Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Wednesday, May 09, 2007 

Instead of sleeping / I'm going to keep going / Instead of counting sheep / I'm going to count how many bugs I eat in my sleep - Bug In Mouth, Pikelet

If a girl had been left a little too long in the nursery-room of a big country house in an outback town, sunlight slanting in long windows, bugs and a goldfish for friends, she may well have wound up making music like Pikelet. A one-girl-band, known to her mum  (who is not alone in admitting to being "in awe" of her daughter's musical abilities), as Evelyn, Pikelet has gradually worked her way up band bills since slipping onto the live scene at the beginning of last year, culminating in next-week's CD launch. Recording with ace producer and engineer Casey Rice (Sea And Cake, Tortoise, Sigur Ros etc.), Pikelet describes this CD as "alot more hi-fi, psychedelic and soundscapy" than her two self-recorded EPs.

"I knew the kind of sounds I wanted, but wasn't particularly good at achieving them myself on the 4-track. Casey was good at interpreting what I was thinking - a lot of times before I had been able to say it - I think he understood what I was trying to get at from mixing me live a few times. Recording with Gus (Franklin, co-producer) was really quite a creative process, we did some ones that were just jams on the loop pedal that we arranged afterwards. Both of them were really great to work with, mildly psychic."

"Making music by myself means I have to think outside the box a fair bit. I've been inspired by stuff like Animal Collective and Ryan McPhun, also some old 60s pop; more heavily reverbed and with a lot more harmonies. The Purple Stripes had a really big influence [too] because that was the first band I played in that had melodic harmonies and I really enjoyed that. Soon after I was playing in that band I started Pikelet." Much of Pikelet's music is based on loops of accordion, guitar and layers of harmonised voices, arrangements that complement her songs as being meditations on behavioural quirks. "There's no point trying to hide the pedal, it's what I do. I kind of think of the loop pedal as another instrument really, or like another band member. Repetition is a big thing in Pikelet."

"Music has always been a guttural thing, not cerebral, which is really why I enjoy it because I'm cerebral most of the time - constantly thinking. That's what I love about music, it gets me outside of myself a bit. I think it's because I avoid wanting to be too wordy, I want everyone to understand, so I'll try and take a sentence, or four words and repeat them."

Another striking thing about Pikelet's songs is her subject matter. "Alot of it is based around things I think about me or my friends which I put into the persona of somebody else so it's not so scary." One example is her song Sewerage Man, ostensibly about a boy who loses a goldfish, never gives up hope that he'll find it and grows up to work in a sewerage plant. "I was actually thinking about how many people I know who have jobs that they hate, and it just sucks that people get bogged down. So I started thinking: why would people get stuck in the shittest jobs they could think of?" And the goldfish? "I guess that's more about friends that I've lost, how you just grow apart from people, that's something I periodically lament."

"I've spent alot of time playing loud music and trying to sing really loud, and other people have said my recordings sound so less intense than the live performance, but that's what I'm going for. I want it to be intimate, and I want to to it as quiet as my performances and not be loud because I have to be." Prepare for captivation.

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