Through time our memories become bound to nostalgia, thoughts that are often stimulated by the aid of music: ‘Phone Screen’ is an embodiment of that statement. A mysteriously cordial insight into the mind of the Lincolnshire singer-songwriter, it combines a colourful concoction of cloud-rap, soul and indie rock in what is a captivatingly tranquil experience.
Off the back of his debut Album ‘Eccliptic’ in 2019, there were big expectations for his next release, but I’m happy to say that the wait has been justified. ‘Phone Screen’ plays on our most visceral of feelings, capturing the fragmented nature of social interaction; an experience I’m sure we can all relate to. Accompanied by an alluring blend of driving bass, gently oscillating synths and sonorous drums, the mix as a whole is a divine example of simplistically layering different textures to create a full and rich soundscape.
The vocal delivery punches through the spaces with a sleek fluidity, allowing the sway of reverb tails and sprawling keyboard patches to entice the listener into an invigorating listening experience. The rhythm itself carries a swing that leans into the realms of 90’s hip hop, and yet the lyrical intonation offers something entirely different. Without disrespecting his previous work, there is a clear maturity both sonically and lyrically in this release. From the delicate balance of delay and chorus on the guitars, the emphasis of the noise gate on the rimshot, to the soothing harmonies that envelop the chorus.
This is just one in a host of releases planned by Duccbod over the next few months, with talks of an EP also in the pipeline. We caught up with him to talk all things music.
I’m so excited to say that your new EP is out now on all platforms, and what a treat it is. What was your mindset when going into this new project?
Starting this project was honestly one of the best experiences, I wanted this project to shine out among all my older projects because I felt as if I wasn’t representing myself in the best way with my older work, not that I believe my earlier work was bad, but as I’m sure every artist or anyone who creates will agree – when looking back at you earlier work you tend to pick out a multitude of things that you now would change. Inspiration also develops as time goes on and therefore you want to express that in different ways that your earlier work doesn’t represent so I was very excited to start creating a project that sprouted from within my mind rather than finding instrumentals pre-produced by random producers on the internet that are similar to the style I was looking for as I don’t believe this allowed my work to reach it’s potential. In conclusion, the main reason I was so excited to start this project is that I felt as if this project would help me define who I am and what I stand for and prove that I have a lot to bring to the table and I’m only going to keep bringing more and more as I develop as an artist and a person and continue to meet more influential and talented artists such as Joey Walker from “The Pylons” who is producing this album with me – not to forget the rest of the extremely talented band who have each had their own influence on this project & I am very grateful to have met.
You’ve been working with Joey Walker from Natural Habitat on this latest batch of gems, what has that process been like and have you done anything differently from previous releases?
As I said, I feel very grateful to have met Joey and “The Pylons” as I firmly believe I wouldn’t have managed to get my work anywhere near the quality he got it to – I’ve already learnt so much from him and his process and even outside of the music, going to the studio set up in their house and meeting everyone has taught me so much about how important it is to be surrounded by like-minded inspired individuals and how much this can boost your work ethic and quality of work because you just have such a sense of accomplishment and motivation because everyone is so driven. Not to sound like I’m trying to sell an air b & b but the hospitality of these fellas was honestly heartwarming, being a stranger when first entering the studio, after staying even over a couple of days I left feeling as if I had been friends with everyone in the house for years and I think that’s why this project has become the work I am most proud of because everything felt so natural while creating it. Everything about this release is different, I feel so much more positive about the release and I have been considering every possible way of allowing this work to reach the biggest audience possible because I am genuinely so proud of this work I want everyone to hear it. Not to say that previous releases weren’t promoted e.t.c but through the process of creating this project I have learnt so much more outside of just making the music such as promotional techniques and making connections, and its this knowledge on top of the music itself which will allow a project to excel because without the right promotion you can make a masterpiece and unfortunately unless you’re extremely lucky, it will be very hard to get major exposure on the work.
Your lyrics are a massive gateway between you and your fanbase, often connecting through shared experiences. Is this something you strive to promote or does this writing style come naturally?
My writing style has developed a lot over the few years I’ve spent writing music (duh) but the core structure I believe has stayed the same, which is as you said, allowing connections between myself and the listener. I know this is very cliche and is something I believe the majority of writers strive to achieve but In my opinion, what differs GENUINE connection from TRYING to connect is understanding. I am 20 years old, I started this project when I was 19, in that sense I believe from the start myself and the lovely people who listen to my music already have an idea of understanding because my audience is mainly between the ages of 18-22 (going by Spotify statistics) which puts me slap bang in the middle of these ages so I share a lot of similar experiences with those who listen to my music. I’ve also had numerous comments on how I seem to be able to put my emotions into the words that individuals feeling the same emotions weren’t able to find – for example, my brother Karl, he has had a big influence over my writing style – maybe not in the traditional sense of the grammar within my lyrics or cadence I deliver my lyrics but the actual body and meaning of them. This is because of personal events that have occurred within our life that have moulded me into the person I am and he has often said while listening to my music he finds I am speaking for him and this is quite a nice feeling, being able to connect to my brother through art that I have created feels very special to me.
The EP is full of amazing moments, and If I were to pick a favourite I’d probably have to go for ‘????’. Do you have a personal favourite on the record and if so why?
This is a very difficult one, each song has such a distinct memory and feeling attached that are all so individual and unique so I love them all in their own rightful way – If I was to base it on the sound of the songs though I would have to go for * “don’t feel right” * as the guitar riff that my guitarist, and best friend of 6 years, Alex Simpson wrote for that song is so, so stinky. That song, in particular, I had on loop for weeks when we finished the first demo for it because I just loved the imagery I would get while listening to it, I almost felt as if I had a movie playing in my head while listening and I hope that listeners will get the same feeling. I am also really happy with my delivery of the lyrics as its nothing like anything I’ve sung before, it gives me vibes of mysterious darkness and it feels really dope to get such strong feelings from my own work.
Yours is a style which is hard to categorise as it combines so many elements from different genres. You’ve stated in the past that your influences are The 1975, Lil Peep, Sublime and Post Malone among others, have these changed at all while in the process of making this new EP?
Firstly I appreciate that you believe it’s hard to categorise as that’s something I try and achieve, a combination of styles and inspirations in order to create my own style – again I know this is cliche to hear but I believe because of my taste coming from everywhere it really allows me to evolve and adapt to a multitude of tastes and still make it work. My influences haven’t changed but they have definitely multiplied – this album, in particular, I would say combines flavours from Lil Peep, Sticky Fingers, Post Malone, Yellow Days & Mac Miller – these were the artists I was mainly listening to while writing for the album. When it comes to what artists influence each part of my work, I would say lyrically Lil Peep & Mac miller were big influences, how I deliver the lyrics stem from the likes of Post Malone & Sublime and when writing the guitar riffs I would say Sticky Fingers and Yellow Days had influence over that side – that’s how I believe I can achieve a hard to categorise style because each part of my music is individually influenced if that makes sense.
Congratulations on what is a spectacular release, I’m sure my speakers will be worn thin by the end of the month. Are there any more releases on the horizon or will you go back into the studio and start writing again?
Thank you very much! I’ll be sure to bring some new speakers when I next come down hehe – For now I really want to dedicate a lot of effort into promoting this project as much as I can and ensuring I am able to get it out to as many people as possible as I believe it has a lot of potential to be my defining album and I don’t want it to be overlooked. I have still been writing music outside of the album so there will still be a lot more to come from me yet and I am also really excited for these newer songs outside the album to be heard too because the process of creating this album has allowed me to develop so much that everything to come after the album is only going to get better and better and it’s such a nice feeling. Once I believe I’ve done all I can to promote this work then I will start to properly focus on new material but until then this album is going to be the focal point.