Sydney five-piece I Know Leopard have been carving a unique place for themselves on the airwaves of late. The band’s first three singles ‘Daisy Eyes’ – a blissed-out wonderland of swirling hooks, impossibly catchy drum lines, and psychedelic harmonies – along with the sailing rhythm of ‘Hold This Tight’ and ‘She’ caught the attention of listeners across the country.
Recorded with producer Craig Willson (Flume, New Navy, The Church), their highly-anticipated debut EP Illumina builds upon the group’s ambient, dream-pop soundscapes. We caught up with I Know Leopard to chat about each individual track ahead of the official release on 16th May 2014.
“The opener and probably our favourite of the EP. It was actually a last minute addition. Originally we had a melody and a chord progression and not much else, so it was pretty much arranged in the studio through experimentation. It could be interpreted simply as a love song, but for me ‘She’ is symbolic of the personal sacrifices that can come with completely immersing yourself in this crazy music thing.”
Hold This Tight
“Lyrically, this one is a bit of an ode to friendship. In Sydney, we are lucky to be surrounded by a tight-knit group of talented artists, musicians, and filmmakers that continue to inspire us and collaborate with us. Around the time we were writing this, our guitarist Todd had just discovered Twin Peaks, which you can hear in the low guitar line in the chorus.”
“Son O’Blood has our favourite drum sound on the record. We were inspired by the intimate yet punchy live drum sounds on Metronomy’s The English Riviera and Beck’s Sea Change, so we weighed down the snare with books and draped the rest of the kit with blankets to try to achieve that really dead, dry sound. This was the first song we laid drums down for and the ‘blanket technique’ seemed to work a treat, so we kind of stuck to it for the rest the songs.”
“This song is a bit of a Frankenstein. It’s really two songs turned into one. We pretty much drove our producer Willson nuts as we restructured it several times in the studio. Lyrically, it’s about the way that finding love can magically diminish your cynicism and make the world suddenly appear a more beautiful place.”
“Probably the darkest moment on the EP. It started off as a three minute verse, chorus, verse, chorus pop song, but gained an extra two minutes by the time we were done with it. After trying a soundscape build up in the intro and liking it, we decided we should let the rest of the song be more liberal in structure. So we stripped the song of a chorus and turned it into an outro instead which made for a nice closer for the record.”