American siren IYVES, a feminine and strong woman with a profound connection to nature has released her new EP ‘Chromatic’.
In our exclusive interview with Neon Music, she says: “This is deep and vulnerable material. I was going through major life changes and heartbreak, and collaborator Zach Lipkins and I were able to find the words and melodies to convey that. It was a very cathartic experience to be recording over such a tumultuous time. There was no greater therapy!”
‘Chromatic EP’ is indeed a trip through love disappointment and separation. IYVES’ sultry voice and silky body walk into the realm of relationship electro-soul. It feels simultaneously analog and digital. Her sounds have many layers in a very processed, complex, surprising and never boring way. The ambiance is intellectual, but still very emotional. I would call it ‘Future Trip Hop Electro Soul’.
My favourite songs are ‘Made it last’ and ‘Chromatic:
‘Made it last’ is very dreamy and mysterious. The vibe is strangely sad, but seductive and it’s like getting access to something deeper, to emotions that you normally can’t reach. The many layers of bass and sounds are very multifaceted and sometimes a bit oriental. I would associate the song with golden stardust raining on a waterfall and would connect it to what IYVES told me about love, that it’s “selfless, open, kind, pure, ever-changing, dynamic, fluid, challenging, honest, authentic, and ultimately just something that is bigger than any one person.”
“What if I lose you, can I be present?…
My essence is gone, but I want you to know, I was made to last.”
As IYVES mentions: “Heartbreak can and will often heal, but will forever change you. It makes you stronger, it makes you wiser and it makes you more alive than you were to begin with.”
‘Chromatic’ feels very deep, dark and purple – seductive like chocolate and velvet. Again, it is a very mysterious song with a staccato of feminine and masculine elements, that seem so warm and cold, so intellectual and emotional at the same time. You can feel all the sound layers going through your body and finding their expression when IYVES sings “I feel the energy, rushes over me” – you can’t stand still, but move your body to the music. A very intense, abysmal, complex and clever song!
Imagine combining FKA Twigs with the craziness of musicians like Squarepusher or Aphex Twin, but in total slow motion, where sounds and sentences like “staying empathic” get distorted and grilled through the black hole into several particles and then reassembled again on the other side, that’s ‘Chromatic’ in a nutshell.
IYVES is planning her tour in the near future and said already to NEON MUSIC that she “can’t wait to make it to the UK!” – I am definitely very curious to see her live. Thank you IYVES for the beautiful music!
When did you find your way to music and why?
I grew up in a household that always had music playing – whether it was classic rock songs, the Sunday gospel my mom would play on the radio or my sister and i playing around on the key board. My parents although not musically inclined, really encouraged and surrounded my sister and I with music. One of the first memories of music I have was when my dad came home from visiting my grandpa. He brought back a little porcelain wind up toy of cats. When you twisted the knob it would spin around playing the melody of ‘Memories’ from the musical Cats. It immediately brought tears to my eyes, I was inconsolable. I think that’s a huge reason I gravitate towards music (as well as many others do) because it has the power to make you feel something within yourself you can’t always so easily access.
What’s the idea behind your name?
I chose the name IYVES because it sounded mystical and otherworldly to me. It feels feminine and strong. The meaning of the name in French is “Nature, greens, plant, foliage” and I felt that meaning was nicely suited for myself and my music.
Tell me about your new EP ‘Chromatic’?
I started writing the songs for ‘Chromatic’ in 2015 alongside my great friend and collaborator, Zach Lipkins (of REFS). He and I shared a really strong connection and created some pretty deep and vulnerable material. I was going through major life changes and heartbreak and together we were able to find the words and melodies to convey that. It was a very cathartic experience to be recording over such a tumultuous time. There was no greater therapy!
What is love for you?
Love is selfless, open, kind, pure, ever-changing, dynamic, fluid, challenging, honest, authentic, and ultimately just something that is bigger than any one person.
What is heartbreak for you?
Heartbreak can come in many forms, something tangible that you can hold or something that you felt you held on a more emotional level and was taken away from you. heartbreak can and will often heal but will forever change you. It makes you stronger, it makes you wiser and it makes you more alive than you were to begin with.
What is a crisis for you and how do you deal with it?
Crisis is can come in different ways, it can be slow, it can be abrupt but often when I find myself in this circumstance I have to first breath, it all begins there. This is the only way I can begin to sort through things with clarity. I also remind myself and find comfort in knowing things always ebb and flow and the only thing constant in life is change.
What is eroticism for you?
This is seduction and intrigue. It pulls you in a way that can feel a bit foreign, strange yet, undeniable. It can be uncomfortable and a bit outter body.
What is seduction for you?
Seduction can be sparked by undeniable intrigue, curiosity for exploration and a desire to know more.
What is darkness for you?
Darkness can be dismal and hopeless or rich in unknown and full of things waiting to be discovered and shined upon. Darkness creates dimension for the human experience. Everything would be pretty flat if we didn’t experience, see, or hear it.
What gives you strength?
I find strength in the confidence I have in myself to persevere and work through obstacles and challenges. I find strength in my people, the people in my life who have always been there and show up for me.
What is good art for you?
“Good Art” I think that is something that varies for each individual, life experience and overall is determined by how we look at the world. I think that if the art is honest, speaks to an audience, is thought-provoking, emotion provoking then that’s good. Even if the feelings might be negative, that means you put something out into the universe that has spoken – that’s good enough!
When do you know the song is ready?
I have found that the more immediate the song comes the happier I am with the outcome. It is that more authentic and raw. I think sometimes if I work too hard to make something work it gets further away from the original origin. Ultimately, I think there is always going to be that feeling of “I could change this”, “could this lyric be stronger” but at some point, you just have to serenader the art and let it speak.
What is next for IYVES?
I am working on some really really exciting stuff! Lots of new music in the works — its bit of a turn sound wise. I’m very excited to share this next era of IYVES work. I also plan to tour in the nearer future! I can’t wait to make it to the UK!
You can stream ‘Chromatic EP’ here.