On The Record: Slowes

Danish musicians Jack Kilburn and Anders Hamann are Slowes, the fascinating project that experiments with layers of electronics, samples, lyrics and engaging visual material. With recent releases ‘Times’, ‘(heartbreak:again)’ and ‘Anymore’, the Copenhagen-based pair continues to explore dark sonic realms and personal themes of love and loss.

Next month, Slowes will send their debut EP, Times, out into the world. The release is set for May 26th, around one month after the band’s debut London show on April 27th at The Lexington.

For now, let’s get to know dynamic duo Kilburn and Hanmann a little better.

How would you describe Slowes to someone who had never heard your music before?

We think that alternative pop is the right way to put it. We’ve been discussed as chill-wave and so on, but we are more versatile than that. We like to experiment but still have the strong melodies with it.

One of your recent tracks is ‘(heartbreak:again)’, a noticeably brief and minimalist electronic production. Is that how you perceive heartbreak in a musical dimension?

No, actually the opposite. A heartbreak is emotions going wild. It’s a rollercoaster of extreme feelings. (heartbreak:again) is thought as an intermezzo on the full-length EP. We hope that the full release gives an idea as a whole of how it is to go through the loss of love.

We’ve made the minimalistic electronic production because sometimes an electronic piece can actually posses very strong feelings and intimacy – something one usually thinks as cold, robotic and distant. It depends on how you use it.. Take an album like 808s & heartbreak by Kanye West. It’s filled with emotion…

Lost love is also a theme that permeates your song ‘Anymore’, how do you continue to explore this subject?

This track is really something special for me (Jack). I had gone through a tough break-up a few days before me and my family went on vacation, and during that time I was restless and sleepless. The worst thing during such a time is going somewhere exotic with your family to try and enjoy life. I used up my savings by buying a plane ticket home immediately. My family understood why I couldn’t stay there so they supported my decision. On the plane back I listened to ‘Little Lies’ by Fleetwood Mac on repeat and as I got home, ‘Anymore’ just came rushing out of me.

Your darkest track so far has to be ‘Times’, what’s going on there?

Yes, it’s actually a part one of a series of tracks that will feature on future releases. We’re both brought up by listening to albums. What we’ve always loved about albums is the wholesome feel about it. It’s difficult to do the same with an EP and therefore our first EP will be a taste of something bigger…

In a a lot of hiphop albums there’s often skits or small productions which makes the album a story more than a number of tracks following each other.

‘Times’ opens with two low-toned questions, “is this lyrically satisfying for you?” and “Is it enough?”, where you appear to be directly addressing the listener. What answers are you trying to find?

Yes, ‘Times’ is a track on different levels. It can be frustrating to know what you want and to know what another partner wants but doesn’t know yet. Therefore, the sentence “how many times do you wanna fuck around?” It’s essentially, how come you don’t realize that I’m right in front of you telling you everything you want and need to hear, but still don’t understand.

Basically, it is about saying: is it enough that I’m telling you how to feel? is it lyrically satisfying and do you find inspiration from it?

On the flipside, we have the light, melodic synth-pop of ‘I Need You’. Do you seek to play around with different moods and genres through Slowes?

Yes, we love to mix genres and experiment with sound. That’s essentially what it’s all about. To play around. Writing music is trying to stay in a childish state of mind. Exploring new things and new ways.

Moving away from the recordings, have you had chance to showcase your music in a live setting yet? If so, does your sound differ from the recorded tracks?

We’ve played a few live concerts. We’ll be playing a few more during the next few months. A couple in London, in France and some in Denmark too.

No, we sound pretty similar to the recordings. Although there’s an energy live that cannot be recorded. We hope to give the audience something to talk about after the show. An experience on some level…

Speaking of difference, Denmark is serving up an increasingly wide variety of talent right now, does it feel exciting to be part of that scene?

Yes, despite the size of our country. It’s very exciting to follow each other and talk things over with other artists. In Denmark we practically all know each other – which can be both positive and negative.

Are there any upcoming Danish acts you would tell our readers to look out for?

Yeah, our friends from The Vice, Silvester, Smerz, Chinah, Gents and The New Family are all great acts.

Lastly, what’s next for Slowes?

Our debut EP, Times, is out the 26th of May via Distiller Records. Then we’ll be playing a few concerts, but what we’re most excited about is probably writing new material. We’ve really evolved during the last year and therefore our new material will be even better. Can’t wait to show you.

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