Influences: Erskine Lynas

 

Local Action have been on an amazing run of late, but possibly the most striking project they've put out this year is Lease of Youth, the debut album from Erskine Lynas (aka Thomas Emslie, who's previously released as T_A_M on Coyote Records and Apothecary Compositions).

In some ways Lease of Youth recalls Deadboy's Earth Body album from earlier this year – they're both strange, downcast electronic pop records made by producers with one foot in dance music and that bring their creator's vocals to the forefront. But while Deadboy was influenced by R&B and Scott Walker, Emslie's singular album draws from a very different pool of influences, some of which he's taken the time to outline for us below.


Lease of Youth is out now on Local Action. Order it here.

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - Souvenir

Everything about this song influences the feel of ‘Lease of Youth’ for me. Those nice reverb-y chords, breathy vocal synths, the high vocals and the way the lead melody just weaves in amongst it all.

  • Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - Souvenir

    Everything about this song influences the feel of ‘Lease of Youth’ for me. Those nice reverb-y chords, breathy vocal synths, the high vocals and the way the lead melody just weaves in amongst it all.

  • Gigi Masin - Tears Of A Clown

    The synth that goes through this song is the most inviting, pillowy sound. On the album I wanted to try and make a lot of warm, humid sounding synths in this sort of vein.

  • How To Play A Groove In 13/8

    13/8 time sig video – quite a few of the songs on the album started out with me trying to write in odd time signatures. The guitarist from the band I play with writes in strange time signatures but without it feeling laboured or forced. I wanted to try and incorporate that into my own music but so that it doesn’t sound strange to the ear or even necessarily notice that it’s in 9/8 or 5/4 or some silly meter. Also if you are lame enough to find time signature jokes funny then you are equally as lame as I or more so.

  • Gang Of Four - Damaged Goods

    I knew that I wanted to incorporate live drums somehow but didn’t have the means to do so without booking a studio etc. I’ve always loved the drum break on this tune so settled for looping it up as an alternative which is actually one of the only samples from another song on the album.

  • Cocteau Twins - Iceblink Luck

    The entire time I was writing and recording for the album I had an overwhelming urge to slap a super chorus drenched bass line on about 75% of the songs. Thankfully I managed to rein that impulse in but it is a great sound when used well.

  • Angelo Badalamenti - Laura Palmer's Theme

    Even though I had finished the album by the time it started, I associate the album heavily with Twin Peaks: The Return, as I was obsessing over that the entire time that plans were being made for the release. Also one of the songs that didn’t make the album was built around chords that are shamelessly pilfered from this particular piece.

  • The Magnetic Fields - Save A Secret For The Moon

    The whole ‘Get Lost’ album is a big influence in terms of the pairing of almost comically dour lyrics to relatively chirpy and catchy synth pop. It’s probably my favourite of theirs as it’s just before the huge scope of ’69 Love Songs’ but nails the synthy aspects of that album and does it in the space of a concise record.

  • Beach House - Walk In The Park

    I could pick any Beach House song to illustrate this point but this is definitely a favourite. Making songs, I would always spend ages sifting through different packs of samples and sounds for drums but I love how the simplicity of just using an organ drum machine is totally unfussy, does the job and allows for more emphasis to be put on melody and the rest of the song. I tried to do this on the album and just be like, “I’m going to use samples taken from these two drum machines and go with it.”

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