The Berlin-hailed trio breaks down their debut album Smalltalk and & DMC’s.
Putting out your debut album isn’t an easy experience. From the pressure to the expectations, artists can feel nervous about releasing their first story. But for Berlin-hailed trio Varley, being insecure wasn’t an option. “It was really important to us to stay true to ourselves and that’s what we have done,” the trio revealed. “So we feel really proud of the record.” Dropping their debut album Smalltalk and & DMC’s earlier this year, the indie-pop group propel us into warming soundscapes filled with defiant bass lines and fearless lyricism. From their focus track “Feel It” to the euphoric “Misery”, the group effortlessly oscillates between serene upbeat melodies and heart-on-sleeve moments.
Opening up on the album, the trio said, “We tend to let our gut feelings do the talking, at the end of the day it is usually the most honest and has the most interesting things to say. So it was really important for us to listen to the inner voice and write about a lot of the uncomfortable topics that we are confronted with day to day, such as loneliness and mental health. In saying that it was also really important for us to have moments of defiance, strength and admiration in the record.”
Catching up with us digitally, the trio lets us into their mindset approaching their debut project, finding their sound and taking their music to the road.
Check out the interview below now…
Hey Varley! How are you? How has this past year been?
Hey, we are really well, thanks. The past year has been pretty incredible. We have been really fortunate to work with some incredible people and are so looking forward to Smalltalk & DMC’s being out in the world.
With everything that happened last year, was your creativity affected?
Although the last year has been tough for everyone, it quickly became a very creative and liberating time for us in terms of the band. We suddenly found ourselves with a lot more free time and decided to start writing the record.
How did you all first get into music, what sparked the interest?
Claire-Ann was first introduced to music through her Dad, who had played in bands since he was a teenager. She started learning lots of different instruments but found out that her real passion was writing her own songs. Matze and Joschka both started playing in bands when they were teenagers and eventually started producing their own music.
Berlin is a melting pot of culture and music, do you think your area has impacted your sound in anyway?
Berlin is a pretty open-minded, non-judgemental place and that has definitely rubbed off on our songwriting. All of the topics of the album are incredibly personal and it can be a bit daunting on let people look inside your head but living in such a liberal city made it quite easy to share our innermost thoughts with the world.
You’ve just dropped your debut album Smalltalk & DMC’s talk us through the production process!
We knew from the start that we wanted a more organic band sound and once we decided this, the process of making the record was really easy as we felt comfortable in all of our decisions.
Being that this is your debut album, did you feel any pressure?
Actually not at all. Being that we are a trio, if one of us was feeling insecure about something there was always someone to turn to to get another opinion. This is something that has definitely helped to hinder any self-doubt or pressure regarding the record. It was really important to us to stay true to ourselves and that’s what we have done, so we feel really proud of the record.
What was your mindset going into this album?
We tend to let our gut feelings do the talking, at the end of the day it is usually the most honest and has the most interesting things to say. So it was really important for us to listen to the innervoice and write about a lot of the uncomfortable topics that we are confronted with day to day, such as loneliness and mental health. In saying that it was also really important for us to have moments of defiance, strength and admiration in the record.
Looking back on the project, was there a stand out moment for you?
There are a few actually, when we wrote ‘Disease’ it was a bit of a magic moment. Matze had just recorded the guitar lick and put some drums under it and asked Claire-Ann to sing something over it to get a rough idea of where it could go and Claire-Ann jammed out the whole song in one take, lyrics and all. In the end we took those ‘demo’ vocals for the finished production because there is something magical about them. Another stand-out moment was when Claire-Ann and Joschka wrote the bones of ‘Push Pull’ & ‘Feel It’ on the same day.
What do you want people to take away from your music?
We hope this collection of songs gives people hope, the feeling of not being alone or maybe even the permission to love ourselves just as we are.
Who are your inspirations?
We are inspired by a lot of different people and places. Daily life here in Berlin is probably the biggest inspiration lyrically and musically we have definitely been inspired by the likes of Fleetwood Mac and The Cardigans.
What’s next for you! What are you most excited for?
We want to take the new songs on the road and are so excited to start playing in front of a live audience again. We played our first festival last week and it felt so good playing the new songs with our band. We definitely are looking forward to more of that!