Under Dusk is out now!
Image: Holly Kate
Singer-songwriters Harrison Storm and Enna Blake recently unveiled their collaborative EP, Under Dusk. To celebrate the release, the duo to chat amongst themselves about the project for MILKY!
Born throughout the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, the intimate and reflective body of work brings candid lyricism that explores the pairs own lives and the changing world around them.
"It was a great challenge artistically, to have limited resources and still create. We were very fortunate to be living in such a beautiful area," Harrison explains. Enna adds, "We had no intention of writing songs with a particular goal in mind. We were trying to process what was happening around us, and music felt like the best way for both of us to do so,"
HARRISON STORM: We are rolling.
ENNA BLAKE: Hello!
H: Take one.
E: (Laughs) I’ve got my tea.
H: You’ve got your tea.
E: I’ve got a cat on my lap.
H: You’ve got a cat on your lap. I’m strewn across a recliner.
E: Alright, I’m gonna ask you a hard hitting question straight off the bat.
H: Oh damn.
E: Are you ready for this?
H: I’ve never been less ready. (Both laugh)
E: OK so, recording an EP together, throughout a pandemic. Highlights, negatives, what did it offer you, what was challenging about it, how was it. Talk me through it. H: Woah. Big hard hitting question. I feel like I’ve been able to categorise and process it now that we’ve finished it. And I feel like for me, the highlights don't necessarily relate to the actual recording. I feel like during the process of writing and recording this EP with you, it’s affected other parts of my life which I didn't expect to be affected by. E: In what ways? H: Working with someone else on music, which is something as a solo artist has been really…not lonely, I don't even know how you'd describe it….kind of like a lone wolf. Sometimes I feel like I'm out there fighting the fight by myself, whether that's true or not is a different story, but sharing this creative process with you has given me a chance to take the pressure off what I'm doing artistically. I’m at a point now, where I feel re-energised and reinvigorated to pursue my own music, which I haven't felt in a really long time. It’s always felt like a train that you have to keep feeding with coal, or else it stops.. So I feel like that's been a real unexpected highlight of working together. E: Mmm, that’s beautiful. H: Question for you, Enna. Is there anything that you would do differently with the EP? E: Oh yeah, shitloads, but that is the beauty of the process right? And being artists, you always look back and you’re like “I would've done that differently, that differently, that differently..”. I think the biggest thing for me is just realising that I want to skill up now. It’s been really cool to recognize where I’m at with my skill set and with my level of my craft. H: And as someone writing and recording an EP for the first time, from an outside perspective, you killed it. E: Thank you. That’s nice. H: Well, on that, how did you navigate those realisations throughout the process and do you have any advice to anyone going through insecurities? E: Good question. I feel like at the start, I had a lot of insecurity. And a lot of imposter syndrome. And like “how the heck am I recording this EP with you and this amazing producer, Matt Redlich.” As to how I navigated it, you already know this Harry because we both study it, but I study this technique called PEM (the Perdekamp Emotional Method), which is an acting method but it’s also taught for voice work and as an emotional wellbeing technique. I’ve been studying it for a couple of years now and it really, really helped…. I was having conversations with my coaches, ongoing throughout the whole EP process, and we were talking about realising that you're always going to need to improve in at least one aspect. And being an artist is about constantly going to the next level.
After I digested that, I was able to accept where I was at and there was no longer any point in freaking out about the fact that I wasn't at the place that I wanted to be. And maybe that's just the nature of being an artist, having that artistic frustration, wanting to be better, it can actually be a really cool drive to always want to improve. That perspective shift made it less personal for me, and less about “oh I suck, I’m the worst, I don’t deserve to be here” to like, “this is where I’m at, these are the areas that I need to improve on” and to just keep on going and focus on the art.
E: How do you feel being someone that’s been in the industry for a while now…what are battles that you are working through with how you are as an artist? And how does that play into how you make music?
H: When I’m in the studio, I get into a bad habit with thinking about the outcome. So I think, for me, it’s always a challenge, and it was definitely a challenge working on this EP, to let go. Obviously you have a vision of what you want something to be like, but being able to really succumb to the experience, and the present experience of just enjoying what you’re doing, without seeing what it’s going to be like at the end. I feel like having you there was really helpful for me, to trust myself more, and trust my instincts.
E: That’s cool. H: Yeah, just to believe in myself more. And know that what I’m doing is good because I think it’s good, not the other way round. E: Yeah, like trusting your artistic instincts.
H: Yeah. Is there a particular moment or song or melody that you’re particularly proud of, that stands out for you?
E: My gosh…Probably We Are Not a Memory, that whole song. From right when we started writing it, I was just like, this is awesome. (Laughs) I like the energy of it, the fight in it. Especially because the other songs are a bit more relaxed, more peaceful, introspective. Something I like about We Are Not a Memory is that it has more of a forward drive. And it was so cool to get in Leigh on drums, and Roscoe on trumpet and Sage as well on cello, the session musicians we worked with were amazing. It was my first experience of hearing something in my head for so many months, and then to have that come into reality, and also to hear what worked and what didn’t work, and learn from that. Having those trumpet and drum lines in my head for so long, and then having that brought to life was so artistically satisfying. And I listen to it now and I would want it to go even bigger, actually.
H: Mmm. Very nice.
E: I have another question. What are you excited for artistically in 2022?
H: Ooo, spicy. 2022. I think going off what I’ve learnt recording this EP, just expanding on that. Trusting my instincts more with working on my album. And I think, specifically with that, if I have a demo or something that I’ve just recorded on my phone that I really really love, telling that voice in my head, I don’t even know what voice I’d call that, just like an outside voice that’s super critical and super judgemental and constantly putting it down and saying it’s not good enough, to stop listening to that. And to really get back to the basics of why I enjoy making music. And ultimately the first reaction to my music is me, because I’m listening to it, and if I dig it and enjoy it and want to listen to it, then nothing else really matters. To me it’s a good song, so to trust that and to go on that. That’s what I’m really excited about pursuing this year and I think I’m getting there day by day.
H: What are you excited about for this year?
E: 2022 feels good. I have a good feeling about this year. Even if things are still a shitshow with the pandemic, I feel artistically it’s going to be a really good year. And I’m really excited to just knuckle down on different aspects of my craft. And I’m currently about to start rehearsals for a play with PEM in Melbourne, the acting group that I’m in, which is super exciting.
H: Shout out to PEM.
E: I’m also really excited to get back to basics. I feel like in a way I just want to start from the start with my different artistic crafts. I really want to get into a deeper groove of living as an artist, and letting that be the real focus of my life.
H: So, obviously it’s a sensitive time in life, and people are turning to entertainment and art more throughout the pandemic to help them get through things. Lots of people are hopefully going to listen to this EP from all over the world, and is there anything that you wish people to get from this? How do you want people to feel after they’ve listened to it?
E: Yeah, it’s a good question. I want people to get from it what they need to get from it. Everyone is going to have their individual interpretations, and obviously everyone is going through different things. But overall, I hope it bolsters people with a bit of an energy of support and helps them to really reflect on where they’re at in life, and where they wanna go, and give them some real inspiration for making those kinds of changes and going through that kind of growth. I just want people to fight for the lives they want to live, and I want all of us to fight for the planet we want to live in. And I hope this EP can help people get to that place.
H: Alright well, let’s wrap it up there.
E: It was an absolute pleasure, Harry.
H: Hopefully we can make music together again in the future.
E: I would love that. Can’t wait to hear your album.
H: I can’t wait to see you perform with PEM, and it’s been an absolute pleasure to make music with you.
E: An absolute pleasure.
H: See you round, I guess.
E: (Laughs) We live together!
H: Well, see you later. (Both laugh)
Under Dusk is out now!