New Music Now 006: Earth From The Moon
with Lizzy Gaga
by Ian Koss
Today’s episode features musical guest John Ounpuu, aka Earth From The Moon, talking with radio presenter Lizzy Gaga and Ink 19’s own Rose Petralia about new tracks from Destroyer and their new album Labyrinthitis, Aldous Harding’s new release Warm Chris, and Suki Waterhouse’s I Can’t Let Go on Sub Pop.
Lord Gregory: Hello and welcome. You’re listening to New Music Now, a podcast from Ink 19. My name is Gregory Schaefer. I’m going to be your host, and I am really glad that you are listening, thank you. Today on the show we’ve got musical guest John Ounpuu, aka Earth From The Moon, talking with radio presenter Lizzy Gaga, and Ink 19’s own Rose Petralia. Stay tuned to hear new tracks from Dan Bejar of Destroyer and their new album Labyrinthitis. Plus Aldous Harding’s new release, Warm Chris, which sounds like a good sandwich to me, and Suki Waterhouse who just released I Can’t Let Go on Sub Pop. Be sure to follow us at ink19.com, where you’ll get updates on this show and other Ink 19 podcasts.
Lord Gregory: We are getting our groove on, so look out. Speaking of grooves, it is time to turn it over to Rose Petralia. Here’s New Music Now, from Ink 19.
Rose: Welcome to the show, everyone. I’m Rose Petralia, and I’m here today on New Music Now with Lizzy Gaga and our musical guest John Ounpuu from Earth From The Moon. Uh, why don’t you introduce yourselves.
Liz: So my radio handle is Lizzy Gaga, I got my start on KMSA as a local DJ. Um, and I also worked on community radio at KAFM.
John: I’m John, I make music under the name Earth From The Moon. I’m talking to you today from Vancouver, Canada, and I’ve been playing music for many, many years, but this is a new project.
Rose: Sweet. Thanks for being here.
[00:01:52] Warm Chris, by Aldous Harding
Rose: Okay. So the, the album that I wanted to talk about today is called Warm Chris, it’s from Aldous Harding, and it’s her fourth album. She’s from north New Zealand, and she has an amazing voice. Reviewers compare her to all the people that you would expect once you’ve heard her sing. Um, Kate Bush, Nico, Cat Power, Annie Lennox. On Warm Chris, I get flavors of Courtney Barnett and Erica Wennerstrom and Katie Crutchfield from Waxahatchee. But the last track “Leathery Whip” is very, very much both Kate Bush and Nico. Um, you’ll have to listen to that. So the, the whole album is very spare. The instrumentation is really sparse you sometimes just hear a piano, sometimes just a guitar string.
Rose: And her voice, Harding’s voice is, I feel, one of the biggest instruments on the album. The music and the words together just all focus on the sounds that her words make. That’s what kind of reminds me of Erica Wennerstrom. So uh “Fever,” the first song that we’re going to hear, is the third track from Warm Chris. And it starts out with rather boingy piano and a snare drum and Harding singing about a trip she took with her partner when their relationship was new. So let’s hear it.
[00:03:14] “Fever” by Aldous Harding
John: That’s a diverse array of sound.
Rose: Her vocals are very different on different tracks. And you would, you would almost not know that it’s the same person sometimes. John: I thought it was a great track. I like the bass playing. I was a bass player for many years. That’s kind of my main instrument, and that’s some tasty muted, kind of ’60s sounding bass playing. It’s very simple, hooky songwriting with a sort of layer of weird infused in the whole thing, which just makes it interesting and kind of surprising.
John: And I agree with you, Rose, that her voice is like an instrument, and I like the way that she does different things with it on different songs and feels free to do that. I think I saw an interview with her in another publication where someone said, why don’t you use your normal voice? Because she’s using a different singing style often from song to song. And she said, well, which one is that? You know?
Liz: She is like the female version of Tom Waits. You know what I mean? Like with the different instruments that he just concocted out of whatever he could grab.
Rose: Out of himself.
Rose: In that track, I liked that the music, it’s not really behind beat, but it’s maybe just like an 18th of a second behind the beat. Do you know what I mean? It feels like it’s deliberately plodding along, you know? And, um, I feel like that’s how this relationship is at this point, you know, that she’s singing about.
Liz: I forgot that we were supposed to be comparing this to a relationship until you just said that. And then it sunk in.
Rose: Well, yeah I mean, I don’t know. She could very much not be talking about what I think she’s talking about, but.
Rose: It kind of feels that way to me.
Liz: Yeah. I think you’re right.
John: it’s about creating a mood, you know?
John: The instrumentation and the way all the pieces come together are creating a kind of world that you can walk into. And I think the most effective way to do that is either minimalism or the other direction where there’s lots of layers, those are the, those are the two ways in often to world-building and I, I tend to lean towards the lots of layers. I think it takes a confidence that maybe I don’t yet have to do that simplicity, that really minimal, stripped down thing, but it can be really effective.
Rose: To be really exposed like that?
John: Yeah. Right. It’s vulnerable.
Rose: So the next track off of Warm Chris is, “She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain,” and, you might be familiar with the name, but this one starts off with just a few piano notes in a minor key. And then Harding’s voice comes in just beautiful.
[00:07:09] “She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain” by Aldous Harding
John: You know, I would have never, if you played me that song, I wouldn’t have known it was the same singer. Again, like that one, I was getting… little like a Fairport Convention thing, like the sort of an innocent, but slightly twisted kind of juxtaposing, the sort of dark lyrics with this innocent performance. And this really, kind of talk about theatrical, as we were listening to it, we were talking about, it sounds like an operetta. There’s a story being told with just a few pieces, you know, it’s, quite quite something.
Liz: Mmm hmm. Well, I’m a, I’m a sucker for the banjo because growing up as a kid, when I would go to my grandfather’s in Southern Alabama, he would put those little metal things, picks on his fingers and pull out the shiniest, most beautiful, I couldn’t believe it, I mean, as a little kid, and just play the hell out of that thing. It was the one thing that he left me, but every time I hear banjos, it, yeah.
Rose: It’s kind of a wistful instrument. So it’s appropriate.
Rose: That song starts out, “when I started out, I had much more than I have now.” And that, just totally, grabbed me, going along with the theme of this being a relationship album, I was myself, you know, I had me.
Rose: And, uh.
Rose: All of those things. And she’s saying “the map,” you know, “you see, I have a long way back,” like she’s just lost a lot and now she’s ready to lose that whole thing and get back to herself.
John: Is that the title, like she’s coming back, she’s coming back around the mountain?
Liz: I was going to say, I need to know about the mountain.
John: Yeah. there’s a music video, will it involve six white horses?
Liz: I need to know.
Rose: Oh, okay. So the end, we didn’t get to hear this.
[00:10:31] End of “She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain” by Aldous Harding
Rose: That was the first of her albums I’d listened to.
John: I really liked the previous one, Designer a lot.
John: But it was, she did a lot more of her Nico voice. Like the low register.
John: She wasn’t branching out quite as much.
Rose: Maybe that’s her real voice.
John: Yeah. Maybe that’s what people meant, I guess, when they’re saying use your real voice. I’m really interested in how artists chart the path where they keep things fresh and explore what they’re interested in while still connecting to an audience that has certain genre expectations and how, some artists are able to do that better than others, and you know, it’s, it can be a challenging thing. I can think of situations where it went poorly for artists, or where it went really well.
Rose: Like what? Like who?
John: Well, the Beatles. I mean, the Beatles were all over the map But I think, you have other artists that kind of change course along the way, and people, you know, lose interest or they lose some of their fans, you know?
Rose: Like U2.
John: Yeah. I was thinking about U2, actually. I’ll go as far as Unforgettable Fire, then I start to like, you know, drift a little bit, but as an artist, I’m interested in achieving some kind of freedom to try different things.
John: Spotify likes to slice everything into these micro genres and everything is its own little niche, you know, and I’m as guilty as anyone, like, I’ll go into that little niche and I’ll just spend the day listening to, ’60s French pop or shoegaze or, or whatever, but yeah, it’s great as a listener, but then I like artists when they kind of nudge their way into other areas and still hang on to something essentially them.
Rose: Well, I feel like she does that, because she’s the woman of a million voices, but the energy, the air of the album is really consistent, you know?
John: She’s doing it. She’s pulling it off.
Liz: There’s a lot there.
John: Maybe that’s exactly it. And I, I think maybe too, like it comes across in production tonally, going back to that, like creating a landscape, uh, if that landscape is minimal and a little bit off the beat in times, and the songs are simple, but there’s a quirkiness, there’s sort of a combination, a mood that comes along that you can… You can move around in a mood the same way you can move around in like a movie that might have quiet scenes and more upbeat scenes. But the tone is coherent.
Rose: Yeah. It feels like the album belongs together. Liz. Why don’t you tell us about the album you chose?
[00:13:27] Liz Weiss, I Can’t Let Go, by Suki Waterhouse
Liz: Okay. So I had to rely on Spotify new music to choose an album because I am guilty of just looking for particular artists, whether or not they have new albums. So I wanted to find somebody I didn’t know, and I found Suki Waterhouse, who apparently is a model from Sweden.
Liz: Yeah. But when I saw that she was on Sub Pop Records, I was like, well, she’s gotta be good. I mean, they don’t do anything bad. And what’s interesting is the name of the album, I Can’t Let Go. I had looked at another album by a different lady and hers was the opposite of that. And I was like, no, no, I’m not ready to let go. I’m going with this one, I Can’t Let Go. The first thing that caught me was her voice. Um, it reminded me a lot of Beth Thompson of Medicine, who was one of my favorite vocalists from the ’90s grunge scene. Um, I dated a guy who was really into female vocalists. Sonic Youth, all kinds of good stuff like that.
Liz: So, that certainly caught me, and on a couple different tracks, she really does sound like Lana Del Rey. And I love those deeper alto tenor voices, especially when they can harmonize with themselves.
Liz: Yeah, let’s listen to the first track that I picked out. It’s called “Bullshit on the Internet.”
[00:14:43] “Bullshit On THe Internet” by Suki Waterhouse
Liz: This song spoke to me because, I mean, hell Rose, we met online, um, I’m meeting John online. Uh, I looked at how many hours, I don’t know how I got to this part of my phone because it’s nowhere that I normally go, but it told me how many hours I had of screen time. Liz: But there’s so much bullshit on the internet. Like I’m fighting with people about Kim Kardashian wearing Marilyn Monroe’s dress, But that aside, I mean, she’s just got this incredible voice.
Liz: I mean, She’s one of those people where even if her lyrics weren’t that great, I would still enjoy listening to her, but she’s got some pretty, um, profound lyrics.
John: It’s a great song title. You know, I think, I don’t do this myself, but I know some writers they’ll start with a title and go from there and it can be a powerful thing. Like in this case, I just automatically like the song. the, it’s the modern world in four words.
Liz: Yeah, it’s, it’s good.
Rose: It’s definitely a modern song, you know, it’s like, I was going to compare it to “Day in the Life,” but it is a day in the life of, you know, a modern, modern person. It’s just this regular shit that we do all the time and, you know.
John: For sure. I was going to say the music itself, is sort of timeless, you know, simple, simple, stripped down instrumentation. It’s not necessarily particularly modern.
Liz: It’s not showy.
John: But the subject matter is so there’s this kind of juxtaposition between the sort of hyper modern nature of the lyrics and this sort of. I don’t want to say the music is rootsy, but it’s like, it’s just very simple. Stripped down, um, familiar sounds.
Rose: Beautiful. Thank you.
Liz: All right. This next song is called “Moves.”
[00:18:07] “Moves” by Suki Waterhouse
Liz: She. Is so sexy. And for me, music is, I mean, I work in Palisade and John for you, that’s like 12 miles from where we are right now. And it’s a beautiful drive in the morning and I can turn on my shit and just go. And I was like, man, I wish I was back home with a frickin’ joint in my hand, in my underwear and a t-shirt just getting stoned in my living room and doing that instead of going to work, you know?
Liz: I said, I love the line, “I’m going to put some goddamn moves on you babe, I know you need it.” You know, my first thought was, ooh she’s talking dirty talk. And I was like, well, could that be something else? But no, she, I really think she. Let’s not worry about what you’ve been through. I don’t care about that. Tell me all your secrets. Like let’s go.
Rose: Yeah, She’s talking about the moves.
John: Sultry, for sure, sultry for sure. I got a Mazzy Star vibe. There’s a little Hope Sandoval in that.
Rose: I get it.
John: Sort of sultry with a slight twang and then lots of reverb behind her.
Rose: It’s a little veiled. It’s like it’s got a silk scarf over it.
John: A little mysterious. A little mysterious.
Rose: Yeah. That was good.
Liz: I’m glad you guys liked it.
Lord Gregory: Hey everyone. Gregory Schaefer from Ink 19 magazine here, and you are listening to our podcast, New Music Now. We’ve got radio presenter, extra rare, Lizzy Gaga on the show today, sharing some of her favorite new tunes with Ink 19’s own Rose Petralia and Earth from the Moon’s John Ounpuu is also sitting in, he just released his first new music in over 20 years. Dang. We’re going to talk about that album, and we’re going to hear some tracks from it along with some other new tunes. Be sure to follow us at ink19.com, where you will find playlists for this show and other podcasts. Keep it up, y’all, keep on listening. We’ve got more jammity, fresh vibes right here on the way. It’s New Music Now, an Ink 19 podcast.
Rose: Thanks, Liz. Uh, John, what album did you choose to talk about today?
[00:22:01] John Ounpuu, Destroyer
John: Right. So my pick is uh, Labyrinthitis by Destroyer. So Destroyer is basically Dan Bejar, who’s, been a member of the New Pornographers over the years. He’s from here in Vancouver, so, just like myself, which is one of the reasons I chose this, but I also just really, I think he’s been on a run of great albums since 2011. You know, he was a kind of straight indie artist who then kind of embraced like ’80s sophistopop and synths, and sax solos, and little bits of New Order thrown in on top and drum machines. And the previous record, Have We Met kind of was my pandemic album. In fact, I was supposed to see Destroyer here in Vancouver on March 13th of 2020, they had a gig that they canceled the day it was declared a pandemic. They, um, honored that ticket about a month ago I saw them for the new record.
John: Going back to what we’re talking about earlier, I really love the way that a genre boundary is pushed, and things are stretched and combined, and different sounds from different areas and genres are kind of mixed together in a, in a bit of a stew to create this real world. Again, I think the whole album, like the Aldous Harding album, that’s, there’s a wide variety of sounds, but it all feels coherent and it feels like you’re in this interesting, uh, often surprising world. So it’s a, it’s a great record, and I recommend you giving it a listen.
Rose: I want to hear it. What’s the first track that you chose?
John: Yeah. So the first track I chose is called “It’s In Your Heart Now.” And it’s the opening track on the album.
[00:25:37] “It’s In Your Heart Now” by Destroyer
John: It’s a very dreamy song, talking about a sonic world. It’s sort of like this warm bath, very simple musically. It’s great in the headphones. I enjoy that sort of dreaminess and, and, you know, some retro sounds again, which I I’m a sucker for. His vocal stylings were, there’s a lot of Bowie influence. He’s not afraid to sound a little pretentious. It’s kind of this nasal quality to it, but it really grows on you. And then, uh, I, you know, there’s this sort of Cure maybe feel to it somewhere in there. And then when it takes flight there just at the end where that, second layer comes in, it’s this, it’s the EBow, I don’t know if you guys know what an EBow is?
Rose: What’s an EBow? I don’t know.
John: So an EBow is a device that, you hold it next to a guitar string and it vibrates that string to allow you to have a sustained note. It’s this little secret weapon that a lot of artists have used over the years. So that, part there where the, the guitar came in and it started to soar a little more, that’s an EBow piece, and I’ve always loved that, in fact, I’ve got a playlist of EBow songs. There’s a REM song called “EBow the Letter,” there’s a Sigur Ros song, Sigur Ros. I don’t know how to pronounce that Blondie, Blondie have used it on a few songs. Uh, Love and Rockets used to use it back in the ’80s.
John: I always get excited when I hear it on albums. This is I’m getting really music geeky here, but there’s the Robert Fripp guitar solo in David Bowie’s “Heroes,” which sounds like an EBow, but he actually gets the effect using feedback. He just stands in front of the amp, and he gets the sustain from the feedback, but it’s, a much easier way to get that effect is to use one of these little guys. So end of music geek rant.
Rose: That sounded to me like being in your bedroom and putting an album on and closing the door. You know?
Rose: And just, yeah, just listening to that on repeat.
John: Envelops you.
Rose: Yeah, right.
Liz: So I have, I’ve got river songs, I’ve got car songs, shower songs, house songs. That is a river song. Because especially right now, the state of the Colorado river, it’s high and fast, but that song didn’t just have one steady beat. In fact, there was a couple lags there for a second where I was checking my wires and was like, is that me, or. It’s like the eddies and the flows and, you know, one minute you’re floating along, and then all of a sudden you’re going through rapids. Like It was all free flow. And I love that.
John: Yeah. I love, I love that analogy. It starts off, you’re right, at the beginning it’s almost like a false start where it takes a minute to find itself and you can’t quite figure out where the beat’s going to land. And then eventually it just settles.
Liz: For a minute. I was waiting to see if there was going to be vocals. And I was like, oh, I’ll just enjoy this instrumental. So I was glad, I’m glad when the vocals came in.
John: Yes. Yeah. Yeah. Sticking with kind of a theme of artists who explore different styles on the same album. Uh, the next song is one called June.
[00:31:40] “June” by Destroyer
John: It’s like taking this kind of cheesy disco and ’80s sophistopop and slap bass and kind of spoken word poetry or whatever that was, and it’s just, this very dense mix that is kind of adventurous, but also familiar. And if you listen to the first four minutes, it’s just kind of this smooth disco-ey pop song.
John: Uh, and then it just takes this left turn. So, um, there’s something exhilarating about that freedom. I think of his early stuff from the ’90s as almost catholic indie. But he’s like kind of really abandoned that catholicism and it’s like, whatever I’m interested in, I’m going to throw into this pot.
John: You know, I love that ranging around playing with genre, and it still kind of moves me. There’s like, there’s that string synth that comes in and it’s kind of this drama that sort of grabs you. Um, and I tell you, it was a great, a great live show too. It was really lots of fun. So, so that’s, uh, that’s some Destroyer.
Rose: It’s got a lot of dynamics in there. I like the different ways that he calls attention to different things like sending stuff down and octave, or.
John: Yeah, yeah. The vocals cut down an octave. And the producer is actually, uh, John Collins, who was the bass player of the New Pornographers. So it’s really those two together as a core, and then they have a really talented band around them as well. I don’t want to, I don’t want to give anyone short shrift. it’s local, but not, and just constantly, uh, surprising me, which I enjoy.
Rose: What’d you think, Liz?
Liz: Well, I was just thinking that I want to see the crowd at one of those Destroyer shows, like, how do they come dressed? just seeing his face pop up for a second. I was like, what? That’s what he looks like?
John: Yeah, yeah.
Liz: I just, it’s gotta be a menagerie of like amazing scarves and glitter and hopefully a small scent of that Vancouver weed in the air.
John: Definitely a scent of Vancouver weed.
Liz: But no, I’m a sucker for disco. So as soon as the beat started, I was like, okay, here we go. Here we go. And was not expecting the lyrics to be, um, what they were. I love the end. It brought us full circle. “Dump him.”
John: Yeah. “Dump him.” And I got, I have to call out my favorite line, which is brilliant and makes me laugh every time, which was, “a snow angel is just a fucking idiot someone made in the snow.” I don’t even know why I like it. I just like it.
Liz: It’s one. It sticks with you.
John: What it says to me is like, you can take this as seriously or not as you want to and still enjoy it, you know?
Rose: All right. Enough about other people’s music. John, tell us about yours.
[00:34:34] John Ounpuu, Momentum by Earth from the Moon
John: Thanks, Rose. Yeah. So this is the, this is the first time I’ve released new music since 1998, which is kind of mind blowing, but true. It’s also my debut as a solo artist, I always was a part of the band. I think if I had to sum it up, it was realizing that I’ve always loved music and it’s always brought so much joy to my life, listening to it, but also making it and uh, at my age I realize like a reliable source of joy is a rare, beautiful thing. And I shouldn’t turn my nose up at it. So I kind of felt like I owed it to myself to, to kind of go back to that well, so even though it is solo work, uh, it wasn’t all me, they started as home demos. Uh, that I made actually sitting in the same chair at the same desk I’m sitting at right now, but they were then fleshed out with some really expert help from, from some very talented people. Um, two of whom were brothers, actually my producer and engineer, Ryan Dahle, and his brother who plays the drums, Kurt Dahle. So, uh, here’s the first song and it’s called “Migratory Birds.”
[00:35:36] “Migratory Birds” by Earth from the Moon
John: That’s it.
Liz: Wow. I’m always prepared, especially in a situation like this, where you can see us and see our reaction. Like, okay, if it’s bad, don’t make a face, just keep bobbing your head. And the music was good right off the bat, but then your voice came in and you have a lovely voice. And I didn’t know, like. That’s good. That was good stuff. It made me think of a song by, um, John Bellion called “80s Films,” and I just, the nostalgia of ’80s films and the soundtracks and the kind of music that they had, like, those are the songs that stick with you forever. And you made one.
John: Oh, thanks.
John: I was always a big fan of the Pretty in Pink soundtrack.
Liz: Yes. Yes. Like, that’s, that’s the song you hear as the lyrics are playing and you’re still crying, you know what I mean? Like, that’s good.
John: Thank you, Liz.
Liz: Why, why the, the migratory birds? I heard the line and then I wasn’t.
John: Right. Well, I can explain. You can maybe tell by the chorus lyrics, but this is kind of a pandemic song. And I don’t know how to feel about that now that it feels like, you know, that moment lasted forever and maybe it’s a different moment now. But I was, you know, like everybody trying to get through it and figure out how long it was going to last. And I.
Rose: Like a marathon without a finish line?
John: Yeah. Like, yeah, exactly. And then I read this article in the Globe and Mail, and it really caught my attention. It was about telioanticipation. And it’s an idea that comes from sports science. And it’s basically like, how does a knowledge of the end point affect the experience?
John: And so I was thinking about the marathon without a finish line. And, like, how do you get through this pandemic? And it felt like a migratory bird, cause they have to like, I don’t know how they do it, but they have these instincts around, you know, just the right amount. There’s always a trade off. But the point of this article was they’d done experiments, where what happens if they don’t know where they are in their race, and then people actually perform better. If you don’t know where the end is, you can dig deeper in a way, because the question isn’t, it isn’t can I make it to the end, it’s can I keep going right now? can I do another step. So it kind of gave me a little hope. I can stop worrying about where the finish line is.
Rose: Did it work for you? ‘Cause that sounds like, I mean, you said daunting, but like really daunting.
John: Yeah, I think so.
Rose: I mean like how many days do I have to, you know?
John: I think it did work. I mean, you know, like a little bit of antidepressants helped and some meditation and some, I had some other tools in my arsenal, but yeah, it kinda did give me like a feeling of maybe, maybe it’s okay. You know, and I.
Rose: You just break it down one day. At a time.
John: And I was fascinated by that, that idea. And so the migratory birds are kind of what it felt like before I had that epiphany or that before I tried to start thinking that way, because I was always like, how much more of this, can I take? And so the chorus, the idea of, you know, tomorrow is all shut down and it’s kind of like that pandemic thing where the world shuts down, but it’s also like be in the moment and forget about tomorrow. Shut that down. So there’s an episode that gets referred to when people talk about this concept from the show, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which is like this woman that’s been, she’s really positive, but she’s been through some horrible stuff. And so she has this line where she says, you can handle anything for 10 seconds. And when it’s done, you just start on a new 10 seconds.
Rose: That’s right.
John: And so the original title of the song was actually “10 Seconds,” and I had a sample of that in the break, and then I thought, well, I don’t want to get like dinged for sampling a TV show. So we took it out and that title didn’t make sense anymore.
Rose: It would’ve been a different song. Yeah.
John: Kind of. Yeah. But, yeah. So th, that’s that’s the story.
Rose: I could listen to that song on repeat forever. Actually I did for a week.
John: Thank you, Rose. That means a lot. Thank you very much. You’re very sweet.
Rose: I just, I just love it. And I get, you know, all you were talking before about, uh, your style being layers rather than stark. Yeah. And it’s just, it just comes together. So, so lush. John: It goes back to the loops that you were talking about Liz. Cause it really, a lot of it is loop based. Like there’s a chorus where it changes, but a lot of it is the same and it was literally just Lego blocks in the recording software, repeating that part and adding this and then adding this and taking that away. Yeah, there’s lots of layers and it was, you know, trying to have that immersive dreaminess with a little bit of noise and dissonance.
Rose: Yeah. I liked it.
Rose: It feels like it goes round and round.
John: Like a day, like every day, you know, and the.
Rose: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Good job. Dang. What’s your next song?
John: So the next one is called “Chase the Daylight.”
Liz: Is that the title track?
John: So it’s the title track of the “Chase the Daylight” single. The EP is Momentum. Let’s let’s listen to the song.
[00:42:55] “Chase the Daylight” by Earth from the Moon
John: So I live in Vancouver. And this is the story lyrically, anyways. Vancouver is a rainy place. It’s a dark and wet place. And you know, it’s like the SAD capital, like the seasonal affective disorder capital of the world, probably, maybe not, but it’s right up there.
John: And so I’ve never really gotten used to that, even though I’ve lived here most of my life. But it was like the pandemic was happening and I was kind of contemplating a winter and I was lying in bed and I was fantasizing about like, if I was in an airplane, I could just circle the earth and never be in the darkness.
Rose: Oh, wow.
John: Stay in the sun all the time. It was, you know, obviously a pipe dream and like a silly idea, but that was sort of the concept, was like, what if I could chase the daylight around the world literally? Um, but of course it was, the darkness I was trying to get away from isn’t actually just the dark and the rain, but it’s like, you know, all the dark on the inside stuff.
Rose: The real darkness.
John: Yeah, the real stuff.
Rose: Yeah. But one of the things I like about that song is that, the focus, the emphasis is on the daylight, you know, it’s on the positive side, like just staying focused on, you know, what’s going to be there when you get through the winter. John: Exactly. Um, eyes on the prize. So it’s not very stay in the moment, like the other song, right? Like I, I’m not taking my own advice where I’m, I, you know, it’s easier said than done, right?
Rose: Yeah. Definitely looking, looking out of the moment towards something, a little brighter.
John: So I tried to kind of have these sunny I think of them as jazz chords in the verse, but then there’s this kind of ominous bubbling, dark, like bassy synth underneath it all. I also, going back to the Destroyer discussion around the boundaries of taste, it’s funny, Ryan, the producer and I were talking about this, he’s been writing songs for a long time and you have these informal rules. You’re like, okay, well, I’m not gonna use too many cliches. I don’t want to use, um, heart and soul, like those two words, like those are just too, too much and this song has heart and soul in it. I mean, one thing I didn’t call on that last Destroyer song, by the way, that song was called “June,” and he actually rhymes June and moon.
John: Which is the oldest, most cliche rhyme ever. But I think that is the joke or that is the challenge. Like I’m going to rhyme moon and June here. I dare you. So I, I use the word soul in this one, which especially like, always, like I thought I would never do.
Rose: It was necessary in the moment.
Liz: John, you had me at “I hate winter.” And “I hate the dark.” I was like, yep, I’m going to like this. I don’t know where it’s going, but I know I’m going to like it because I feel the same way. Um, I mean, I grew up mostly here in the desert or in Southern Alabama or Florida.
Liz: So I’m used to sun and moving to the Pacific Northwest and being there for 12 years, the first couple of years, you’re like, oh, this is cute. This is cool. I love it. And then you’re like, oh my God, I swear. I need to go to a tanning bed because you just, it months and months and months of cloud cover.
John: And you’re not supposed to complain about it, right. You’re supposed to be like, I’m cool with it. And so like, this was like, no, I actually do hate it.
Liz: This is so edgy. So hip, I had to like say that I loved earl grey all the time, but no. John: I drink earl grey every day, Liz. I’m not even kidding.
Liz: Do you add cream to your tea?
John: No, it’s milk. It’s milk, a little milk.
Liz: Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. People that drink earl grey without any kind of cream or creamer, make me sad because it really changes it it’s, it’s so much better.
John: Did you know, there’s a drink called the London fog, which is, have you had a London fog?
Liz: I have.
John: It’s an earl grey latte, which was invented here in Vancouver.
Liz: I did not.
John: ‘Course it was. So you really were right on the nose.
Liz: I didn’t even plan that. It just happened in the moment. But no, I love a happy, you know, sunny, positive. I mean, because sometimes even in the daylight, I live in the dark, I suffer from depression, anxiety, and all other kinds of PTSD, trauma crap. Um, so even on a day like that, if you listen to music that is inspirational in that way, it’s lifting.
John: Yeah, I do too. I mean, I have a history of anxiety and depression myself. And in fact, what I wrote that I was coming out of a bout. I was lucky enough to come out of it just prior to the pandemic and be in a better place when that hit. But yeah, it’s just luck of the draw, but, yeah, so I totally can relate.
John: And I think again, it’s like, it goes back to the music and joy. In a way, it was about what I was doing. It was a song about trying to find joy through music and, you know, you let some of the darkness in to give it color and contrast, but, uh, but, trying to find that path through the dark.
Liz: That’s not easy.
Rose: I love it.
John: I love music a lot, so I could talk about it forever. uh, but it was nice and I’m glad you like some of it, and I hope you like the rest of it. There’s three more songs.
Rose: Yeah. So when does your EP come out?
John: So it’s June 3rd, the whole thing.
Rose: June 3rd. And it’s called Momentum.
John: So yeah, I hope you like it. And, You can always go to Instagram @earthfromthemoon, and there’s a link in the bio that takes you to everything you need.
Rose: And Liz?
Liz: You can find me on the mean streets of grand junk–just kidding. Well, you can find me.
Rose: I think you’re right about that, actually.
Liz: That’s usually where you’re going to find me, or on the river. I’m on social media @lizzygaga that’s L I Z Z Y on Instagram and Facebook. Follow if you dare.
Rose: And I’m Rose Petralia on Instagram and I have a junktown cooking Instagram as well. All irrelevant. Thank you everyone for being here today
Liz: Thanks, Rose. Nice to meet you, John.
John: You, too. and thanks again. I appreciate it.
Lord Gregory: Hello, hello, you were listening to New Music Now, and we’ve just heard tunes by Earth From The Moon and the new album Momentum. Earth From The Moon’s john Ounpuu was one of the guests on our show today, and we also heard the inner thoughts of radio presenter, Lizzy Gaga, and Ink 19 staffer Rose Petralia.
Lord Gregory: Today’s show featured new music from Aldous Harding, I love a good Kiwi, and her new album Warm Chris. Plus we also heard some new music from Suki Waterhouse and her album I Can’t Let Go, which you can find on Sub Pop. I’ll bet she can’t let go. This has been another glorious episode of Ink 19’s New Music Now, a podcast from Ink 19. Find links to all of our social media, more Ink 19 podcasts, and other items of interest at ink19.com. We would like to thank Rose, John, and Liz for sharing their conversation with us, and a special thanks to you for being our listener. Audio production and engineering by Frank Dreyer, Ian Koss, Jeremy Glazier, Rose Petralia and Gregory Schaefer. Music by Avi Bortnick.
Lord Gregory: This has been your host Gregory Schaefer, and I want to thank you for listening and for making that whole wheat, we are going to catch you next time, right here at New Music Now from Ink 19.