by the partae

What is your name and role within the band?

Huntington: Hi we’re Claire and Huntington. We both share pretty even duties in the band. We play pretty equal roles when it comes to songwriting and production.

How did you start?

H: We met in November of 2015. Everyone always gapes at us when we tell them this story. We met through a Craigslist ad Claire had posted upon her arrival in Seattle from Salt Lake City. I was in the car just scrolling through listings and saw her ad, which mind you, was asking for a backing band for her “indie folk project”. Her voice and songwriting were pretty incredible, so I reached out to her and said that I am not the indie folk backing band you are looking for, but we should meet up and see if we could collaborate on something else. So we met in a coffee shop and then met up the following weekend and ended up writing our first song on her roof.

Where are you based?

Seattle, Washington.

Please give an example of your music writing process?

H: It changes constantly. It can start off with one of us texting the other a voice memo of us singing down the street, or I’ll start playing underneath a melody Claire has come up with. Once in a while, we’ll just sit down and just start writing about something that’s been on our brains or going on between us and then see how they line up. Our process is fluid, but I usually like when it stems with something one of us came up with independently, spur of the moment. The songs that start that way seem to be more focused and inspired. They feel important.

What are you working on right now?

C: Well, we’ve been working on releasing our EP through Freakout Records this summer. We’re also working on our first music video to premiere alongside the EP. We’re also constantly writing new music and making new demos. We love to write, it’s a bit inescapable.

What is your gear setup?

H: Since it’s just the two of us, it’s pretty minimal when we play a live set. Keeping it simple has made it easy for us to play shows around town and travel without owning a car. Claire processes her vocals through a TC Helicon VoiceLive Touch and, upon occasion, plays guitar on a track or two. I run a midi keyboard and my Ableton Push through my laptop, and just add some mild effects through the mixing board.

What do you like to do outside of music and does it affect your music?

C: I like to be involved in artistic things and most of my friends are creatives. I go out to a lot of shows and galleries and things. My friends and their art definitely affect my music. There is so much going on in this city and in the world, it’s hard to distinguish what makes its way into the music and what doesn’t because we’re constantly taking things in all the time. But I definitely draw from my daily experiences in my writing.

H: Definitely. There’s a lot to draw from on the local scene. I attended an arts school here in Seattle, so many of my friends are artists and also activists. There are so many things to fight for right now in the United States, and my peers stimulate a lot of important conversations through their art and our daily interactions. I feel the gravity of these issues and strive to keep some conversation alive in our music. Most of our songs may not be blatantly political or confrontational, but we always strive for a sense of catharsis and honesty in our work. We always strive to make our music evoke something real, emotionally, that will make people feel connected not only to us, but with one another. And I think, given the state of things, a sense of hope and unity can go a long way.

How would you describe your music genre?

C: I think at first we were easily pinnable as electronic pop, but we have really opened up our sound as we’ve continued to make music together. We’re still in the early beginnings as a band, so we definitely don’t align ourselves to any one sound because we listen to so much and are interested in so many different styles of sound and expression.

Do you know any music theory?

C: Yeah, growing up I was exposed to a lot of different teachers. The way we write doesn’t necessarily call upon some of the skills like that I feel I have in my arsenal, but Hunt and I both have a really similar ear and hear similar things and have a good foundation that we don’t really acknowledge often.

H: Not much. I grew up singing and took piano lessons for several years when I was young. I forgot most of my teachings and it wasn’t until I started high school that I started teaching myself piano again through chord sheets and tutorials on the internet. I would sit at little piano in my moms basement, learning different songs I liked, and overtime I developed an understanding for chord progressions that sounded and felt good.

What are your plans for the future?

H: We will always be making music, no matter what. Right now, we’re really just focused on releasing our EP and continuing to write new music. We hope to release another EP or album down the line. We’d also love to move elsewhere. Seattle is amazing, but the world is so big and there are so many diverse scenes that we would love to explore.

How did you get into music?

C: I really was just born into it. I grew up with so much around me. But I think rather then getting into it, it got into me. If that’s not too much haha.

H: I grew up listening to a lot of 80s music in my dad’s car and took lessons as a kid. Those songs always made me feel good and now, provide such a strong sense of power and nostalgia. It wasn’t until I was about a junior in high school that I really started learning about who I was, and what kind of music I really connected with. As I got into different artists, they inspired me to start writing songs on the piano, or recording covers using vocal loops on an iPad. When I came to Seattle for school, I upgraded from GarageBand to Ableton and started writing and producing songs in my free time and I guess I just never stopped.

What are you listening to at the moment?

C: We really are always looking for and listening to new music. We like to find new things and show each other what we find constantly. But we always, ALWAYS fall back on the 80’s. Always the 80’s.

Who are your top 5 influences and icons?

C: David Bowie and Prince both have been staples and inspirations. Billie Holiday is also a favorite. I think it’s hard for me to choose because I honestly find so many people influence my work.

H: Claire really covered the classics. Prince and Billie Holiday are both so important to me, as well. The first electronic act I really fell in love with was Crystal Castles. Also, I probably wouldn’t have started actually recording music if it wasn’t for Kimbra. I didn’t know anything besides basic piano chords, but some of her old live performances taught me that I could use my voice to mimic the sounds of different instruments, and that’s how I started off recording all of my first songs.

When are you playing next?

We are playing in Seattle on June 5th at the LoFi with Battle Tapes and Rococode. Then we’ve got a lot of cool shows lined up towards the end of the summer.


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