First off, I’m an idiot to not realize that Philadelphia singer Bailey Walker and local multi-instrumentalist Adam Laub (the latter of whom we know from the glittering alterna-pop OhBree) are a couple. I mean, c’mon man, it’s actually the biggest element of their name. Think, A.D. Think! But, whether it comes to this West Philly dwelling duo or any other twosome, I never assume. That always makes an ass out of you and me, then me again. With that union as a stabilizer (I guess), Decouplr manage to implicate the notion of solitary aloneness so prevalent in electronic-based music – an icy signature of the genre, a sign of quarantine times – while pursuing something equally warm and organic into singles such as “Cold Sweat,” the first track released from the duo’s soon-to-be-released full album, “DIGITAL BONFIRE”.
“’Cold Sweat’ was the first song that we completed on the record, and at the time we only had intentions of writing a few songs for an EP,” said Walker of DECOUPLR.
“At the news of the first lockdown in March, quarantining was something both of us took seriously. Several months into quarantine, we ended up writing four or five new songs over the course of a few weeks. Songwriting momentum was on the upswing and it was an instinct to follow through to complete an album. ‘Cold Sweat’ stood out to me as a track that captured the uncertainty we were all experiencing then. We chose it as the first single because it opens the conversation for the album, showing up to remind the listener that this present uncertainty is shared, and it’s okay to reach out to people.”
Here’s “Cold Sweat” from DECOUPLR.
Tell me it doesn’t sound a little like Bowie’s chilly, flutey, Mellotron-driven instrumental, “Warsawa,” from 1977’s “Low,” but with a thawed romanticism to its vocals.
“One of the big musical themes for this song, and the rest of the coming record, was finding a way to combine natural sounds of real instruments with a starkly contrasting, cold electronic sound,” noted Laub.
“The main samples and sounds for the songs on our upcoming record are often times reworked phone recordings or snippets of live instruments pitch-shifted into synths. ‘Cold Sweat’ features Mellotron and analog tape hiss samples set to sub drops. It was about making something extremely cold and mechanical that still has an organic feel to it. We ended up pulling a lot of the samples and beat ideas from old files that I had worked on years before and never released. Bringing back some of those concepts and reworking them with synths and sounds gave them new life. But ‘Cold Sweat’ really came together once we added the vocals. Having not worked with vocalists on my previous electronic music and having created most of the beats with a rapper in mind, the vocals opened up a new sound for me that we explored throughout this album.”
Stay tuned. When Decouplr’s “DIGITAL BONFIRE” is about to burn, dosage MAGAZINE and I will bring it to you.