Wyldest Interview: "I've always been incredibly impulsive"
Self-described 'Doom Pop' artist Wyldest has amassed a strong following after the success of stand out singles 'You Could Be Happy' and 'Seastroke' which was part of the soundtrack for the 2020 short film Birdwatcher, a soundtrack then earned Wyldest a 'Best Composer' nomination at Underwire Film Festival. Her 2022 album 'Feed The Flowers Nightmares' saw her explore her most lyrically vulnerable and musically expressive tracks to date. Her vocals beautifully versatile, radiating both a power and understated quality while the instrumentation is blissful at times and sinister at others. We caught up with Wyldest to discuss everything that went into creating the record.
Q. How do you feel you have developed as an artist and as a person since your last album?
A. I feel like I've grown a lot - my last album was mostly concerned with me doing everything alone, proving myself as a songwriter/producer and mixing engineer. Now i've contradicted myself by working with someone on this new album - I'm so glad I did, because it is my proudest moment musically. I'm becoming more patient with music creation - I am very impulsive and like to do things quickly and move on, but I now want to add more finesse, make things extra special.
Q. What has motivated you to be so prolific with releasing albums?
A. As mentioned above, I've always been incredibly impulsive, one day I could be working on an album, the next I could be doing a course in animation... The next attempting to sketch a landscape... I always want to do everything at once. Like if I want to make one album, I half decide actually, I'm going to make 2 albums and ones going to be x and the other is going to be x. This sometimes bites me in the arse, because I set unrealistic goals and then the inevitable failure hits me hard. However, a plus point is that when I'm in flow, I can get tons done at once - it's like binge music making. I'm trying to practice patience a little more these days and take things at a slower, more in-depth pace, but it's hard to fight off my rushed tendencies.
Q. Can you explain a bit about the album title for this new record?
A. Feed the flowers nightmares is about growth and learning about yourself, learning to leverage our emotions and body to its potential. Feeding yourself (physically/emotionally/spiritually) to enable yourself to output positively. The ‘nightmares’ part is in relation to the dark things that we experience and feel - and instead of burying them, we can ‘feed’ them to the ‘flowers’ - ie. accept them, leverage them. Sometimes things happen in life that force us to change, but this is good, our eyes become wider and we are being reborn into something better.
Q. What headspace have you been in in the past 12 months that has contributed to the lyricism on the new album?
A. Experiencing grief first hand and second hand - seeing it around me constantly and seeing how amazing people adapt and learn to cope. This got me onto the thinking that going through these big life shifts which grief can provoke is part of a natural cycle, that we must all experience - so the only thing we can do is embrace the new life and the new people we become.
Q. The new album is filled with both very blissful, natural vocal and string tones as well as dense, electronic sounds - is this contrast something you enjoying playing with?
A. I do. I'm always having a battle with organic instruments and electronic, never satisfied that I like one more than the other, so this album is an attempt at doing both all at once.
Q. Which track on the album do you feel best captures the overarching feeling of the album and why?
A. 'Easier to believe' rapidly became one of my favourite tunes to play, when i sing the lyrics it really moves me because it's about the choices we have. We see the world unfolding around us.
Q. ‘Tin Foil Girl’ is perhaps the most direct and angsty track on the new album, can you explain the main lyrical theme in this song and do you enjoy delving into more angsty sounds at times?
A. Tin Foil Girl is a song about overcoming the temptation to numb anxiety or depression though short-term fixes and instead finding active and organic ways to do so. I’ve seen a lot of people (including myself) experience moments of existentialism/anxiety/depression and much of the time, it appears to be rooted from somewhere of I’m not good at skateboarding, but the sense of community and meditation it provides me is crucial for my mental welfare. The track is about finding your own ‘superpower’ to achieve a real state of flow and what I’m coining ‘organic happiness’. The kind of happiness that can only be achieved by doing something active rather than passive, activities that truly encourage growth. I've observed family members, friends more recently and some seem to struggle.
Q. Why did you feel ‘Inky Road’ was the most appropriate album ender?
A. The song feels like a journey and ends in such a climatic way - with the kick on every beat. It also feels like an uplifting ending to leave everyone with a nice taste in their mouths.
Q. Which new artists have you been listening to lately?
A. Mui Zyu, Jemima Coulter, A O Gerber, Gracie Gray, Mini Trees.