New York's Creep on the Darker Side of Music, Female Vocalists, and Dark Chocolate
The New York duo Creep, consisting of house producer Lauren Flax and Lauren Dillard, are the newest sensation to come out of London-based label Young Turks Records. Making music reminiscent of the sounds of early Massive Attack or Portishead, Creep's gothic melodies linger in the the darker introspective of electronic music. Their first single, "Days," featuring Romy of The xx, resonates with haunting vocals over deep R&B beats, and has been remixed by the likes of Soul Clap and Azari & III. Their current single, "You," pairs the soulful voices of Nina Sky layered over pulsating downtempo beat. Below, Creep discusses with All Shook Down about what's important in becoming a duo, the origin of their moniker, and choosing guest vocalists. They play this Sunday at Public Works.
Jeffrey Kilmer Smoke and Mirrors
For those of us that don't know, how did you two connect and start Creep?
Lauren Flax: We started just as a fun side project. No boundaries or intentions in mind. "Days" was the first song that we wrote and once we saw how people were reacting to it, we decided to take it more seriously.
Lauren Dillard: We wrote "Days" on a bed in my old apartment in one night on laptop speakers. Flax and I have been friends for years and realized that we were really onto something.
What was important for each of you in selecting someone to become musical partners with?
LF: I've never felt comfortable letting someone else inside my writing process until Dillard. It's sort of like finding your musical soulmate.
LD: Writing music is a very personal process. Being able to share your vulnerability with someone else without boundaries is very rare and inspiring.
How did you guys decide on Creep?
LD: Melissa from Telepathe and I were brainstorming band names and after a lot of questionable ones "Creep" fit. It seemed meant to be.
How would you guys phrase the style of your music?
LF: The common thread seems to be dark. The rest is up to interpretation.
LD: We think micro-genres are glorified opinions. See for yourself! We're very excited to play on the West coast and see how were received.
It seems like dark, trip-hop-like music is exponentially growing in electronic music these days. What's your take on this?
LF: We couldn't agree more. We think pop music is also shifting towards the darker elements and it's very exciting.
LD: Pop has definitely taken a turn for the dark. It's exciting that the playing field seems like its becoming level. I think it's a very cool time for music right now.
Your first single "Days" was an instant success. Did you guys approach Romy from The xx to do vocals for a particular reason?
LF: It just seemed right. We had met while they were on tour and just hit it off. We brainstormed quite a bit about who should sing on it and when we thought of Romy, it was a real no brainer.
The most recent single, "You," features Nina Sky. Are you guys going to continue on the path of female vocalists?
LF: We are working with male vocalists as well, in fact we are doing one now with Andrew Wyatt of Miike Snow. I think, though, that female vocalists surround us more, so we naturally gravitate towards them.
Are you planning on releasing an album this year?
LF: That's the plan. Right now, it's finding the time to write that's most difficult, as we're rarely home. But we definitely want a full-length out by the end of the year.
What happened with touring with the Klaxons?
LF: That tour was cancelled. We did just get back from Europe and supported Mount Kimbie on some dates. It was really special for us because their audience is so open-minded about music. It was such a great experience.
Since this your SF debut, what are you looking forward to after your long European tour?
LF: I'd love to just relax in Dolores Park and drink Prosecco. I love San Francisco.
LD: I've never been! I want to go to the Full House house and that little winding road!
And how would you like to leave the audience feeling this Sunday at Public Works?
LF: That they want more.
LD: That they want to buy us dark chocolate.