Slovak-Canadian art-pop musician, sound designer, and multimedia artist Saint Idiot hails from Edmonton, Canada with his multifaceted talents.
His music has been interpreted as a deconstruction of pop; familiar forms rendered in sophisticated sound palettes, set in lush, carefully textured compositions, that are both a little futuristic and a little mossy.
With inspirations including the multisensory worlds of artists like Björk and Bowie, the continuing legacy of bell hooks, as well as Zen, Deep Listening, ambient music, and flora, he comes to us with the third single from his forthcoming album, ‘Alternate Utopias from a Nostalgic Future.’
With the mellow harmonies reigning from a crisp breeze of sound waves, “Talk” pursues you to dive into your intrapersonal recollections as you gulp down the dreamscape Saint Idiot explores. Whitecaps of nostalgia come flooding into your mind as the intricate elements of delicate tenors trickle into the overall quintessence of the subjects lectured.
The narrative of “Talk,” delves into the theme of healing in the age of hyper-individualism and isolation. With the profound falsetto vocalization of Saint Idiot capturing the emotion-fueled authenticity, the ingenious topics usher you into a state of reflection. The combination of feathery and weighty synths paint a life-like story as we navigate through the highs and lows conquered in the sonic voyage we whole-heartedly embark on.
What we adore the most about the flourishing instrumentation offered up in “Talk,” is the various dimensions unraveling in the instrumentation. Featuring layers of guitar, harp, and clarinet to merge with the diaphanous synths, the execution of the song's structure builds like a comforting framework, blanketed by the angelic melodies laced into Saint Idiot’s timbres.
Being the third single off of ‘Alternate Utopias from a Nostalgic Future,’ to reach the ears of the public, we greatly look forward to the flow of this upcoming album.
We love the entire essence of “Talk.” What inspired you to make this song the third single from your forthcoming album? What is its significance to be released as number three?
Thanks so much for having me, and I’m super glad you’re into “Talk!” I’m halfway through rolling out the album now, which is coming out on September 8th, and this song is halfway through that album. In both contexts, “Talk” feels like a real crux moment. I’ve now spent some time setting up the range and energy of the music, where “Bubblewrap” is a bit more on the conventional but splashy side of the album, and “Terracotta” is flexing the narrative, “let me transport you somewhere else” side of the album. “Talk” feels like a bit of both, and it also really gets at the kernel of the whole album in an unobscured, honest, conversational way.
The subjects you bring up in “Talk,” are something that you can personally relate to, or do you see people around you going through this? What is the meaning of this song to you as the artist?
I absolutely do struggle with it all the time. “Talk” is about committing to emotional dialogue, and while I’ve gotten quite good at understanding and expressing my own feelings in general, I do face a lot of obstacles in creating a healthy, generative dialogue with a lot of other men. It’s those same unspoken rules of engagement that I think is all too familiar, starting with the maxim “boys don’t cry.” My own inner work took years, and I discovered a lot of defense mechanisms that kept me from it. When I was much younger, for example, when I struggled with confusing emotions, I would get into these silent panic attacks where I’d freeze and be unable to even think—it felt like walking in circles—and it was a real barrier to solving problems in my relationships with other people. A lot of my male friends say this situation is all too familiar to them. It baffles me why a certain kind of masculinity is about unapologetically avoiding emotions—emotions are this entire, complex aspect of reality in the same way we take it a given that there is such a thing as an electromagnetic spectrum. To avoid this plane of reality is to intentionally cut off part of existence from yourself, and that’s just so debilitating. That can’t bite you in the long run. Personally, when I sing about “being let down by our fathers,” I think I am talking more in the abstract—I’m really grateful to have the dad I have, someone with a lot of range of expression and emotional mastery—someone who gave me a lot of freedom to be however I wanted to be. But I feel for the people I know who did have a really closed-off, emotionally opaque father. I feel for the boys who didn’t know anything but a sort of self-defeating, isolating kind of macho masculinity as they grew up. In general, I also just feel for everyone who had to watch their dad struggle through it, and I feel for all the people who are now having to go through some form of reconciliation because of it. I want to make a point of saying that this isn’t about invalidating or attacking manliness. Masculinity is beautiful. The issue isn’t masculinity per se, and I’m not fighting a “the world versus men” fight, as that would be really self-defeating, and also performative and self-flagellating. Instead, this is about all of us joining to fight in “the world versus everything that holds men back from their whole humanity,” because I think that when men suffer under the weight of the unexamined masculine expectations handed down to them, they harm themselves and the people around them, knowingly or unknowingly.
Could you please share a glimpse of what the creative process looked like when you structured “Talk?”
Oof, the truth is that I outright suck at conventional song forms, but also, I just enjoy music that takes unexpected turns—I love experimental music, weird forms, and ambient and classical forms, so I guess I’m more prone to fluid structures. I most often write from the densest section of a song by feeling out the entire sound palette and then carve the sound down outwards from there. It’s really fun and exploratory that way! Also, I’m a drummer primarily, and I’ve been challenging myself to think less in terms of backbeats, and “Talk” just ended up being the song where I really played with how to keep time and how to screw with conventional percussion. In the middle section, for example, I was trying to evoke this kind of unidentifiable feeling by creating the “shadow of a bass drum,” where something is ducking and warping the mix where a bass drum would be, but it’s just barely waking up those subsonic frequencies.
How important is it for you to let yourself be vulnerable in the music that you create?
Extremely. The scarier it is, the more important it feels. In some way, the topic feels all or nothing, too. The other huge theme of the album is humility and being able to admit when you’re wrong, so I think it’d be disingenuous if I was pretending I haven’t harmed people or that I don’t f*ck up.
What's next for you?
I’m winding up to shoot a music video for the last single on the album, coming around August. I’m also writing these personal essay companion pieces for Next Gen Men, a wonderful organization here in Canada. Other than that, it’s getting warm in Edmonton, and I just discovered mountain bike trail riding, so I’m divining that perhaps a visit to the ER might be in the cards for me. Let’s hope not!