Odd pop duo audiobooks marry stream of consciousness narratives with a pop kaleidoscope that spins with each track, possessing a refreshing quality that constantly confounds expectations. They release their debut album, Now! (in a minute), on the 2nd of November via Heavenly Recordings and today we are introducing them into your world.
Evangeline Ling, a 21-year-old art student and musician from Wimbledon, and North Walian super-producer David Wrench might seem an unlikely pairing. But a chance encounter at a mutual friend’s party just one week after David had moved south to the capital very quickly led to an experimental studio session that’s been going on ever since.
The album’s opening track ‘Mother Hen’, audiobooks say they: “wrote and recorded this on the 2nd day we hung out. Evangeline was so excited to do more work that she travelled across London in her Batman pyjamas so as not to waste any time.”
Their album is the follow-up to their brilliant debut EP with its anxiously industrial lead track ‘Gothenburg’ and the fantastically playful electro-pop of ‘Hot Salt’.
Meanwhile riotous recent single ‘Dance Your Life Away’ is a surreal tale succinctly explained by the pair thus; “It’s the soundtrack to a party on the verge of chaos in a hip LA hotel. A party you wish you were invited to, but you go anyway, disguised as a cleaner. You leave minus all your body hair.” Capturing the contents of a shaken cocktail glass, this frenzied melange of percussion sewn with dancing synths, welds the post-funk playfulness of Talking Heads with breathless vocal explosions redolent of Bjork‘s most frenetic moments.
Given the teasers so far, audiobooks’ debut long player ‘Now! (In A Minute)‘ is a riot of diverse shapeshifting pop sounds for the senses, crafted by Wrench and infused with internal monologues all brought to vivid life by the infectious talent of Ling. We sent the duo some questions so that we could get to know then a little better.
Hi, how are you today?
Hello. We’re good thanks.
How did you meet?
We met at our friend Star’s birthday party at the Elgin pub in Ladbroke Grove. She’d done that thing of telling us both we’d get on with each other and we’d both thought “yeah right” …. but then we got on straight away. She was right! Thanks, Stars.
Was there a concept of how audiobooks would sound from the outset or did it emerge from experimentation?
It all came about by accident, so there was no plan at all. The sound you hear is what came out.
How does the recording process work between North Wales and London – is there a lot of commuting involved or is it all done online?
It was all recorded in London where I (David) am now based. I have a studio here. I’d only just moved that week that we met and started jamming. It was a very fortuitous move.
Your debut EP was refreshingly diverse. Are you looking to confound expectations with each song?
We only want to excite ourselves with each song, and we both get bored easily.
Gothenburg is a really brooding piece shot with real intensity. What inspired the sound/words?
It was inspired by the industrial port of Gothenburg, and the statues along its river.
‘Hot Salt’ has a flirtatious electronic pop palette, there is even a reference to Human League and Donna Summer sitars – is this how you envisaged the song as you were creating it or did it just turn out that way?
We were creating a piece to dance to on Summer Solstice, to celebrate the height of summer. The Human League reference just fitted so well we went with it.
Which artists/records do you have a shared love of?
Black Sabbath. Aphrodite’s Child, Dory Previn, Scott Walker, Kanye, Kate Bush,,,,, we are always sharing music with each other.
David, you have worked on mixing/production with the likes of Frank Ocean, the xx, Goldfrapp, David Byrne, Caribou, FKA Twigs, how did these experiences inform the audiobooks project?
I guess that everything feeds into what you are doing as an artist. And audiobooks has fed into what I do with other artists too. Learning what works and what doesn’t, and getting used to seeing a project through to conclusion.
Evangeline, what’s the difference between the creative discipline of art and music? Is there an overlap?
Yes, they both feed into each other and I use the same creative thought for both.
Do you have any more shows/festival appearances lined up for this year?
Yes, we have a few. We play the Oval Space in London on the 10th of October, supporting Teleman and we are also performing at Swn Festival in Cardiff with Gwenno this October.
audiobooks’ debut LP Now! (in a minute) is released on 2nd November via Heavenly Recordings.