W.A.N.D – The Frown – ALL words by Eliza Cro Day
Eve Rakow is a name synonymous with music in South Africa. Her third collaborative studio album, W.A.N.D, with The Frown, now makes her a part of music in our dreams and memories too. The Frown is a Jozi-based electronic duo, founded by Eve and produced by her partner, the elusive, Kleinbaas. I met Eve on the eve of her birthday to capture the birth of her newest and most precious baby, W.A.N.D, an abbreviation for, ‘we are not dead.’
ECD – Why would we have perceived the frown as being dead?
EVE – I don’t think that’s what we meant at all. It’s more of an affirmation of life rather than a declaration of revival.
ECD – What I got from the first secret listening of this album (it will only be launched and available to the public at the end of July) is that it is a lot more stripped down, more naked and more you. It’s experimental and raw.
EVE – as an artist you’re always growing, constantly. The previous albums had Kleinbaas and I just starting to work together, finding our sounds and I think we were quite shy. Timid. This album is confident and braver. Instead of putting more in, the idea was to simplify and take things out from it. We have the vocals and the lyrics at the forefront of what we’re doing.
ECD – I noticed themes in this album. A theme of where you highlight a group of people. Are they creatives, are they a movement you are trying to talk to?
EVE – the album as a whole is about isolation and loneliness. Personally, I find it really difficult to interact in this world. I’ve always used music as a way to communicate what I’m going through and to reach out to other people. I guess the idea has always been to make songs for other lonely people, to try make a connection, even just through our loneliness.
ECD – cool. So, it’s an album for aliens?
EVE – yes
ECD – When listening to the opening track, ‘the young ones,’ I felt you were talking to an ‘us,’ if that makes sense. Does it?
EVE – I feel like The Frown has always been a cult of the strange, the people who don’t always fit anywhere really. I was just thinking about making music and the music I was listening to when I was growing up. How pivotal and important it was. It helped me get through my teenage years. Stuff that I couldn’t talk about with my family or even my friends, I would hear the lyrics of bands I was listening to being, like, ‘yes, that’s exactly how I feel!’ it made me feel less alone.
ECD – What can people expect to see along with it at your debut performance of the album in Jozi at the Kalashnikov gallery?
EVE – I will say this. We chose a gallery because it’s the kind of space you can interpret in any kind of way. It will not feel like a club nor a sit-down or stand-up show – I don’t know. There are only 70 spaces available for that show. I want to keep it special. The people who come to that show will receive the album but it won’t take the form of a vinyl, cd, cassette – nothing like that. It will be something else. For a month, the people who have gone to that show will be the only ones who will have the album. We decided to launch in Johannesburg first because that is where it was conceived and where we’re from. It is our first home. So we’re giving it to the inhabitants there first.
ECD- Who is your ideal listener?
EVE – I want everyone to listen to it. Even people it upsets and they’re like, ‘what is this rubbish!’ anyone who has the patience to listen to a 12-track album, which i would recommend happen alone in your bed with headphones and allow it to lull you to sleep. It doesn’t have to be a focused attention. It’s the kind of thing that will sneak into your dreams.
W.A.N.D by The Frown will be launched in Johannesburg on the 31st of July at the Kalashnikov gallery.
Find out more here: http://www.citysoiree.co.za/events/the-frown/
Soon to be available on The Frown’s Soundcloud page: https://soundcloud.com/thefrown
Expect a track a week from the 1st of August along with special artwork made for you by The Frown