Drenching listeners in the spacey keyboards and airy vocals of Phantogram, the sonic embrace of Portishead, and the grooves of K. Flay, the futuristic psych-pop band Chords of Eve are here to fascinate with the release of their latest single, "Butterfly Machine."
Formed in 2019, Chords of Eve consists of American multi-instrumentalist Atlas Cage, who features various international female vocalists. Striving to tell stories with each piece, Chords of Eve compliments their sound with thrilling cinematic sci-fi inspired visuals to capture their listeners into captivating stories.
Knowing that Chords of Eve fuels their sound with fusions of alt-pop, electro-pop, and trip-hop, we can hear more of an alt-pop leaning with their latest single, "Butterfly Machine." When speaking about their single, Atlas mentioned quite the remarkable statement surrounding the longing for sleep, as we're able to escape and process our daily events while our adaptive minds transmute our problems into solutions.
Diving into the single itself, "Butterfly Machine" begins with sweet mid-tempo synth keys and ethereal background pads that set the song's dreamy and tranquil tone. As the featured vocalist Nekane makes her poised and soothing entrance, she starts singing her woes with incredible grace and elegance, all while Chords of Eve's supporting production transcends us into a dream-like state.
Moving towards the outro, a serene string-like synth softly enters and swaddles us into sonic warmth with help from airy drum patterns and striking piano melodies. We adore the emotional tone that Chords of Eve have placed into this piece, as it brings us into our "Butterfly Machine" of dreams.
Experience the beauty and grace of Chords of Eve's latest single, "Butterfly Machine," as Atlas Cage and Nekane team up for a legendary collaboration.
Hello Chords of Eve and welcome to BuzzMusic. We highly appreciate such an in-depth and conceptual single like "Butterfly Machine." What inspired you to write about the phenomena of dreaming and our nightly escape?
When I wrote the song Butterfly Machine I really wanted an ethereal soundscape that reflects the feeling a person gets when they are dreaming -- when you are not quite sure if you're awake but you're also not sure if you're asleep. The mind is such an incredible machine and there is a lot of science about how it processes information during sleep and the regenerative powers of sleep. The past year has been particularly and justifiably overwhelming for many of us. I started appreciating and depending on sleep as my reset button so that I can continue to put myself into this work and into this creation and not completely bury myself in the process. In writing Butterfly Machine I was honoring that beautiful alchemy the brain does, taking all the overwhelming thoughts and feelings that bombard us throughout the day and using sleep to somehow level them out, give us perspective, new ideas, inspiration, and clarity to get up and go the next day.
Speaking on the serene production and instrumentation within "Butterfly Machine," how did you create the sonics to offer this dream-like atmosphere that compliments the song's theme?
The key here is to douse everything in “Reverb” (just kidding). I layered a lot of simple elements, mixing instruments that I was playing and sound samples I was inspired by to emulate the feeling the song was capturing. I often create sounds to match visual counterparts in my head. For example, for the higher pitch pinging throughout the song, I was inspired by a mental image of an astronaut watching the glass window of their ship slowly cracking and breaking, muffled by the vacuum of space, or the ice of a hundred-year-old glacier as it begins to crack under your feet. I loved the idea of this almost distant sound that is delicate but a little foreboding. I explore these different sound concepts and layer them with Nekane’s very smooth, very comforting vocal style to make the listener feel like they are being picked up by this music while gently floating away into something more surreal.
Could you take us through your collaboration with vocalist Nekane for your single "Butterfly Machine"? Did you leave the lyric writing/recording in her hands? How did it work with her being in Europe and you being in the US?
The original idea behind Chords of Eve is as a digital music project that exists everywhere and nowhere at the same time so it wasn't that far out of line to meet and collaborate with someone on the other side of an ocean when circumstances led us there. Nekane is based in Bilbao Spain, and I'm here in Austin, Texas. If it weren't for the 2020 lockdowns, we may never have met and begun collaborating online. Technology has gotten so advanced that this kind of collaboration is really doable. I originally approached Nekane with several songs that I had created music and lyrics for and an idea of where I wanted to go melodically speaking (usually with somewhat embarrassing self-recorded renditions of the songs). I entrusted her to really flex her creative muscles and evolve those concepts into beautiful renditions. As the process went along she began to take part in the lyric writing on some of the tracks and brought some of her own style and flair into what we were doing. She also plays the keys, and suggested synthesizers and sounds that she heard in her head as she was recording, some of which were integrated into the final songs. The 5000 miles between us really didn't feel like a barrier because it seemed we had a connection right off the bat. Even though we have never met in person, we would communicate in detail what we wanted and what we were trying to create. That vulnerability and willingness to connect with an essential stranger, allowed us to create the album Butterfly Machine.
What should we expect from your forthcoming album "Butterfly Machine"? How does the title track pave the way for the album to follow?
Butterfly Machine as a title track is just the beginning of the very exciting 9-month release process. We really wanted to make sure that we set the tone right out of the gate with our first single. It shows off Nekane’s vocal skill and it creates the atmosphere for what we want to do with the album as a whole. As part of the LP release, we will be debuting a new song in this groove-laden alt-pop album every 6 weeks until the full album release in September. The tracks range from battle anthems to romantic serenades, introspective songs of longing to celebrations of the world even with all its flaws. We are also excited to feature fellow Austinite hip hop artist LivFree on a track, bringing a clever hip hop verse to “Talking to Strangers” (a fitting title since we also have not met in person yet!) due to be released later this year. Expect more grooves, expect to feel every instrument, expect Chords of Eve and Sky Titan to go beyond what is expected of music. We are here to create, to connect, and to use the technology of how to do so.
What do you want listeners to know about Chords of Eve and the music that you create?
The production of Butterfly Machine captures what Chords of Eve is founded on - technology bridging and connecting people who may otherwise be isolated. That promise of connection was a major theme of the last album Dear Engineer. This past year hit home that fundamental need for connection more than ever - but that connection can be made in unexpected ways. Chords of Eve also has recurring themes around being fearlessly yourself in the face of doubt. There’s constant change in the world (good and bad) and we want people to feel empowered to make that change rather than feeling threatened that change is coming. We want our listeners to know: You are seen, you are not alone, and you are stronger than you know.
Apart from the album, what are your plans for 2021? Do you have anything exciting up your sleeves that you share with us?
Chords of Eve has a few things in the works. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify to hear all the details and new music before anyone else! We believe strongly in giving back to our community so there will be some online events centered around that as well. On a slightly unrelated note, I do a weekly vlog for the record label (Sky Titan Media) on Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/skytitanmedia) and have told viewers this year that when we cross the line of one thousand channel subscribers, I will attempt to ride my Tony Hawk collector's edition skateboard. I suppose that could be exciting or terrifying but nonetheless entertaining.