Wonderland.

NEW NOISE: SLENDERBODIES

Meet the Californian dream-pop duo wanting to create new worlds with their music.

All clothing SCOTCH AND SODA

All clothing SCOTCH AND SODA

After meeting as college freshman at UCSC, Max Vehuni and Benji Cormack instantly bonded over their love of music. Fascinated with the idea of creating imaginative musical soundscapes, they named their partnership slenderbodies, and a beautiful relationship was formed.

Creating Alt-J-esque cinematic dream-pop, the pair lean into indie electronic influences with shimmering R&B hues flowing through. A low-key pop phenomenon, the duo have risen through the ranks following their breakout summer 2016 self-released debut Sotto Voce and are now gearing up for even bigger and better things.

Releasing their latest track “dewdrops” today, it’s a love letter to peaceful creative spaces that the pair have found. The first taste of their forthcoming new record, we caught up with the pair in sunny LA to chat about what comes next.

Hey Max & Benji, how are you?
Doing well! This year has been treating us well so far!

Going back to the very beginning, how did you two first meet?
We actually met in college at UC Santa Cruz. We were both in the same dorm building, crossed paths during one of the early social events and naturally started bonding over music.

What made you start wanting to make music together?
Since that first year at UCSC, we had collaborated a lot but never really on one project together. We’d always been sounding boards for each other’s projects, but this was the first one where it really made sense to do something truly together. We always say we talk to each other on guitar, and Slenderbodies is the space we communicate best.

How did you agree on the sound?
We set two parameters at first: falsetto vocals and guitars as the sole melodic instrument. This gave us focus, but also challenged us to dive deep into sound design, manipulating those elements as much as we saw fit. From there it evolved naturally alongside our songwriting and production.

Where do you pull inspiration from?
We pull inspiration from our lives, from the stories we’re told, and from the state of the world. We both have very active imaginations, so creating worlds and stories within the music is very important to us. On a musical front, we pull heavy inspiration from Radiohead, Sade, Beach Boys and many contemporary artists doing great things in the world right now.

How did the name “slenderbodies” come about?
Much like the early art for our records, it just seemed to fit so well. In retrospect, we’ve fallen in love with it more because “slenderbodies” is a name that implies a light airy feel while also being grounded. That speaks to the mood of the music very well for us.

All clothing SCOTCH AND SODA

All clothing SCOTCH AND SODA

What’s your creative process? Who brings what to the table?
It’s pretty even. Our ideal way to write is together, usually starting on guitars. We’ll move around some chords, eventually mumbling a melody. From there we’ll develop a “hook loop” and feel out the groove and melodic parts for the instruments. After that we arrange, then start whittling down how we want the vocals to work with the track. One of the reasons we work so well together is because we speak the same dialect creatively, so with that comes balance. That said, Max is more technically minded given his formal training as an audio engineer.

How have you grown musically since starting out?
In every possible way. We are not the musicians we were two years ago, even six months ago. And that goes for everything as performers, instrumentalists, producers and songwriters. As two people who are really tied to growth mindset, this constant positive growth keeps us inspired and very grateful.

What are your new music plans for 2019?
We have our debut album coming this fall and singles before it! We cannot contain our excitement!

How does the music differ to your previously released material?
This music differs because we really took a songwriters approach to it. Every song was written first with voice and acoustic guitar, then produced out. This helped us think about how the song flowed lyrically and melodically. The simplicity of this helps the music really speak to the themes of nature and subjective morality that we explore. We used a lot of foley sounds across the record, like keys, branches and ambiances recorded out in nature.

Tell us about your new song “dewdrops”.
“dewdrops” is a song written about the spaces we create. Often times this is in nature, but when we sit down to produce and record it’s obviously an indoor space. We wanted to write a poetic, surreal track appreciating the indoor spaces that are a part of our creative process, recognizing and beautifying them lyrically.

What else can we expect from you this year?
Catch us at Hangout Fest, Lollapalooza and on tour this fall.

All clothing SCOTCH AND SODA

All clothing SCOTCH AND SODA
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NEW NOISE: SLENDERBODIES

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