To celebrate the 1-year anniversary of the End of the World EP release, New Jersey native and Sydney-based singer songwriter, Danielle Deckard is soon to release a deluxe version featuring five new acoustic tracks, which will be released on Friday 8 July 2016 on iTunes. Tomatrax aught up with Danielle to talk about her music.
What inspired you to record acoustic versions of some of the EP’s songs?
When we recorded the EP we finished up in the studio more quickly than expected and used the extra time to lay down parts for acoustic versions – because why not? Then earlier this year, we started working off of those and I really liked the way the songs had changed and developed since we released the EP. After playing them live so much, the way I sing each song has changed and we have completely different arrangements. At shows, people always comment on how much they enjoy hearing everything in an acoustic setting, so it’s nice to give them an actual recording of the acoustic versions.
How did you pick which songs to record acoustic versions for?
That happened pretty naturally. I wanted the acoustic versions to be complete re-imaginings of the original recorded versions. For some songs, this just made more sense. One of the tracks on the EP already contained a lot of acoustic elements, so we chose not to do that one. I wanted these recordings to feel like something fresh and new. We also recorded one brand new song that really fit in thematically with the EP.
What made you pick ‘End of the World’ as the title track?
Each song on the EP is a different version of what the end of the world would (figuratively) look like for me. Each song is about a particular fear or obstacle. But the song “End Of The World” is kind of like a kick in the ass. It’s the one that goes “stop thinking so much, stop worrying and wasting your life away on this fear, and just LIVE”. And that’s really the heart of message for the entire EP.
In making the video clip for End of the World you invited friends from around the world to film themselves with their phone cameras singing and dancing along to the song, where did you get this idea from?
It started out as an idea because we didn’t have a big budget for this particular video. I wanted to make the most out of limited resources. I thought, why don’t I have all of my friends, and people who have been involved in my journey sing along to the song looking directly at the camera. It sounded fun. And then as started working on it, it became more than just a fun video. People really struggle with their confidence in front of a camera. They are afraid of how they’re going to be perceived. They’re awkward, they’re extremely uncomfortable, and they don’t realise that no one else gives a shit! I wanted to take that awkwardness and make it a part of the silly, fun, light-hearted video. I wanted the video to convey that all of these people, with all of their flaws and insecurities, are awesome and beautiful.
Was it hard to decide which friends’ videos would appear on the video?
I pretty much asked anyone and everyone I’m friends with because every person in the world is unique and has something interesting bring to it. I asked more people than we could fit in the video and everyone was super keen to be involved, but then it was a case of who managed to film their footage before the deadline! There were particular people that I really wanted to make sure made the cut – one of those people is my Dad who works in construction in Philadelphia. He filmed himself on top of a 40-something story building with an incredible view of the Philly skyline behind him. And he sang the entire song out loud in front of the entire construction crew just so I could feature him in 10 seconds of the music video! It’s pretty incredible.
The EP covers some deep emotion themes around anxiety and fear of failure, where did you get the inspiration behind the songs lyrics?
While I embellish pretty much everything that I write, the lyrics for the EP are drawn from personal experiences. I wrote it during a time of transition in my life. I had just finished college and moved to a new city in a new country where I was just trying to figure out my place in the world. For me, that process was full of internal conflict and doubt, and the EP is really all about working through those emotions.
When writing what comes first, the words or the music?
That’s always such a hard question for me to answer. It’s always a bit different. I have thematic ideas and specific lyrics floating around it my head, but sometimes I start with a melody or a chord progression. I think it depends on my headspace and how bored I am of a particular way of writing. It’s important for me to keep the process fresh, which is why I always swap instruments that I write with.
You have a series of shows round Australia coming up, what can fans expect from these shows?
I’ll be playing as a duo with Paul Dougherty. I play acoustic guitar, ukulele and keyboard, and Paul will play acoustic bass guitar, ukulele, keyboard and cajon. It’s kind of like instrument musical chairs. We include all of these different instruments to keep the experience really dynamic, despite their only being two of us playing.
How does making music in Australia compare with making music in the USA?
I guess it depends what you mean by making music, and I’m sure my experiences are different from other people’s. When I was studying in Boston I was surrounded by other artists and musicians. Everyone was really eager to co-write and be creative and collaborate in any way. In Australia I’ve found it a little more difficult to find people to collaborate with, but now that I’ve been here a few years I’ve begun to find my go-to people. Now it may have just been that I was leading a University lifestyle in Boston, in a kind of a unique artist bubble. Or maybe there is something different culturally between the two places. It’s hard to say.
Do you ever listen to your own music?
Yes, quite a bit actually. Whenever I’m recording, I listen to what I’m working on repeatedly while walking every day. It helps me get some perspective on the arrangement and bring some fresh ideas to the next session.
What other music do you listen to?
It depends what kind of mood I’m in, but lately a lot of Ingrid Michaelson, Bruce Springsteen, Ryan Adams, Robyn, and Fleetwood Mac.
What do you have planned after your upcoming shows?
A brand new single coming out in late October with a music video and the works. This one is going to be really fun to do. It’s called ‘Put That Ring Away.’
END OF THE WORLD
AUSTRALIAN TOUR – JULY 2016
With special guest Rosie Catalano
FRI 8 JUL @ THE NEWSAGENCY, SYDNEY NSW AA
SAT 9 JUL @ JANE’S, WOLLONGONG NSW AA
FRI 15 JUL @ THE FRONT, CANBERRA ACT 18+
SAT 16 JULY @ WESLEY ANNE, MELBOURNE VIC 18+
SUN 17 JULY @ ECOHAVEN, HOBART TAS AA *
Tickets available at http://www.StickyTickets.com
* Rosie Catalano not appearing
Check out Danielle Deckard’s website to find out more!