Perth lads Slumberjack have returned to launch a trap infused EP filled with plenty of big stage style energy moments.
The Sarawak EP announce comes off the back of a monster Aus + NZ tour lined up in March involving some whopping shows at The Enmore, 170 Russel and more.
To celebrate the long awaited release of this 5 track bangin’ project, the dudes talked us through the influences behind each track that feature some great cameos from the likes of Machine Age, Troyboi and Claire Ridgely.
1. Daggers w/ Machine Age
For the longest time, we’ve wanted to bring gritty rock elements into the electronic music realm and we finally found the right person to help us pull it off. Machine Age showed us a demo sketch on the piano and we instantly fell in love with it – there’s a lot of real emotion behind the lyrics. We deliberated on this track for a long time and even had an entire orchestrated bridge section that didn’t make it into the final release (but we’ll be showcasing that on the SARAWAK Tour).
We actually ended up bringing in influences from many more genres than just rock – some of the elements that did end up making it in were the Indian Tabla, gospel style choir vox, live recorded drums, old school analogue synths and obviously Adrian’s amazing guitar work. It’s a high energy stomper.
We’ve always been fans of TNGHT and their style absolutely was the main influence for this record. It’s fascinating how a few simple elements put together in the right way can sound even bigger than the most jam-packed tracks. Athena is the fourth installment of our ‘god’ named records and its very fitting that Athena is a goddess of war. There’s not a huge amount to be said about the process on this one, it was a classic producer curled up on the couch with a laptop and headphones – sometimes you just get into the zone and magic happens. I think we’re going to end our live show on this track.
03. Hide & Seek feat. Claire Ridgely
This track easily took this longest to finish on the whole EP; it’s been almost three years since we first started it. There have been countless different versions and countless vocals but we couldn’t be happier with how it ended up. We tend to make things overly complicated and it took a long time for us to be able to say goodbye to some of the ideas we put into this track and strip it back to the elements that mattered. It’s always a tug of war but I think the rawness we achieved, especially in the intro, was so worth it. I still get goosebumps sometimes when Claire’s vocal comes in, I don’t know how she does it.
04. Solid w/ Troyboi
Troy has forever been an inspiration and when we joined him for his North American bus tour in 2017 we knew we had to work on something. This track travelled the world, starting in the cramped conditions on the bus, going to Indonesia and being finished up on the road in China. I think people would most associate this track with the old school SLUMBERJACK style, we tried to inject as much bounce as physically possible into it.
05. Closure w/ Ekali
The opening sounds you hear on this song are layered with recordings we made in SARAWAK of some tribal drums we came across. They’re quite unique in that they have a lot of tonal quality but the pitches don’t follow any kind of scale so they add quite an atonal character to the track. We also used some ambient beds we recorded in the jungle to fill out the atmosphere and give this one a grand ‘open’ feeling. Originally titled ‘Falls’ because we started it around the time of Falls festival, it took on a new life when we realized it kind of reminded us of a giant waterfall. In SARAWAK we wanted to go and visit this waterfall that Morgan had been to in his childhood to see if we could record anything there for the track but we ended up getting caught in a torrential thunderstorm out in the middle of the jungle – that whole story is in ">Episode 4 of the SARAWAK docu-series so check it out.
We actually did two tracks this year with Ekali, one for his EP (‘Helios’), and this one for our EP. Really happy with how both turned out and they’re such different styles from each other, this one is the perfect closer for the EP.
You can catch them on tour this March across Aus.
Friday 8 March – The Gov, Adelaide
Saturday 9 March – Metro City, Perth
Friday 15 March – 170 Russell, Melbourne
Saturday 16 March – Enmore Theatre, Sydney
Friday 22 March – The Studio, Auckland
Saturday 23 March – The Tivoli, Brisbane