Even one year after its initial release Between You And The Sea by FERAL & STRAY remains an excellent choice when you’re looking for a proper album to accompany you through these impending autumn days. The project around Canadian singer/songwriter Erin Lang delivered a delicate selection of tender melancholic songs, full of warmth and feeling. Lang just released a recommendable remix EP that features new versions of a few songs from the album, proving that her sweet songwriting skills can team up quite well with tender electronica. It’s about time that we take a closer look on the woman who touched the hearts of NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION multiple times over the past months.
Witness as FERAL & STRAY‘s Erin Lang opens up about her musical heroes, a lost record by mysterious artist ELIJAH, remixes and the chances within the changes of the contemporary music industy.
How would you describe your music to a deaf person?
Well actually, I do have one fan that is a deaf cat who apparently curls up in the speakers every time his owner puts my album on. So I guess if I am describing the music in vibrations, images, taste and smell, I would love to think it could feel like floating in a cool ocean bay on a warm night watching the steam rise from the surface and feeling the distant vibrations of all the storms past deep in these waters. Drifting between belonging and the unifying fear of being pulled under, the energy in that. Salty with eyes closed followed by the sudden awareness of your own heartbeat and what it feels like to put your ear to someone else’s chest for the first time, to hear theirs and understand that they are beating in perfect time. If that’s not how it comes across then lets say it’s what I would strive for.
If you could choose one dead artist to experience live in concert, who would it be and why?
JEFF BUCKLEY. There are a lot of people I could have said here but there is a magic in his voice and guitar playing that has brought me to tears since I first heard it. It must have a lot to do with what I was going through in my life around the time I discovered him but also the joy of discovery synchronised with the sadness of finding he was already gone. I can’t wax poetic about it all for too long, it’s done all the time, but something about hearing and understanding Grace and his clear influences there and that some lay similar to my own, and then Sketches, the demos and experiments where you could feel so much evolution, I long to hear what would have happened but he walked out into dark waters and was gone.
Would you rather be a dragon or have a dragon?
Well I do have two dragons… they are small and look kind of like puppies, are made of stone and covered in moss and live in the countryside in England but I am sure that with the right chant in the perfect phase of the moon they will shake of the thin layer of grey and reveal the iridescent blue and green scales below, yellow eyes gleaming mischief, and prance around the garden! One day..
Which actress should play you in your biopic and why?
Miranda July is one of my heroes and one of the only people in the world that seems to remind people of me. An amazing performance artist, author and film maker maybe I can’t convince her to play me in the movie of my life but I would absolutely love to work with her.. maybe I play her in the movie of her life! Or at the very least write the music …
Since you just released a remix EP – what’s your favourite remix of all time besides one of your own?
Okay well it’s not my own but still rather incestuous. I have always loved the remix that Roger O’Donnell did for Jimmy Tamberello’s DNTL project. (Roger was musical director and co-writer of my first album and Jimmy also did a remix for me). The song is called You Rock My Boat and I love the original so much but the piano chords that Roger used under the vocal (Mia Doi Todd) just break my heart. Listen to it right here.
What is the worst or most disappointing record you ever (accidentally) bought? The guilty pleasure in your record collection.
I remember being at a ‘Sam the Record Man’ in the mall when I was a kid with my mum and she bought a CD for 5 dollars for an artist called ELIJAH. I think I may have encouraged her because I thought the cover was wonderful and cheesy but it was the worst most amazing record I had and maybe still have heard..
‘I’m standing naked in the desert / I’ve thrown my shoes and clothes away / to seek a rainbow spirit / my vessels empty every way’
My brother and I still laugh about that one… ELIJAH is so earnest that I almost feel bad.. Okay, I do feel bad but I couldn’t think of anything else.. any publicity is good publicity right?
And my biggest guilty pleasure has to be SHAKIRA’s Hips Don’t Lie I had to listen to it everyday in the morning when we arrived at the studio when i was making my first album. It drove my producer Mario and Roger absolutely crazy but I thought it was so funny and made me feel so good! I don’t own the record though..
The music & culture industry is currently about to redefine itself. Do you feel like being completely and utterly at the its mercy, or should things be seen as a chance for artists?
I think we have to always see the openness in what we do the alternative and the chance for artists. Music and culture ‘industry’ is so heavy that it can be choking but the redefinition has been going on since the beginning. You can play to it and chase it or you can play what feels real and hopefully though all its metamorphosis the spirit of authenticity and passion can always be felt… it might not have the power (or money) to puncture the massive pop world but hopefully it can be electric and unifying in the underground and really connect, heal and save.