Shrink's debut self-titled EP is out now! We chat to the musician about the release and more.
Image: Lorenzo Garrido
German and British musician Shrink has unveiled his mesmerising debut EP, SHRINK, fusing together hypnotic rhythms with slow acoustics. Conceptually, the release is written from the perspective of the musicians brother and documents themes of mental health, with a particular focus on the medication and misdiagnosis of depression.
The personal and reflective body of work finds itself centred around the previously released single, Eraser. The track is an ode to the unconditional care the musicians mother provided for brother at the lowest moments of his life and documents the strength and perseverance of a mothers love. The emotive lyricism offers moments on contemplation, set atop slow acoustics and lively bass, with the musicians vocals taking centre stage.
Beginning the story on Drowning, the track narrates the lingering affects that a relationships demise can leave, written from his brothers perspective. The EP's latest single, Cut You Loose, is a cathartic moment within the body of work, navigating the need to remove someone from your life when a relationship ends. The song is accomapnied by a symbolic video shot by duo director duo Ethan + Tom.
The musical project of 22 year old Sam Breathwick, the musician begain producing music fresh out of school. After growing up in Singapore and Germany, Breathwick settled in Kent, creating music out of a studio based nearby in Tottenham. Having already established himself as a hotly-tipped producer under the moniker Vasser, the musician is bringing his lyrical mastery to the forefront, showcasing his skills as a songwriter and vocalist in Shrink.
SHRINK is out now! Read our interview with Shrink below.
Tell us a bit how you began your musical journey…
I started learning guitar aged 9 when I signed up for lessons at a local music shop, and started playing in bands with friends around that time.
You’re debut EP SHRINK is written from the perspective of your brother and documents mental health, in particular the medication and misdiagnosis of depression. What was the hardest part about creating a body of work that is so personal and documents the adversities of someone so close to you?
The hardest part was trying to write about it in a way that was true to the situation at the time, not blowing it out of proportion. It was definitely a personal struggle of my family and my brother’s in particular, but I think there are so many other families going through that, especially now. Not writing about it would have been actively avoiding the conversation.
One of the EP's songs, Eraser, is about the unconditional care your mother showed in supporting your brother at the lowest moments of his life and documents the strength and perseverance of a mothers love. What prompted you to share this story and bring attention to the themes present on the track?
The subject of the song was a big part of my life at the time and was with me every time I came home, so it was hard not to write about it in many ways.
Sonically, the song is quite mesmerising, the hypnotic rhythm pulls you in with its slow acoustics and lively bass. How did you arrive at the sounds present on the release?
I worked on the production with my friend Oli, it was the first time we’d made music together and I remember writing it at a slower pace and on the piano. I sat with the tune for a couple weeks and came back to it and started properly building it back up with him, re-recording parts at his studio.
What messages do you hope listeners take away from the track?
I’m not sure about message, I think in writing about my personal experiences what people take away from it is up to them, hopefully it’s relatable and can offer some sort of comfort to the issues mental health can cause.
Eraser follows your debut single Drowning which was accompanied by a stellar visual. How important are the visuals (both videos and images) to you when it comes to conveying the story and meaning present on the track? And how involved are you in the creative process?
I find visuals really exciting, I think they can really build a song, especially artwork. I worked a lot with Ethan and Tom on all the visuals for this project and they are incredible. I told them what the songs meant and they would just bring these ideas out of the lyrics. Hopefully will work with them again soon.
If Eraser was a piece of visual art, which artwork would it be?
I like to think the ending of it looks like the Dali melting clocks paintings.
Could you tell us a bit about your creative process when writing and recording songs?
I tend to start by having lyrics written out first, I then either write on my guitar or by playing with some friend’s and jamming. I tend to write over instrumentals sometimes, I don’t really have a solid way of doing things yet.
Did you encounter any challenges whilst creating music during the COVID-19 pandemic, or did it allow you the time and space to immerse yourself within this musical project?
The only thing that’s impacted my creative process is the lack of inspiration to write at the moment. Fortunately I wrote this EP before lockdown, but I’m finding myself looking to character studies and other people to be able to write interesting stuff at the moment, as not much is happening.
The current pandemic has obviously put a half to touring and performing live. Do you have any post-pandemic touring plans? And what can audiences expect from one of your live shows?
Soon as small venues are able to do socially distanced shows I’m going to be playing as much as possible. I’ve got a band together of people I really trust with music and I’m very much looking forward to playing these songs with them infront
of anyone who wants to listen.
Luke Temple, Robert Wyatt, CAN, Arthur, Show Me The Body.
An album that has had most impact on you:
Set My Heart On Fire Immediately by Perfume Genius.
Describe your music in three words:
Dark, Deep, Inside.
Best song of 2020:
Dobby by 1010 Benja SL