Recently coming off his Australia tour, Slow Dancer aka Simon Okely is back with a warming follow up album “In A Mood” after his 2014 debut “Surrender”.
Back in 2013 the Melbourne-based singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist moved to Melbourne and began his music career as Slow Dancer. With the latest release, Okely describe the album as “more expansive, more ambitious”.
We recently chatted with Okely about the making of “In A Mood“.
image via nativetongue.com
It’s been 3 years since your debut. How does “In A Mood” differ from your earlier material?
Like an apple and an orange are both fruit, they came from the same orchid. They taste different, and have textures. They are worlds apart yet both round.
Would you say that this album represents your sound and identity best?
Well assuming I have self identified my identity (which I’m not sure I have or ever will) I’m also of the belief that once an artist becomes self referential musically, it spells the beginning of the end as far as I’m concerned. See PJ Harvey for examples of how to correctly explore identity in music.
How long was the process of putting this album out? What were some of the challenges you faced while put this body of work together?
It took about a year to assemble the correct team to release this record.
As a multi instrumentalist self recording and producing perfectionist, I have excellent people skills and spend lots of time socialising and exercising out doors. Needless to say my life is perfect and I don’t face any challenges, especially when self editing and self motivating.
Are you quite critical of your work? Was there a lot of back and forth in terms of which songs would make it onto the album?
In order to best answer this, here’s an excerpt from self authored a yet to be released expose on my life:
“Simon – I’m not sure this song is really up to scratch with the rest?
Simon – well have you written any more lately?!?!
Simon – well no…I’ve been to busy producing, recording and writing your record asshole!
Simon – hey who you calling asshole? Asshole!
Simon- let’s take a break
Simon – you can, I’m going to keep working”
How did you go about putting a 10-song track list together? Was it a tough trying to condense the album?
Like packing for a weekend away, it’s important to consider every item. The satisfaction of swanning past those suckers waiting for their checked baggage is oh so sweet. Similarly in composing an album, it’s important that you reach your destination without too much or too little, and are proud of your choices.
Do you think you’ll ever branch out artistically and maybe even drop a rap single?
Artists like Kanye west, and Drake are listening to Hiatus Kyote and Arthur Russell. It’s silly to think I won’t release a rap single soon.
Do you find that be confined to one particular genre makes songwriting a bit more difficult?
I genre hop all the time. I’ve got 99 difficulties, but genre hopping ain’t one. I do use a very simple instrument palate, but don’t feel it confines me to a specific genre.
How would you personally describe your sound?
Like other ‘self love’ activities, this is sound I make for me. To intrigue myself and no one else. It does sound a lot like stationwagon rock at the moment.
One of my favorite tracks on the album is “In The Water”. Can you tell us the inspiration behind that track and how it came together?
Nick Hakim’s ‘Cold’. Changed my life. I had to write straight away. It came together when I turned everything off, and kept it simple.
Out of the songs you’ve written so far, is there one song that you’re most connected to?
Yeah, I wrote a song called ‘leading me back to you’. It’s my best song. I won’t ever release it because sometimes you should hold on, not let go.
Earlier this year you supported Cameron Avery on his Australia tour, how would you describe that experience?
Like an uncomplicated Shiraz and a sophisticated Camembert, we complimented each other far too well.
Are there any other artist you would like to tour with?
I’d really like to tour with Conan Mokasin or sun kil moon.
Lastly, what are your top 4 goals for 2017?
Not fuckn die. Lol.
Don’t forget to check out his latest video for ‘I Would’…