TIDAL Rising: Tiny Deaths
Consisting of vocalist Claire de Lune and producer Grant Cutler, the indie rock duo known as Tiny Deaths are a band with dream-pop running through their DNA.
Despite working under a shared moniker, Cutler and de Lune have differing styles that serve to complement each other quite well, with de Lune being more R&B oriented while Cutler’s roots lie in electronica. Taking cues from acts like Cocteau Twins, Portishead and Beach House, these two styles mesh together seamlessly to produce a dreamy and divine sound that Bitch Magazine has called “the soundtrack to late night brainstorming.”
Following the recent singles “Wrong,” “Downtown” and “Summer,” Tiny Deaths just released their gorgeous, meditative brand new full-length LP, Elegies.
In an effort to get to know these up-and-comers better, we sat down with Claire de Lune for brief but informative chat.
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Who is Tiny Deaths? Can you introduce yourself?
Tiny Deaths is myself (Claire de Lune), a vocalist, and my musical compatriot Grant Cutler, a producer.
When and how did you start making music? How did you come together as a band?
Both Grant and I have been making music for our whole lives, pretty much. But I met him at a warehouse party in 2013 where he was performing. I was in a hip-hop group at the time, but I fell in love with his production and just walked up to him with maybe a little liquid courage in me from a few too many gin and sodas, and said, “Hi I’m Claire, I’m a singer. You rule. Wanna make songs together?” Luckily he had heard of me and was crazy enough to say yes and that’s how Tiny Deaths was born.
Who are your musical idols?
There are so many! From a songwriting standpoint, I really look up to people like Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, who kind of elevated the craft of songwriting. Musically, Tiny Deaths is inspired by a ton of artists ranging from the original dream pop acts like Cocteau Twins and My Bloody Valentine, to later stuff like Mazzy Star and Portishead. And as far as a performer and general inspiration, Beyoncé hung the moon, at least, as far as I’m concerned.
Name an album, artist or experience that changed your perspective on music or impacted the band as a whole.
This sounds really cliche, but the first time I heard Beach House’s Teen Dream record, well, it really did change my life. I was like, wow, this, this right here. This is the kind of music I want to be making. It really exists in such a singular place, there’s no way you could be listening to any other band when you’re listening to Beach House. It’s its own world. That’s really what we try and do with Tiny Deaths. We don’t just want to set the mood, we want to take you someplace special.
Tell us about your new album, Elegies. What do we get?
Elegies is sort of an expansion upon the ideas we set forth on our Night Flowers EP, in that the songs from Night Flowers are on there, but in a broader context. Musically, the record is definitely a breakup album. It’s about relationships, how we change them, how they change us, and how we process them when they’re gone. An elegy is literally defined as “a song or poem expressing sorrow or lamentation, especially for one who is dead.” These songs are elegies in a metaphorical sense, in that they’re elegies to a relationship, to a time in my life.
For me the coolest part about being a songwriter is that I go through stuff, and the way I process things is that I write songs about them. But then I put these songs into the world and they’re not just about my life anymore, they’re about the listener’s life, too.
Share a fun fact about the band.
Grant used to be in a hardcore band when he was growing up in South Dakota, and I started out making folk music and playing acoustic guitar.
Recommend another rising band or artist you believe in.
My friend Katy is an immensely talented musician on the Cascine label making music under the name Morly. If you like our music, you should definitely check her out.
What’s next for Tiny Deaths?
We actually just got back in the studio to start recording our next record! So far I’m really really stoked about the direction it’s heading. I think it still sounds like us, but it’s definitely progressing, too.
And finally, if your music was a tree what type would it be?
If our music was a tree I think it would be a willow tree. It’s dreamy, and it’s there for you to lean on, and willows always have sort of a nostalgic quality to them, I think, as does our music.
[Photo: Zoe Prinds-Flash]
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