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  • Vasili Papathanasopoulos


The Way Back Down is out now!

Image: Rick Clifford.

New Zealand-born and Melbourne-based multi-instrumentalist Rachel Trainor has shared her debut album, The Way Back Down, under her new solo project, Nighteyes. To celebrate the release, the singer has shared with MILKY five things that inspired her whilst making the record.


One of my favourites to listen to on the way home from a gig, this album is absolutely gorgeous and influenced many sounds on The Way Back Down. I love the intro of the opening track, While The Ages Steal with it’s melodic guitar parts, and I think that really shaped how Hollow Tree ended up sounding. I particularly love the way this band makes space for melody, allowing things to breathe, but then bringing heavy parts in the most perfect timing. I feel like I’ve learned a lot about the type of music I want to make just by listening to this album so many times. It’s definitely one of my favourites.


This was my first introduction to Chelsea Wolfe’s incredible catalogue, and I was immediately hooked by her ethereal voice, and knew I had found the sound that I wanted to emulate for my solo project. I’d written a few songs that didn’t fit with my other band, but wasn’t sure where to go in terms of genre, so hearing the way that Chelsea Wolfe mixes different genres in this album really inspired me. From the synth arpeggiator in ‘Feral Love’ that heavily influenced the production of Lowlight, to the sparse production of ‘Lone’ shaping the sound of ‘In The Wake’, I got a lot of ideas for sounds from this album, along with other albums from her catalogue.


I think of my songwriting process as entering a portal into my own inner-world, I’ll be noodling around on a guitar and then suddenly I’ll have an image in my head where the song unfolds. It’s a special form of visualisation I can do that I only became fully aware of in the last couple of years, where the song has a location, a smell, a temperature and a taste. Music can transport you to so many different realms, and it’s through these portals that I can be fully immersed in the song I’m writing. These visualisations helped in the production of the tracks as well, as I was able to really hone in on the mood of each one, and how I wanted it to sound.


The last song in the album is called Spiral, and is influenced by a particularly bad night during the Melbourne lockdown in 2020. When I was writing this song I imagined a spiral going down and up at the same time, almost like a never-ending Shepherds Tone. Although it’s a simple shape, it’s long history with many cultures as a symbol of spiritual growth and reawakening really tied in with the themes of the song, and ultimately the album. It’s a story of returning to self, shining light in the darkness, and finally accepting the self as it is.


The Fools Journey is the story the Major Arcana cards tell in the Tarot Deck. A collection of 22 cards, The Fool (card 0) navigates their way through the many challenges of life, ultimately ending in The World card, which signifies reaching spiritual goals and the end of a cycle. I really wanted The Way Back Down to feel like a journey, so I considered that heavily in the way the track list is ordered. The album takes you through most of the challenges I’ve faced in my life, directly or indirectly, and now that the album is complete (after being such a huge part of my life for the last two years) I’ll be beginning a new cycle, a new chapter where anything could happen. So back to the beginning as The Fool, jumping off a cliff into the wide unknown.

The Way Back Down is out now!


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