Last time we told you about Cali alt-pop duo Slenderbodies — aka Max Vehuni and Benji Cormack — they were just about to release their debut album Komorebi. That was only last summer, but a lot has changed for the pair, not least the obvious lockdown period. They've dropped a handful of singles in the intervening year and a half and now they're preparing for the release of their as-yet-untitled new EP next year. Ahead of that, they're today dropping off lead single "Cherry Blossom" as a primer.
"Cherry Blossom" is the first fruit of the duo's recent experiments in sampling and a process called granular synthesising. We'll leave them to explain that at the bottom, but the result of these sonic adventures is a sound unlike any other. Distorted yet smooth, the band have distilled their hazy sound into an even purer, almost shoegaze form, pouring in the West Coast cool that surrounds them in their hometown and colouring it with splashes of the kind of left-of-centre, indie charm you might hear from Mura Masa or Jadu Heart.
Explaining their recent experiments, the band told us, "We went in the studio with Jeremy from [Philadelphia duo] Marian Hill at the top of the year and he was working with a ton of granular synthesis on vocals and foley samples. If you're unfamiliar, this kind of synthesis involves taking a really small sample (a 'grain') of a sound and warping it through repetition or stretching. you end up with these really wild sonic characteristics by focusing on such an atomic piece of the sound. We were super inspired by this, so when we sat down to write 'Cherry Blossoms' we wanted to apply the same technique to our guitar. Every synth in the song is some amalgamation of vocals or guitar, granularised and melded with other found sounds. The lyrics and story of 'Cherry Blossom' reflect this creative process as our protagonist finds themselves looking for the little beauties around them like patterns, colours and nature."