PHOTO CREDIT: Chris Strong
Still + Storm
MY mind turns to Still + Storm…
PHOTO CREDIT: Chris Strong
I have been speaking with the exciting duo about their new song, All of These Things, and whether there will be more material later down the line. The Chicago pairing of Rachel and Dave Raymond talk about their partnership and creative process – they reveal whether they’ll come to the U.K.
Still + Storm talk about their love of Radiohead and what they have planned for the rest of the year; what their diary is looking like; whether they both share similar musical tastes; if there is a new artist to watch – they give some great advice for fresh artists emerging.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Hi, there! Thanks for talking with us. This week has been really exciting since we just released our new song and music video for All of These Things. We are really proud to share it with everyone.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
Still + Storm is a duo that consists of (me) Rachel Raymond and Dave Raymond. We are partners in music…and life! You may have heard David’s music from his former project, Damiera, or his current ones, Hidden Hospitals and Given Names.
What is the derivation of that name, ‘Still + Storm’? When did the duo come together?
The name comes from a Brand New lyric: “They say that the captain stays fast with the ship through still and storm”. The sentiment speaks to integrity - which is something Dave and I strive for in our lives and work. We had been together as a couple for about three years before we began Still + Storm. We released our first E.P., Found, in 2014 and have been creating together ever since.
All of These Things is the new track. What is the story behind it?
In general, it’s a lament to all of the seemingly innocuous things in life that have a hidden darkness underneath. Scuff the surface and the shine comes right off. Specifically, I wrote this song reflecting on my strong beliefs related to animal rights. Since the meaning behind the song is quite dark; Dave intentionally created lightness and motion into the music. Also, I love the angsty guitar line in the chorus that our producer (J. Hall) wrote for the song.
I think the influence of all three of us gave the song needed dimension.
PHOTO CREDIT: Daniel Fickle
Will there be more material coming later this year?
Absolutely. Our first E.P., Found, gave us a chance to create our signature sound. We landed on a layered, dreamy soundscape that is intentionally void of guitars. Break Away, our second E.P., integrated guitar and hints of Rock elements. For our next release, we plan to peel off a few more layers and create a stripped down, more straightforward Rock/Pop album. The magic is created in the studio, though, so don’t quote me on that!
Anything can happen.
Chicago is where you are based. How does the music scene differ compared to other parts of America?
That’s an interesting question…
I think it used to be easier to differentiate regional sounds when independent record labels ran the scene. The current Chicago scene, in my experience, is musically and culturally diverse. I also find it to be supportive and welcoming. That’s the best part, truly - making new friends at every show.
PHOTO CREDIT: Jaret Ferratusco
I get the sense you have fairly similar musical tastes. Would this be true? How important is 1990s' Grunge, for instance?
If you’re referring to Dave and me, I would say that’s accurate. We are the same age and, although we grew up in different parts of the country, we had some similar music experiences. We grew up on our parents’ records. Later, Grunge music and culture was very important to me (and still is). I am nostalgic to a fault; so the 1990s are a time I look back on often.
Dave identified more with the Hip-Hop genre in the '90s and draws his influence from many current artists as well. We both consistently love the music that Thom Yorke makes - and Beck’s aesthetic. We still drink wine to Sam Cooke.
Are there tour dates approaching? Where can we see you play?
We are focusing on writing, recording and releasing for the upcoming months, but we consistently jump on shows in Chicago. Track us on Bandsintown to be in the know!
PHOTO CREDIT: Jaret Ferratusco
Will you come and play in the U.K. this year?
Yes. What have you got for us?!
What do you hope to achieve in 2018?
We hope to create some new and interesting art. Music, merchandise - all of it. We’ve got the freedom of being able to twist the lens each time we make recordings for Still + Storm. It’s fun to dream of what a core idea, feeling or sound could be for the production process. Currently, we’re dreaming of our next E.P…and warm weather.
If you each had to select the one album that means the most to you; which would it be and why?
Impossible! We love so many albums. I think many albums held intense meaning at different times in my life. I will say, though - for our wedding, I walked out to the intro of Codex off of The King of Limbs by Radiohead…
As you have probably figured out, I love Radiohead. A lot.
PHOTO CREDIT: David Raymond
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
I think the most memorable was our first Still + Storm show. We went straight out on tour and our first show was in Omaha, Nebraska. This was cool for a number of reasons but, mostly for me, because I was so influenced by the Saddle Creek (record label) bands, which is based in Omaha.
We came to find out that the owners of the venue we played are members of Cursive and the drummer from The Faint happened to be in attendance that night and caught our set. He said some kind words and it was an absolutely surreal experience for me. First show success!
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
I think the most important thing is to be courteous and kind. I am so grateful for all of the artists and audience I've come across that have been so supportive before and after our shows. Pay that consideration forward: when you are attending or playing shows just start a conversation, buy their album and watch them perform...
The world is large but the music community can be quite small. Tiny gestures are often the most memorable.
IN THIS PHOTO: Given Names
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
I am a bit biased but I adore Given Names - the Electronic, down-tempo project Dave is involved in. It has so much depth and beauty. It is worth a look and a listen.
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Sylvan Esso - Slack Jaw
CLOSENESS - More Romantic
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