interview. Amethysts: Shaping Sonic Landscapes and Capturing Hearts with ‘New Moon EP’

"This whole EP is about the journey of becoming new parents and the amazing ways it changes your outlook on life"
18 November 2023

Surfing on a wave of critical acclaim, national radio exposure, and sought-after editorial backing from Spotify and Apple Music, Amethysts, the dynamic musical duo, presents their eagerly awaited 3-track EP, New Moon.  Released via Tabby Tracks Records & Conch Town Records, the EP showcases their musical evolution and prowess under the expert production of Alex Gordon (known for his work with The Cure and Bat For Lashes). Mastered by the band’s live engineer, Tom Stanford, New Moon EP weaves together moody electronics and intricate guitar work, creating an emotive, atmospheric soundscape that is uniquely Amethysts.

In this latest offering, the duo skillfully blends shoegaze-influenced guitar riffs, analogue synths, and warm bass, capturing the essence of electronic, indie, and dreampop genres. The EP not only serves as a testament to their studio mastery but also mirrors the captivating energy of their stylistic live performances. Clarice’s vocals, ranging from delicate to soaring, add an emotional depth that transcends the driving beats and swirling atmospherics, creating a musical experience that lingers.

Amethysts, recognized for their meticulously crafted atmospheric sound, boasts a glittering catalog of tracks with over 1.7 million plays on Apple Music and 750k on Spotify. Their journey has been marked by multiple awards and extensive support from renowned platforms such as BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 6 Music, Radio X, Amazing Radio, Kerrang! Radio, and BBC Introducing. Sharing stages with the likes of Anna Meredith, Bessie Turner, and Nothing But Thieves, the duo has also left an indelible mark on festivals like Latitude Festival, Secret Garden Party, and BBC Introducing Live.

For a closer look into Amethysts’ musical ​v​oyage and to glean valuable perspectives on the music industry, don’t miss the opportunity to explore their exclusive interview featured here. The duo shares insights into their creative process, the hurdles they’ve faced in the industry, and the inspirations that shape their distinctive sound.

As a testament to their continued rise, Amethysts is set to grace the stage at Moth Club in London on February 13th alongside The People Versus. Don’t miss the chance to witness their sonic journey unfold live and immerse yourself in the atmospheric world of Amethysts.

A lot of our tracks are born out of experimentation – looping riffs and capturing ideas in the moment.

Your previous single, Bloodline, received critical acclaim, national radio play, and editorial support from Spotify and Apple Music. How has this positive reception influenced the creation and direction of your EP, New Moon?

We’re so happy with the reception Bloodline got, it really drove things forward with the EP release and gave the whole thing a really good sense of momentum. We wrote and recorded the EP as a whole a few months ago. During the creative process Bloodline felt like the single out of the three songs – I think the energy and feel of the track is really the heartbeat of the project while New Moon and Lunation offer a bit more of a reflective, darker tone. 

The title track of your upcoming EP, New Moon, was produced by Alex Gordon and mastered by your live engineer, Tom Stanford. Can you share insights into the collaborative process and how these individuals contributed to shaping the sound of the new release?

Alex really transformed the track production, especially the drums. The way Alex mixes drums is something else, he just made them sound so huge, really brought the track to life whilst retaining the atmosphere and mood we were going for.

Tom knows our music really well and we really trust him with our sound (he’s also a very talented engineer which helps). He totally understood how to give the tracks an extra shine in mastering and get the most out of the tracks. 

What obstacles do you encounter in your creative process and how do you overcome them?

A lot of our tracks are born out of experimentation – looping riffs and capturing ideas in the moment. Maintaining the original feel and vibe while reworking parts for a cleaner take can be challenging – Sometimes we end up just using the initial recording if it better captures the intended vibe, regardless of background noise. 

What is your favourite equipment to use in the studio and why?

As well as live drums and the odd built in drum machine to Logic, we use a Roland 505 drum machine which always captures a tight, small yet warm and really versatile drum sound which we’re in love with. 

‘New Moon’ combines moody electronics with intricate guitar layers, creating an atmospheric soundscape. How did you approach the fusion of these elements, and what influences contributed to the unique stylistic blend showcased in your live performances?

We’ve always liked the contrast between live elements and electronics both live and on record. Live, we try to play on the contrast – being atmospheric with reverbs and delays on Clarice’s vocal but also keeping a tight energy with the live drums and biting guitar tones.

Clarice mentions that the track is about new beginnings and giving your whole self to something like never before. Can you elaborate on the thematic inspiration behind ‘New Moon’ and the emotions you aimed to capture in the song?

So we’re actually married and recently had a baby together. This whole EP is about the journey of becoming new parents and the amazing ways it changes your outlook on life. All of the tracks on the new EP tap into various elements of this.

Your live shows are known for their atmospheric and emotive qualities. How do you translate the studio-recorded tracks, such as ‘New Moon,’ into a captivating live performance, and what elements do you prioritise to engage your audience?

Live we play as a trio, so the two of us and our brilliant drummer Luke. Luke adds a real sense of energy to our live shows, adding an extra punch to the tracks. A lot of the time, we think live we actually probably capture our sound better than on record – As we mentioned, we also have a brilliant live tech Tom who really does a brilliant job of capturing the atmospheric yet big sound we aim for. 

The upcoming live date at Moth Club in London is on the horizon. How do you prepare for live performances, and what can fans expect from this particular show with The People Versus?

Moth Club is a great venue so we’re really looking forward to the show. We’ve been working on some new flourishes to our set, little subtle changes that should hopefully take it to another level. It’ll also be one of our first times playing the whole new EP live!

Having opened for artists like Anna Meredith, Bessie Turner, and Nothing But Thieves, and playing at festivals like Latitude Festival and Secret Garden Party, how have these experiences shaped your growth as a band and influenced your approach to music?

We’ve learnt a lot about what kind of band we want to be and developed our set up and sound pallet around the shows we’ve done over the years – we kind of used the live shows we’ve done to inform what we feel has worked and not worked so well from previous tracks we’ve written.

More recently we’ve started using live drums which again has moved our sound in another direction and informed our recordings too – the new EP definitely has more punchy drums than some of our more lo-fi electronic beats on earlier releases.  

Your list of press and radio support is impressive, including recognition from BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 6 Music, Radio X, and various publications. How do you navigate the balance between creating music that is authentic to your vision while also appealing to a broader audience?

Haha thank you, we’ve been really supported in the past which makes it all feel worth it. I think (maybe hope) we naturally like writing accessible music, we never try to force it. We’ve always felt like the moments we’ve tried to write tracks to be popular, everything we’ve written has been rubbish, so we just make the music we want to make and hope that it resonates with our listeners!