The three original tracks off of the split ("Stars," "MNTN" and "theMotions") inspire the same shadowy groves explored in the covers, with each track illuminating additional layers of Maninici and Avery's creative depths and experimental-yet-still-catchy sensibilities. Together with "Falling" and "Ramblin Man," Mountain Music proves to be an exemplary work of collaborative songwriting, equally showcasing the talents of PSIRENS and Slow Proteo. To get more insight into the release and learn a bit more about the history of PSIRENS I asked both Paris Mancini and Ian Avery a few questions. Here is that interview in full:
Matron Records (MR) - Paris, looping is an integral part of your sound and your songwriting. Live it sounds like you often build your songs from an initial loop, how do you choose the first one?
I gauge where my audience is at and start based on their vibe. Very softly if I need to quiet the room down, loud if I want to shock and engage them, it totally depends, it's synergy between them and I.
MR - In addition to songwriting, you are also a skilled illustrator and contributed many accompanying designs for Mountain Music's artwork. What’s the difference in your creative thought processes when making music vs. when illustrating?
PM - For me music is so performative and emotive, making visual art is expressive in a more internal way. You have to be quite still, and it's usually not a social way of art making. Performing live and even practicing music is cathartic in a totally different way, for me it releases endorphins like sex or scream therapy.
MR - Ian, can you describe your creative process with Slow Proteo?
Ian Avery (IA) - Process is a strong word for how my songs get created. It’s hard to nail down but the general end goals of a track are either pure escapism or a desire to channel some of my existential wonder and dread. Tracks usually start with a single riff or vocal sample, then I hear complimentary sounds in my head and try to recreate them. This processes continues and I attempt to weave in some modality and music theory but to be honest it’s mostly trial and error. I often end up with a few moments where the song becomes a layered wall of sound, and the work comes in tying those climaxes together. It would probably be more efficient to follow conventions of some electronic genre like house so I don’t have to reinvent the wheel each time, but I’m a bit stubborn and tend to resist structure.
MR - Mountain Music is a highly collaborative work between PSIRENS and Slow Proteo. Can you describe some of the inspiration behind it?
IA - I didn’t write lyrics or sing any vocals, the inspiration for the music is introspective for me, a collection of my experiences. I feel like the instrumentals reflect my mental state over time, cycling between periods of calm and overstimulation.
We wrote the title track when Paris and I were recording the split in rural Washington at the end of our tour. I made a weird little beat with the moog and asked Paris to sing over it, improvisnig, she sang the word 'mountain' and tied phrases together with some calming nonsense syllables. It seemed to capture the essence of the album: a metaphor for music created during personal growth, the liberating sensation of driving north through the Redwoods, the growth of our friendship over tour.