Elder Island discuss the varied influences on their Seeds In Sand EP, including a much-missed feline friend and acid house vibes in their live show.
"Key One" came into being when we were in the middle of finishing our first EP. We’d all invested in a few new toys and were enjoying playing live as a break from production. Some of the lyrics are influenced by "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles", the Murakami book Katy was reading at the time. The trippy, slow slip from reality is reflected in the darker undertones of the song. It’s still a classic, housey dance track but there is an underlying moody, dream-like quality brought out by the distant, ringing guitar, descending keys, and heavy reverb. We chose to mirror this in the vocals by juxtaposing the playful, rhythmic parts with the ethereal "ooh"s and heavily effected final section.
Awards for the quickest beginnings and the longest time spent finishing. The bones of this track were written within a day if we remember rightly. Maybe because of this it has the most cohesive theme and concept running through it, compared to a lot of the other tracks from the EP. After having an obsession with Japan for some time, Katy had just come back from her travels there and as you’d expect, was feeling a little dejected & disorientated. This song is based around that feeling of being at odds with where you are. The uncomfortable sense that you’ve made a wrong turn somewhere; learning to settle. Luke had also just returned from travelling with a plethora of percussive instruments including a Ghanaian marimba, which makes up the signature melody of the song.
"Black Fur" is a bit of a surprise play - it was always one that sat in the background, live and in track form, but has really come out of itself now it’s been mastered. As the last track we finished on the EP this make sense. By that point we’d honed our recording process so were able to create a fullness in the sound of the track without going overboard on the instrumentation, and bring richness through creating space. We had decided that we didn't want to push it too far in having segmented parts with varying impact between verse and chorus. Instead, it has a steadier pace and grooves along. Lyrically, it’s in reference to Katy’s dearly departed Edgar the cat. Little slinky thing he was. Not too directly of course, but that’s where "Black Fur" comes from. Never really expected to be writing a cat track, not really earning its keep in ‘cool points’ but there we have it.
Similar to "Black Fur", "Golden" came about when playing live. It was originally used as a transitional, loose point in our set where we could just let go a little - sometimes it would get so heavy it was verging on being an acid house track. It wasn't until we got back into the studio mindset that we developed it and lyrics fell into place. It’s loosely themed around the story of Midas’ golden touch.
This one was formed not long after "Bamboo". It came together from a couple of days locked into the studio over winter, which you wouldn't get from the song - it has a much more uplifting, summery feel. We must have played it on every instrument in the house while jamming it and the original recording was about 3 hours long. Our favourite bit is the tick that runs through it - it’s a recording of a bike wheel. Elementally the song is about home. Not specifically our home but what home represents, and the little things that make it so.