Home Read Now Hear This: Deap Vally | Digital Dream EP

Now Hear This: Deap Vally | Digital Dream EP

Collaboration is key to the L.A. indie-rock duo's ground-breaking, rule-breaking EP.

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THE EDITED PREESS RELEASE: Lindsey Troy and Julie Edwards have always relished the challenge of working within the limitations of being a two-piece, but after two records (2012’s Sistrionix and 2016’s Femejism, produced by Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and years of touring as a duo, they felt an urge to reinvent their writing and recording process.

Rather than be locked in a battle of wills between two parties, they sought collaborators to break the tie and allow for an organic, majority-rules creative process. Those collaborators include jennylee (Warpaint), Peaches, Zach Dawes (Last Shadow Puppets) and Jamie Hince (The Kills). They also experimented with self-producing, working with studio engineer and longtime friend Josiah Mazzaschi (Jesus and Mary Chain, Idles). Finally addressing the eternal question, “Will you ever add a third member?”, they decided it would be more of a creative adventure to collaborate with a bunch of different artist friends rather than commit to one.

The result is a true creative renaissance for the duo, more liberating than they could ever have imagined. They broke all the Deap Vally rules, letting the collaborations be a musical free-for-all where anything goes. They added whatever instrumentation a track called for, in whatever genre or mood was spontaneously occurring, rather than limit themselves to guitar and drums, blues and rock.

“The Digital Dream EP was an amazing opportunity for us to remove all style barriers from our music and collaborate with some of our favorite people and artists,” they say. “The songs on this EP were composed in a purely democratic way, allowing all artists in the room to contribute, shape, and participate in their creation. Writing these songs was about process over result, encouraging everyone to enter into potentially uncomfortable places (ie. jamming and letting go of preconceived notions of approach and genre) while feeling safe and unjudged. True musical alchemy.”

Their track by track notes:

LOOK AWAY: Julie has known jennylee since the early 2000s, when they met through friends at the Mustard Seed Cafe in Los Feliz, before either woman even played an instrument. Years later, Lindsey and jennylee bonded over a bonfire at a birthday celebration at Brody Dalle and Josh Homme’s house.

DIGITAL DREAM: Likewise with Soko, both Lindsey and Julie knew her separately: Soko’s brother Maxime actually gave Lindsey blues guitar lessons, while Julie met Soko after a fundraiser in 2009. Soko needed a ride home and the rest is history. Soko went on to join Deap Vally on bass when they played an in-store at Amoeba Records and Julie and Lindsey were super impressed with the wicked bass lines she came up with for their songs. When they got into the studio together they were buzzing with excitement and ideas, and Digital Dream was the product. Soko invited Zack Dawes (Mini Mansions, Last Shadow Puppets) to contribute a spicy bass line. In the grand tradition of six degrees of separation, Julie and Zack had already known each other for years through Julie’s brother’s band Autolux.

HIGH HORSE: Deap Vally met KT Tunstall when they both performed on Later… with Jools Holland in 2013. They’d stayed in touch via social media over the years and KT was jazzed when they asked her to get in the studio together. They wrote and recorded High Horse at Dave Grohl’s Studio 606. The only thing missing was a rap by Peaches. Lindsey’s friendship with Peaches began as a mutual-fan encounter at a restaurant in Silverlake: Lindsey approached Peaches to profess her admiration and it turned out Peaches was a Deap Vally fan, too. Deap Vally went on to open for Peaches in 2015.

SHOCK EASY: The final song was the result of an encounter with Jame Hince of The Kills at a Queens of The Stone Age show. Lindsey got excited when she spotted Jamie in the audience. Julie and Lindsey later ran into him outside waiting for an Uber, and Lindsey told him she was a huge fan of The Kills and would love to have him produce some tracks for Deap Vally. The next week the three met up for dinner and decided to write some music together, which Jamie would produce. Shock Easy was inspired by the weight they all felt about the school shootings they kept reading about in the news. The process was a cathartic one, and they built a friendship through it.”