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It’s a sad day when you wake to find that your favourite music group has disbanded. The demise of indie pop five-piece Snakadaktal brought on a barrage of despair amongst their fans: it seemed they were not even at the height of their potential success when they announced the split, citing the desire to explore separate pursuits as the catalyst.
But out of the void that Snakadaktal left has emerged light – or more specifically, Two People, a duo comprised of Snakadaktal alumni Phoebe Lou and Joey Clough. While the pair's debut single, Fading, has elements of the dream pop of the former band, this reincarnation feels darker. Lou's vocals remain as atmospheric as ever, and it is refreshing to hear her native Australian inflection hasn't disappeared. Electronics elevate the sound; the kind you want to be listening to on a night that carries on into morning.
Here, Lou chats to RUSSH about Two People and the creative freedom that can come with downsizing.
Why did you decide to reform as Two People?
Luckily, nobody made us, we really wanted to. In May 2014, Joey and I met for a tea one day and decided that it had to happen. We said, let's aim small. Let's not aim big and be underwhelmed. We wrote stuff down on paper and I felt like we had worked life out, for that moment. Two People is something that has been in the works for about 6 years. We followed the path that fell into our laps and we experienced so much. Now we are here. More here.
Do you work well as a duo?
Yes. We know each other like family. Our ideas are so different, but our sound always ends up as one. I am not into big groups, I can't spread thin. Like conversation, I think creating something between just two people is where I am most productive, most alive.
What's the story behind your debut track, Fading?
Fading talks about that something that became weak. A relationship that fell away. When we first wrote Fading I remember thinking it could be played in gnarly clubs, I now realise that will probably never happen.
Did you deliberately try to deviate away from the sound of your Snakadaktal days?
No, that isn't a conscious thought. I don't believe that what I write is ever a reaction to my other work, but it may be a reaction to what I am living. So in that sense we are always defining our sound, and the sounds that will happen next. The difference in our sound now is because we are a different group, as well as the growth in us and the growth in our direction. Up until this point my direction has felt unclear.
How has your approach to songwriting and recording changed since you started Snakadaktal?
I have more focus. More oomph. We are producing our music ourselves now so our brains go into every aspect of the detail. It can be exhausting, which I love. My approach to songwriting has changed, yes, particularly lyrically. I have more courage now.
Who are your musical influences?
There’s a lot of music out there that inspires me. However I don't draw from that in my own songwriting. Like making dinner, it isn't about recipes or research on something that has worked before. I am more interested in telling stories, questions and moments that I live and feel, stories that I want to eat, finding something to chew, music I enjoy. Air, The National, Lana.
What's next for you?
We have an album in the works. We are currently finishing it, bit by bit, in our studio. We cannot wait.