Lie back and sink into the langurous, hazy post-club comedown tracks from the much-hyped Brighton pair.
Blame fate for bringing together the formation of much-hyped duo GAPS. After finishing school, Rachel and Ed lost touch – but then they just so happened to move to Brighton at the same time. Now, the pair are creating inimitably lush, evocative soundscapes and gaining plaudits for their inimitably unique take on that whole vocalist-meets-producer trend spearheaded by groups like AlunaGeorge.
The two have just aded the finishing touches to their debut EP, and new single ‘Keep You’ is a beautiful, ethereal offering with spacious vocals and keen synths. GAPS will be launching the single at an exclusive show at The Shacklewell Arms on 11th July.
You guys have seemed to come out of nowhere. How did the collaboration between the pair of you begin?
Ed: We’re old school friends and both moved to Brighton some time ago. Rachel played me a few of her ideas and it was immediately obvious that she had captured something special. I worked on 3 tracks and we put the final touches together a few months later. Since then we’ve continued to write in the same way.
Whats your musical CV? Have there been any previous projects from either of you before GAPS?
Ed: I’ve been lucky enough to work in lots of different projects but this is the first time I’ve been the producer. I feel I’ve suddenly found where my strengths lie and love the way we work.
Rachel: I’ve played in bands since I was young but I was always behind the drums. This is my first time in this role, which is very different! Working with Ed has been amazing.
When you began making music and experimenting with sounds, what did you wish to accomplish with the sound that you make?
Ed: Plenty of space. The temptation to keep adding in elements is very difficult to resist. I’ve tried to be brutal about taking things out if they’re not needed. It’s a constant balancing act and I think we’re learning more and more as we go along how best to do that.
Rachel: The starting point for each track is about expressing a deep emotion. I use different tunings and search for notes that move me and feel right so it’s quite intuitive. The space in the production compliments this and I think each track has quite a cathartic quality to it.
Who were your biggest musical inspirations and influences when writing and recording?
Ed: I don’t think you’re always aware of your own inspirations and influences – those I’m conscious of include; Fourtet, Jon Hopkins and James Blake.
Rachel: I have a lasting love for all things Kate Bush and Fleetwood Mac. Ravi and Ananda Shankar rock my world. I love the drone in Indian Ragas and exotic melody. I listen to a lot of different music and I’m sure its all had an impact.
How is the album shaping up? What can we expect from it?
Ed: The writing process has just been a joy so far. The idea is just to keep moving forward, evolving what we do and when we’ve got enough material for an album pick the collection of songs that best represents us. I hope we’ll surprise ourselves with what we produce along the way – so I’m not sure what to expect!
You’ve only played a handful of shows, so what can we expect from your live gigs?
Ed: We’re continuously tweaking what we do live. We’ve tried to make it as visual as possible – the less time I spend staring at a computer screen the better – that’s the basic principal. I trigger samples off live and mix in drum pads, synths and loops etc. Rachel plays her guitars and drum pads (we’re both originally drummers) as well as singing, of course.
What do you hope you achieve by summer 2014?
Ed: A body of work that we’re really proud of and a live show that takes those recordings to another place.
What other emerging talent are you championing right now?
Rachel: Wolf Alice, IYES, Dark Bells and GOAT.
GAPS play the Shacklewell Arms on 11th July. soundcloud.com/gapsmusic
Words: Shane Hawkins (Follow Shane on Twitter @piccadilly_boy)