Loud Sounds 23
Cover photo: Hector Gachan – Asking For a Friend cover art
"Loud Sounds" are some of the best new tracks we've found. We are coming back with the twenty-third installment of the series.
Hector Gachan – Asking For a Friend

Hector Gachan's new single brings together touching lyrics with his trademark laidback guitars and a catchy synth melody reminiscent of Mac DeMarco. The song's chorus highlights the emotion of loneliness by the vocal approach inspired by Sting. Other influences include MGMT and even Nirvana. The result is our favourite new song of the week.

Hector Gachan
I came up with the demo of the track in 2018, initially I didn't have anything in particular in mind in terms of instrumentation. Fast forward to 2021, I went back to the track and realised it had a pretty strong chorus line. It sounded really big with the vocal harmony.

I spent a lot of early 2021 listening to the album "Zenyatta Mondatta" by The Police. I really like the vocals on that album. I figured a vocal approach like that would fit with the melody of the track. I'm also a huge fan of the album "Little Dark Age" by MGMT. The song "When You Die" was a massive influence in terms of instrumentation. It's what got me to add the acoustic guitars. Melodically it was somewhat inspired by Kurt Cobain's melodies on "Smells Like Teen Spirit".

It was tricky to pinpoint what the song was supposed to sound like, for initially it started off as more of a basic rock track with electric guitars, but eventually it evolved into an uptempo psychedelic, acoustic number.

Ultimately I knew I wanted the chorus to sound very big but not too rushed. I eventually added a pre chorus to give the track a bit of space before heading into the big chorus.

Lyrics were difficult to come up with. Often I'd walk around Edinburgh and record voice notes coming up with different lyrical takes with no lyrical theme in mind. Eventually I landed on the phrase "Asking for a Friend". I thought it was perfect because I had just moved to Edinburgh from Sydney and I was a bit lonely, also I thought it could have a double meaning. After that, the lyrics naturally went introspective. I was somewhat inspired by listening to audio lectures by Alan Watts. I have always found solace in his recordings and books.
Also check out vern matz, Hector's labelmates also out Nice Guys records.
Lauren Spring – Make It Look Easy

Lauren Spring dove into songwriting and production in 2020 when her folk band The Krickets had to stop touring because of Covid. Make It Look Easy is the first single from her upcoming full-length album. It's as vibey and atmospheric as her previous efforts, but also catchy and highly melodic.

Lauren Spring
Make It Look Easy addresses the imposter syndrome most creatives face when they allow themselves to play the comparison game. It's about that awful feeling that everybody else has it figured out and you're far from it. The song takes you through the narrator feeling helpless to then making the choice to do it anyway—perfect or not.

I can't imagine how much cool art dies in the mind just because we don't believe in ourselves enough to put it out there. Make It Look Easy is a small reminder to defy that feeling of inadequacy.

The music has a retro vibe that blends a Fleetwood Mac's Christine McVie vibe with a 90s Sheryl Crow sound. We tried to keep an organic feel to it with the instrumentation.
King Shrimp – Waking in a Church

Despite (or thanks to) being entirely recorded at home, Waking in a Church is an excellently produced song. It's detailed, yet every element has its own space to breathe and shine. The song's wailing guitar feedback and synths and calming slide guitar licks create a beautiful contrast, while its unorthodox percussion together with the melodic riffs produce an impression of a never-ending movement. The song is taken from an upcoming song cycle set to drop April, 15.

Rob Katz
"Waking In A Church" is taken from a six-song cycle, "Civil War", which really began as a lyrical experiment in non-linear storytelling. I set out to make use of repeated symbols (smoke, churches, tambourines) presented within multiple temporal contexts, then referenced ambiguously, forcing the listener into a place where they are never sure which moment was "now". The intended effect is almost cubist in nature – multiple moments collapsing into a single point, with all simultaneously visible through shared images.

The songs were actually written 15 years ago, though I was never quite sure how to translate them into arrangements I'd want recorded. It wasn't until November of 2021, having moved to Charlotte, NC and with the recent experience of recording The Onesies' album "Sur-Urbia I", that I decided to finally take a stab at recording the "Civil War" songs. Honestly, I fully expected to quickly shelve them once again and move on to another project. I pulled an old pedal steel from a closet where I'd buried it in frustration a decade earlier, figuring it was an opportunity to stop "learning" the instrument and just play it. Immediately, it seemed to draw out a certain darkness, a palpable atmosphere, in the music that I'd always suspected was there but hadn't been able to produce with just a guitar and voice. After 15 years, I could suddenly hear space for all the other elements I'd wanted to add: banjos, mandolins, skeletal percussion, synths, feedback.

Picking a lead single was tricky, as the songs work best together. But "Waking In A Church", with it's cyclical harmonic structure lacking any landing point, conveys well the constant arrivals and departures (from consciousness, from cities, from other people's lives) that characterize the work as a whole.