Breath-swept synth pop is in Erika Spring‘s DNA. As she stepped on to the stage at Los Angeles’ Echo last night (sans 2/3 of her dreamy Brooklyn trio, Au Revoir Simone), the lead singer and keyboardist only reinforced her presence as a front-woman and her talent as an independent force.
In venturing into this new territory as a solo artist, Spring has taken with her the synth mentality and adds even more dreaminess to her self-title debut album. Her newest single “Hidden” hazily dances on romantic lines and billowing accordion-like riffs, and slow-riding, stern beats. It’s those soothing vocals, though, that we’d recognize anywhere.
Before taking stage last night, Erika took a little time out of recording the 4th Au Revoir Simone album, and talked with us about what it’s like to be left to her own devices. See below…
TL: If you were playing the game ‘MASH’ back at home in Colorado before Girl Crisis and Au Revoir Simone, what would you have chosen as your ideal career, car, kids, husband/wife, honeymoon, and city to live in?
ES: Ha! I definitely played MASH. Ok, well at that time I wanted to be a graphic designer. I was obsessed with the mod aesthetic and I wanted to make everything look minimal and orderly with pops of color, Car: I always coveted my neighbor’s vintage forest green convertible MG. it was so beautiful and impractical. The neighbor was often push starting it, as my dad would point out. My dream husband looked like an Abercrombie model, I was really into preppy guys for some reason then. Honeymoon: Europe And city: London or something…
TL:Is it still surprising to receive praise from people like David Lynch and to now be on your own and receive acknowledgements like Vogue’s “Artist of the Week” and having your debut solo EP be on the tongues of everyone in the music blogosphere? How does that feel to receive praise independently from the trio as your own force?
ES:Yes, for sure. It has been such an honor to the songs and the work Jorge and I put in. I thought it would really fly under the radar because it’s an EP. I’m so happy people are enjoying it! TL: What’s it like touring with two boys now and not Annie and Heather? Better or worse? Why?
ES:I’ve been mixing it up a bit, right now my boyfriend is playing guitar with me. It’s fun (he’s currently serenading me on a porch in Echo Park under the full moon) and the guitar adds a great texture to the songs. And I might transition to an all electronic -samplers/programming situation starting this fall. It’s fun mixing it up and hearing the songs in different contexts. And sometimes I play alone. I went to South America this year solo which was an adventure. Touring with Heather and Annie is a well-oiled machine. The Erika Spring thing is more low key.
TL:What is it like being the front-woman and not having the girls up there with you? Gotten used to it? Do you miss it?
ES: I am definitely still getting used to it. It’s a different type of show and I’m playing with more effects and drum tracks so it’s just a different experience. More uncharted territory. With ARS I’ve been through it all with those songs so I’m prepared for whatever might happen. I guess I would say these shows are more intimate feeling.
TL: What are you able to do musically/creatively in your solo project that isn’t as accessible in writing and recording as a member of Au Revoir Simone?
ES: Part of it is the freedom to be solely intuitive without using language to make every decision. And also with singing, being able to focus on the emotion and speaking for myself instead of the “united front” of ARS, which I of course love being a part of, but as in any group, there are sides of ones self that doesn’t get to show itself.
TL: What are you most excited about for your reunion and recording the fourth album with Au Revoir?
ES:We’ll we’ve been writing for over a year and have been officially recording for the past month or so… It’s going really well and as always, im most excited about seeing the songs take shape. Instilling them with meaning and passion and beautiful sound-scapes, it’s really the most amazing payoff after all the work of collecting/ songwriting. I love listening to rough mixes on headphones when something is first coming together & only I can understand the scope of its potential and magic.
So yes, I’m very excited about this new side of our band which is emerging. And also we finally moved out of our dingy (but lovable) practice space which was long overdue! Greener pastures! In fact- a rehearsal space near green/trees/nature would be amazing. Someday!