Pensive, haunting and truly twisted at its core. These are just some of the words that best describe the new cut being served up by experimental duo Tachys. Hacked straight from their self-titled album, the duo which is made up of childhood friends Tobias and Jonas, are treating us to an out-of-the-box narrative made beautiful by the pair’s haunting hums, atmospheric production and the sound of collaborator Yuna, all of which culminate in an all-consuming sound on track “You Can Be My Guide”.
“It started out just with the humming. These four chords were built out of vocal humming,” explains Jonas. “Then Tobi put a beat on it, and these very dark but also fairly sparse soundscapes. I like how much room there is for the vocals in this track. The lyrics deal with the idea of cult leaders and draws a comparison to being in a relationship with a narcissist, eventually making the right decision to escape, to rediscover the self that you temporarily lost. I wrote the lyrics one day, when I felt a certain weight on me, in a bit of a sinister mood.”
Upon the release of “You Can Be My Guide”, its music video and their new album, the duo sat down with Wonderland to discuss their primary school beginnings, the best part about working together and collaborating with Yuna. Head below to enjoy our interview with Tachys…
Hi guys, how are you both doing? Where are we speaking to you from right now?
Tobias: Hello to you too. We’re right now both in Copenhagen, at our studio.
First of all, I know that you are both childhood friends, but how did you both meet?
T: We meet in school. The freaks and geeks.
Jonas: Yeah, we’ve known each other since the age of five. Tobi is one month younger than me.
Did music bring you both together?
T: For sure. We were both into bands like Dinosaur Jr., My Bloody Valentine and labels like 4AD, creation records and K Records. We started our first band together.
J: That’s right. Back then we were a bunch of kids in our age group, in elementary school, just trying out creative things. The band was called Orange Hund, which means Orange Dog. Later we named it Chien Orange, to make it more international and mysterious! We went through different permutations and people came and went, and eventually, we parted ways, Tobias starting Blue Foundation, and me starting Mew. But we always kept in touch and collaborated from time to time. But never to this extent before.
Would you say that you both have similar inspirations, or would you say you have differing tastes in music?
T: We for sure like some of the similar stuff and of course there is stuff one person digs more than the other. We are both very open and curious and have a big heart for more experimental and unique art.
How have you found working as a duo?
T: I personally love working with Jonas. For me, it’s the first time I have worked with an artist where we both bring the same amount to the table. It makes it so much easier and so much more inspiring. Also, because it’s a new project. It’s not weighed down by earlier work. Much more free. Art should be free, playful and unique.
J: I agree. There is something about starting something new, nobody knows what to expect, so you’re kind of freed from expectations. Tobi and I are both kind of workaholics, we really love bringing things out of the ether, and seeing where it ends up. We both sing on these songs. And we’re both visual artists as well, so we cover a lot of ground together.
Could you maybe sum up the experience in one sentence?
T: We create.
J: That pretty much sums it up!
And, congratulations on the release of “You Can Be My Guide”! Talk to us about the track, what is the core theme or message behind it?
J: It started out just with the humming. These four chords were built out of vocal humming. Then Tobi put a beat on it, and these very dark but also fairly sparse soundscapes. I like how much room there is for the vocals in this track. The lyrics deal with the idea of cult leaders and draws a comparison to being in a relationship with a narcissist, eventually making the right decision to escape, to rediscover the self that you temporarily lost. I wrote the lyrics one day, when I felt a certain weight on me, in a bit of a sinister mood.
And you collaborated with Yuna on the track, what was it like working with her? How did this collaboration come to be?
J: I have known Yuna since 2017 when I met her at one of Mew’s shows in Los Angeles, where she lives most of the time. I think she’s listened a lot to Mew, and we wrote back and forth a bit on Instagram. I really love her voice, and her approach to music. She’s currently working on a series of EPs, two of them are already out, she’s pretty busy, so we were happy she could take the time out to work on our track.
Let’s also talk about the track’s accompanying music video! It is quite pensive whilst also having an other-worldly edge! How did you land on this blend of aesthetics and vibes?
T: Since I heard the song finished with Yuna’s vocal, I found it extremely dream-like and almost heard it in slow motion. A lost memory. I have always loved some of the work by Henri-Georges Couzot. Especially the test shots for “Inferno” with Romy Schneider. I guess I was a little bit inspired by these shots. I wanted to shoot through glass to create all this picture distortion in the camera, and not in post after. Get an organic feel. I spoke to Yuna’s husband Adam Sinclair. He’s a photographer and director. We talked about if it could be possible to shoot a video, even we couldn’t meet up because of the pandemic. I mailed him a lot of ideas, test shots etc.
J: The distortion through glass also correlates well with the idea of the song. Adam filmed Yuna in Los Angeles, and we then match the footage with the stuff we had been shooting in Copenhagen. A lot of filming through bits of broken glass and crystals. Tobi did the editing, which really made the whole thing flow.
And you have just dropped your new album! How are you feeling about the world hearing the project?
T: We feel really good. Very proud of what we have created so far.
J: Yes, it’s been a very enjoyable journey making this music, starting out during Copenhagen lockdown, and at first just completing bits and pieces, with no real goal of creating an album, just seeing where the music would take us. So, I am very happy it came together the way it did. And so far the response has been really great!
Aside from the exciting release, what else are you looking forward to this year?
T: I am looking forward to recording some more songs and playing concerts.
J: Yeah, it’s too early to tell where the album will bring us, but we’re hoping to set up a string of shows in the not-too-distant future. And we’ve already had a few ideas for future songs, so we look forward to working more on those!