Everything is What We Thought It Was is out now!
Image: Jess Gleeson.
Sydney electronic production duo, This Week In The Universe have shared their new EP, Everything is What We Thought It Was. The musical project of brothers Beau and Casey Golden, the duo sat down to chat about the making of the EP
"...this project of ours started back in 2020 with the track 'Weightless feat. Wallace' and the last track on our EP, 'Superstructure', which we started in an Airbnb in NYC in the middle of winter in 2019. We both work as producers and session musicians so we have the good fortune of knowing a lot of amazing musicians and artists. This project gave us the opportunity to work with some friends on something we really care about, but also gave us a chance to approach artists from Australia and across the globe we hadn’t worked with that we really admire." the duo share.
"The result of all this is ‘everything what we thought it was’, the culmination of the last four years and our best and most complete statement to date. Every one of the seven tracks has its own story, with the personality of each feature artist shining through, while all coming together into a united body of work.”
CG: I'm super chuffed with the features we have on this EP, if you could get anyone in the world on our next release, who would you want?
BG: Yeah I mean if we could have anyone? Janelle Monae, Francis & the Lights, Thelma Plum, Tasman Keith, Ruel, Elsy Wameyo, Joy - heaps of exciting Australian artists we'd love to do some stuff with.
CG: What's the weirdest moment we've had (so far) as This Week in the Universe?
BG: I don't know about weirdest, but for the On The Run video, as you know our concept was trying to recreate the feel of an open world first person video game, where our characters were running through a bunch of different levels. We filmed it all around Sydney but since we filmed it ourselves we were running (either in shot or the person chasing behind with a camera on a heavy gimbal) for over 8 hours. Neither of us stretched before, and at the end of the shoot we couldn't really walk and it took us 45 minutes to walk up a staircase in Darling Harbour to get back to the car.
BG: What was your favourite moment from making this EP?
CG: There were so many. I think we genuinely both had great experiences with every feature artist on the EP so I don't want to single any one song out. A few of these collaborations were done remotely (Wallace, Substantial and MonoNeon) and in all three cases, the tracks came together super quickly so hearing the first parts that these artists sent to us were pretty exciting moments. Starting work on this EP with 'Superstructure' in NYC was a great time too.
CG: How many different synths do you think we used on this EP? BG: Well, between us our collection of synths is pretty stupid and over the top. I kind of lost my mind a bit during Covid and also you gotta follow the deals if they're there. I think we used most of what we own collectively, around 30 or so different vintage and new synthesizers & a few select soft synths.
BG: What do you think defines our sound/approach? CG: I think a big part of it is how we deal with having many distinct parts happening at one time. By parts I mean literal layers of music that we've recorded. Then the fun comes in making all these layers come together. Of course there's an element of this in all music-making, but we really take it to extremes with the sheer amount of layers we're dealing with. Looking back on this EP, I think we managed to get a richness of sound that I don't think you can get to any other way. It goes without saying that this all comes after songwriting too. The song has to be good to be inspired enough to take this approach.
CG: We have a ton of demos and bits & pieces, but what makes you want to follow through with an idea to a full song as a writer/producer?
BG: I think all music no matter the genre or production should be based on good songwriting. I think if it can succeed as just a piano/vocal then I'm confident there's something there. Also any part/lyric/melody that makes us feel something we usually pursue too.
CG: We're both so inside this EP that it's hard to take a step back and look at it from a distance. As a whole, it feels great to me and I love the flow of listening to it from start to finish, but I have trouble describing the music. How would you describe this EP?
BG: Yeah I think went into this with no preconceived ideas of how it should sound and focused on each track as a world of its own. I think there are heaps of bold choices with writing and production, some super pop stuff tracks, some big ballads and some more weirder stuff too, especially on the track 'Superstructure' with MonoNeon on bass. Even though there's different features on each track that have their own stylistic backgrounds and influences, I like to think we showcased those artists while still always keeping the throughline of our own production and sound.
CG: What was the best thing and what was and hardest thing about recording 'everything is what we thought it was'?
BG: Well the best is the result of all the features. When we were trying to work out what to get on this, we really wanted like minded artists who are up for making cool stuff. We've had collabs in the past we haven't released cause the writing/vibe etc didn't gel in the way we wanted it to. The hardest thing is we're both perfectionists and we record and produce everything ourselves so there's no off switch/deadline in sight, it's done when it's done. This can definitely be a positive but it's hard when we're working on stuff cause we sometimes don't know when to stop.
BG: Where does the title 'everything is what we thought it was' come from?
CG: I wish there was a more profound answer to this haha. I believe it came from us going through all our demos/half-finished songs and organising them into folders for what each one would be used for. It turned out that all the demos were already where we thought they should be and I said something like ' ok cool, everything is what we thought it was' and we both thought it sounded cool so I wrote it down. This was a year or two ago and the title just stayed in a note on my phone along with other stuff about the EP, so it began to feel right. So mundane haha, but I feel that the title has taken on a life of it's own now so I don't think it should be associated with organising our hard drives.
Everything is What We Thought It Was is out now!