Ahead of the release of new EP ‘AWAKE/ASLEEP’ next month, Sløtface’s Haley Shea has also given us a track-by-track rundown of what to expect from it.
Sløtface have shared a new track, and it’s another wonderful addition to their new chapter.
It’s called ‘Nose’ and incorporates the scrappiness that the band have become known for with a pop sensibility that will wrap itself around your ears and stick around for days to come.
There’s even a saxophone solo at the end, which is just the cherry on top.
Here it is:
The track is taken from the upcoming EP ‘AWAKE/ASLEEP’ which will be released on February 24 via Propeller Recordings.
To get you prepared for what is to come, vocalist and mastermind Haley Shea has provided us with a track by track rundown of the EP.
Sit back and enjoy…
Inspired by – Dijon, Lucy Dacus
“Indoor Kid was written by Mikhael Paskalev and me, with drummer Henrik Lødøens contribution also being crucial to the sound and feel of the track. It started out with some vocal lines I recorded walking to the studio, ‘I’ve got books about adventure, but I prefer to sleep inside’, and is heavily influenced by the Dijon track ‘Many Times; which I was obsessed with after Mikhael showed it to me. The song is about a lot of different things. It’s about me being a total home-body and a true introvert who is very comfortable being indoors. I told Mikhael that if I look back at my life and I have mostly watched movies and read books, some people might consider that a waste of time, but I think I’d be pretty happy with that summary taking the song from there. It’s also about the feelings I had about starting to go to therapy and feeling good about working through some things, but also getting so tired from the process, and having a lot of therapy sessions where I walked out and wished I could keep all my coping mechanisms and be left alone with them.”
COME HELL OR WHATEVER
Inspired by – M.I.A., Buffy the Vampire Slayer soundtrack
“‘Come Hell Or Whatever’ was a song Mikhael Paskalev and I wrote as we were mucking about trying to come up with a few last songs for a bunch to be considered as singles. He had the idea to start with a weird drum loop that day, and I was in the mood to write something that felt fun and tough and action-movie inspired. You can hear me playing the shittiest, easiest drums ever in the background, which Mikhael ran through his tape machine and sped up, including his enthusiastic screaming, to create the original base of the track. Nils, thankfully, also laid some killer drums over the top later. The lyrics for Come hell or whatever started with just the title and an image of Sarah Connor’s amazing arms in my head, and I knew I wanted to write a song about what it would feel like to have a badass like that for a best friend. It’s a song about ride-or-die female friendship and the magic of that over a Mad Max – Fury Road and Thelma and Louise backdrop. We later finished the song with the whole live band contributing bits and bobs in another studio, with some amazing band-chanting sessions to top it all off.”
Inspired by – Taylor Swift, Lorde
“Beta was the very first song Mikhael, and I worked on together in his studio. The original idea for the song came out of some verse snippets he had recorded on his phone the night before, along with our therapy-level conversations about who we are as people and what we want out of social settings, mixed in with a shared love for Taylor Swift and me being obsessed with wanting to add some computer metaphors to some ideas he had about bullfighters and gladiators… Phew. A lot of stuff there. The song is about wanting to connect with people on a deeper level, but feeling like social media sometimes gets in the way, with things becoming somewhat intimidating, shallow and superficial. The song is a confidence booster for myself, where I’m trying to be cooler than I am. It was written at a time when I really, really missed the rush of playing live, and I needed to find some of that spark and edge in myself that only really comes out on stage.
“The song is inspired by the songwriting of Taylor Swift, the sounds of Caroline Polacheck and the ever-present HAIM records and should be listened to while wearing sunglasses, even on cloudy days.”
COWBOYS IN THE DARK
Inspired by – Bruce Springsteen, Jack Antonoff
“Cowboys in the dark is another song that came out of mine and Odd Martin writing together in Bergen. We knew we wanted to have something Springsteen-inspired, or maybe it would be more correct to call it a homage, on the EP, so Odd Martin and I started off there just ripping off Springsteen with the Juno synth and the feel of the guitars. I was listening to and thinking a lot about the Bleachers album ‘Take The Sadness Out Of Saturday Night’ at the time and wanted to do something similar in a Sløtface way. I wanted to take those American and classic rock sounds and make them feel like Sløtface, something I’ve actively tried to steer away from. But, in the process of making an EP where the vision was to set as few boundaries for ourselves as possible, it felt like the perfect time to try. Odd Martin and I finished the whole song pretty effortlessly in Bergen, and not a whole lot has really changed from that first demo except the addition of a bridge and a guitar solo.
“The lyrics were inspired by that same trip to Bergen, a city I lived in for four years while attending college at the same time as Sløtface started properly touring, and being back there amid figuring out what the new chapter of Sløtface should sound and feel like brought up a lot of thoughts about the ways I’ve changed as a person. The cowboys in the dark are a metaphor for people trying to push you off course, whether that’s in a relationship, people I’ve worked with and had difficult experiences within the music industry or superficial friendships I made in my early twenties. For me, the song is about how an amazing part of maturing is that it gets easier to know who you are, what you like and don’t like, what kind of people you have around, and the outlines of what it means for you specifically get filled in, and it gets harder to push you off course. The idea of using cowboys in that metaphor also tied in with something inherently American to me, which I loved in the context of the Springsteen energy we were trying to put into it. We leaned into a lot of things on this track that may have felt too cheesy before, like the slow fade out, the loud guitar solo that Simen plays, and the wild-west-inspired lyrics, but at this point in the songwriting journey breaking all those rules just felt fun and freeing. We had so much fun playing this one in the studio together.”
Inspired by – Radiohead, Clairo
“Simen Følstad Nilsen, one of our guitarists and my partner, and I wrote this in our home studio in Oslo. The first pass of this song was a more bass-guitar-driven mid-tempo groovy track, but I really wanted to try it as more of a bedroom-poppy-ballad, and when we did that, it slipped into place in the EP for me. The song is very literal and describes a lot of feelings I have about interacting with other people and different ways of processing emotions and feeling seen and not seen. During parts of the pandemic, I was home alone a lot, and there wasn’t much else to do but go to the grocery store on the weekends, so I would kind of wander and take my time and wonder what everyone else was doing. I’m very happy in my own company most of the time, but some of those weekends were pretty blue, and I wanted to capture that feeling on this song. For that reason, we kept most of the vocals on this one from a demo take recorded late at night at home, with all its creaks and imperfections. The cherry on the sundae with this track for me comes from Askjell Solstrands’ beautiful piano parts that we added last that perfectly emphasize the sadness and contemplative nature of the song for me.”
Inspired by – Haim, Khruangbin
“‘Nose’ is what I would call a pretty general “Sløtface anxiety” song, a recurring theme I always come back to. ‘Nose’ is a conversation between me and a loved one where I’m trying to use imagery to describe what anxiety feels like to someone who doesn’t experience it. How even the smallest things can trigger it and send me into a thought spiral that feels impossible to stop. The choruses are the replies of someone I love reminding me to breathe, a tactic which usually helps me calm my thoughts when done correctly by my partner, family and loved ones. The mix of the heavier, rhythmic, bass-focused verses and the big, layered, poppier choruses combined with saxophonist Aksel Rønning add some extra spice, grit and depth to the whole track, making it one of our absolute favourites on the EP.”
Inspired by – Turnstile, The Beths
“On the EP as a whole, the main themes I’ve been exploring are joy, happiness and all of the opposites of these feelings. What it means to feel happy or content, I guess. Therefore it felt like the perfect closer to the EP. This is one of the first songs we finished writing with the new band who perform the Sløtface songs live and contribute to most of the recorded music. Tobias, our guitarist, came up with the riff, and he, Nils, Marie, Simen and I just jammed around that in the rehearsal space, which was a nice change after working in a studio setting for a lot of the other new Sløtface songs. Lyrically, the song is very direct, simple and honest. I was working on how to write about the themes of the EP and thought I’d try saying it as simply as I could. I truly do just want to feel happy. And after a few years of soul-searching as to what that could mean, this felt like the most direct way to express those feelings. We tried the song out live a bit before recording it, and the crowds seemed to respond well. Mosh pits and stage dives on the very first play-through live must be a good sign, right? So we decided to bring it into the studio for the first EP sessions, and producer/mixer Odd Martin helped us tighten it up even more and added some really fun flavours to what was originally an even simpler rock band song. Mikhael was also hanging in the studio those days and gave some highly appreciated notes that lifted the song another couple of notches. This is one of the songs that’s been the most fun to play live at the first shows of Sløtface 2.0, so we look forward to more of that this year!”