INTERVIEW: WYLDEST | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Continuing her preoccupation with dreamy synths and intense soundscapes, on her new album multi-talented creative Wyldest (aka Zoe Mead) presents a study of the “joys, woes and confusion of femininity and womanhood” with a quietly punchy undertone. Monthly Friend is political and powerful, and its release this month sees the polymath seeking to overcome gender stereotypes and societal constraints.

New single Beggar bristles with questions around the lies we tell in social interactions, as our lead character contemplates the complexity of human emotions, trust and relationships (“It’s easier to just pretend so I lie to you”). While it may be laced with dreamy guitars, gentle melodies and a video which sees our lead character sleepwalking through the evening, Zoe explains that the song touches on themes of evolution and the survival of the fittest. “Beggar was written when I had bouts of insomnia,” clarifies Zoe. “It’s usually brought on by over-thinking and on this occasion, I was reading Richard Dawkins’ The Selfish Gene which got me thinking about the overall meaning of the album and about how we are gene carriers – his term.”

A superb opening to new album Monthly Friend, Beggar shines with its interesting narrative, guitar-pop layering and Bilinda Butcher lullaby-esque vocals, a combination which continues throughout the entire album: “I think the new album is designed to be cohesive and born out of same train of thought with an overall examination of what is to be female in this day and age, both the advantages and disadvantages. There’s a number of different sounds on the album for sure and whilst the last album was very shoegaze, this is perhaps designed to be more intimate so, for example, we’ve pushed the vocals higher up in the mix and used more synths.”

Designed as much out of necessity as intent (“I wrote most of the album on an acoustic which was partly due to the fact that just as we were about to start jamming the band had to move back home to Estonia”) the irony perhaps is that the album may be easier to tour in the coming socially distant era of live shows. The forthcoming gig at Stockton’s Georgian Theatre is already being considered in terms of set design and production: “I’ve played acoustic shows before but I want to make this show as heavy as I can, in places. Without having the band with me I’ll be most likely doing a combination of acoustic pieces with some tracks which also use synth textures and drum machines. I’m certainly not looking to do just an acoustic show; as much as I’ve enjoyed doing, and watching, acoustic bedroom sessions I think we’re all probably looking for something a bit different from the first gigs that we get to. Writing music in your bedroom is great but you do it for the connection – that’s what’s really important in music.”

Wyldest performs at The Georgian Theatre, Stockton on Sunday 23rd May. Monthly Friend is released on 28th May via Hand In Hive


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