April 28, 2015

Regolith A3E3: Supriya Gunda Presents Choices

Regolith A3E3: Supriya Gunda Presents Choices

Wait, wait, wait! Come back! We've got that final installment of the third Regolith -- you know, the one featuring Supriya Gunda of Digital Prisoners Of War? As with installment two, there was some delay in dotting all the i's and crossing all the t's, because life is like that. But we are nonetheless very pleased to be able to present to you the fruits of Ms. Gunda's labor, a concise yet dreamy four-song EP titled Choices. As you will see in her interview responses below, the creation of this music was not without its challenges. But that real-ness is sort of the stock-in-trade of Regolith, non? And honestly, we don't really hear the struggle in the music, which is impressionistic and appealing. Choices, which clocks in at just over 10 minutes, opens with the pretty "Norman." The song foregrounds a chunky beat and pretty synth arpeggio, while Gunda's voice floats in and out of a misty middle ground. The tune faintly echoes '80s visionaries Eurythmics circa Touch, which is a pretty good row to hoe in this blog's opinion. "Privilege" opts for more a more jittery synth cadence and more aggressive beat, but still somehow establishes a placid, contemplative vibe with Gunda's intimate, indistinct vocal. All of Choices is embedded in full at the bottom of this blog post, and we encourage you to take a moment to go hit the play button right now. Read Gunda's thoughts on the new collection and the Regolith process below; if you missed the first two installments, click here and then here. We are extremely grateful to Supriya for participating in the Regolith 30-day songwriting challenge. The next Digital Prisoners Of War show is June 2 at Lilypad in Cambridge, Mass., during which Gunda will be performing solo, as her DigiPOW bandmates will be otherwise engaged. You can experience what we assume will be the full-band DigiPOW experience next on June 18, when Gunda, et al., open a very, very solid evening of indie music that also includes hitmakers Halfsour, Feral Jenny (which is fronted by current Bent Shapes bassist Jenny Shapes) and Baltimore lo-fi pair Romantic States (makers of this fine jam). Full deets on the June 2 show are right here and information about June 18 is right here. And stay tuned for our announcement about our fourth installment of Regolith, why don't you? -- L. Tiburon Pacifico
Clicky Clicky: So how did it go? Do you consider the results a personal success? A failure?

Supriya Gunda: It went harder than I thought! I ended up recording everything through the built-in mic on a $200 computer. I wouldn't go so far as to call it a success.

CC: What were the biggest challenges and frustrations?

SG: Time, mostly. Equipment, as a byproduct of time. It made me appreciate the resources other humans provide.

CC: How were you able to work around or overcome these challenges?

SG: Built-in computer microphone! Ha. I recorded stuff, like, in my car, I started to like the sound of digital clipping, I didn't finish most of what I started. The only [digital audio workstation] my computer could handle was Audacity.

CC: Did you find that your approach to writing and recording for this project changed over the course of the 30 days, or did you begin by finding an approach that worked (time-wise), and just apply that to everything?

SG: I don't think I ever found an approach that worked time-wise, but this really did give me a perspective on what 30 days actually feels like. Usually I don't notice time has passed until it's long gone. This wasn't really an exception to that, but I guess it enhanced my awareness in general that I was a person alive on this earth for a month.

CC: What song do you think came out the best?

SG: I'm not sure any of them did. But I do think I got some decent ideas in there, maybe.

CC: What song or songs do you wish you'd had more time to work on? Do you see yourself re-doing any of these in the future with DigiPOW or any other project?

SG: I'll probably use this as a source for ideas from which to build different songs in the future. Not sure any of this would truly work in a band setup, nor should it.

CC: Are there any songs you did for this project that you couldn't re-create live?

SG: I COULD probably recreate it all live, but I would choose to do things differently live.

CC: If there was one person or piece of equipment you could have brought in for the project, who or what would that have been?

SG: I used a sample of my friend Richard Lewis reading from the paper about the "British Coal Gas Story", which was [about] the prevalence of sticking one's head in the oven when coal-gas was around in the '60s and '70s. Once they took the coal-gas away, the suicide rate dropped dramatically. So I suppose he was there in spirit. If there was one piece of equipment I would have brought, it would have been a high-functioning studio.

CC: Did you learn anything about how you write and record music? What specific or quantifiable lesson, if any, did you learn that will help you in the future?

SG: Haha, yes. I learned I can' really force it. I don't know if I could be a Max Martin now. I just gotta be me.

CC: If you could travel into the future and speak with the next Regolith participant, what one piece of advice would you give them?

SG: Clear your damn schedule. Don't go to work. Get yourself a cabin in the woods. And don't come back after the 30 days.

Previously On Regolith:
Regolith A3E2: Supriya Gunda Is Writing Songs Under The Gun
Regolith A3E1: Supriya Gunda Is A Songwriter
Regolith A2E3: Sean Tracy Presents Dye's Alone
Regolith A2E2: Sean Tracy Is Writing Songs Under The Gun
Regolith A2E1: Sean Tracy Is A Songwriter
Regolith A1E3: Reuben Bettsak Presents Emerald Comets' Inside Dream Room
Regolith A1E2: Reuben Bettsak Is Writing Songs Under The Gun
Regolith A1E1: Reuben Bettsak Is A Songwriter
Introducing... Regolith

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