that’s true.
The songs on the EP feel very personal. Would you say that music is a form of therapy for you?
Corinne: I would say that it’s the sort of confession you make to yourself, so in that way, yes. How can music not be personal? Even if you don’t intend to say something personal about yourself, you reveal something about yourself just by making that decision, don’t you?
What do you bring out in each other?
Dave: Difficult question. There are certainly a few things that we’re not doing the same way when we work on our own. The sound of the two voices might be a good example of that. We worked on the energy of our voices for quite a while, until it was almost gone – very close and on the verge of breaking. That informs a big part of our sound, which is certainly related to the collaboration. I rarely worked on a production with so many analog instruments.
Corinne: You’re welcome! (laughter)
Can you describe what a typical day at the studio is like?
Corinne: First there is a lot of coffee-drinking, while we talk about what we want to accomplish that day. We set a goal for ourselves. Then we start diving, trying to find our own flow. It’s not always easy, and as two strong characters coming together for a single purpose there are also intense discussions involved. But we’ve found a pretty good workflow, I’d say.
Will this project persist or was this just a one-off thing?
Dave: We are already working on new stuff. We get a lot of good feedback, and we are having fun with the project.
Corinne: Be prepared to hear more of us than you might want to. (laughter)
Purchase the record HERE
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