Every edition of this season’s Long Winter, we’re releasing a free split seven-inch, each side featuring a song from one of the night’s featured artists. To compliment the releases, we’ve issued a seven-part questionnaire to each of the artists involved, giving the subjects an inch (about 85 words) of space to answer each of our questions.
After Junetile called it quits and stopped making their sonic chicken soup dream pop in 2004, singer-guitarist Jonathan Relph couldn’t stop making music. Bedroom sketches quickly grew into more, and eventually, Relph formed Indoor Voices together with Owen Davies, Ryan Gassi and Kate Rogers. Markedly more propulsive, Indoor Voices steps further into the poppier end of shoegaze territory, their songs all blanketed with swirly guitar washes. Grab a copy of our January seven-inch this Saturday (Jan. 16) for as-of-yet unreleased Indoor Voices track “Indifferentiator” and another from Pantayo, and check out our seven-inch survey with Jonathan Relph below to get caught up to speed.
Long Winter: Who are you and how did Indoor Voices come together?
Jonathan Relph: Indoor Voices is the name I gave to a growing list of songs that I wrote after the band I was in from 1999-2004 ceased making music together. Creating music is a hard thing to stop. When it came time to bring those songs out of private and into the world, I went to people I’d crossed paths with previously. The band today is myself, Jonathan Relph (vocals, guitar), along with Owen Davies (bass, samples), Ryan Gassi (drums, percussion), and Kate Rogers (vocals).
How about “Indifferentiator” – what inspired that?
“Indifferentiator” is about how people who “have no fucks to give” seem to always succeed and that feeling of being left behind. The idea of someone being indifferent and succeeding because of that seems perverse and shallow. Pervasive oneupmanship in social existence today seems to manifest itself in indifference. Caring isn’t cool, kids.
For lots of listeners, this will be their first point of access to your music. Where does this song fit into the rest of your catalog?
This song combines the dreamy vocals and swirly guitars of our previous self-titled EP with a grittier, more aggressive approach in its melodies and sonic arc. Some people call it dream pop, others call it shoegaze. I’ve always been drawn to the dichotomy of ugly/pretty in music for its emotive quality.
Once they’re turned on to this, what releases (songs, EPs, albums, or otherwise) should people pursue as logical next steps to getting to know your music?
Our self-titled EP would be the next logical step production wise, but there definitely exists a melodic link between every piece in the IV catalog. Our first LP, Nevers, featured Kate Rogers – who sings on “Indifferentiator” – on every song and since then we’ve had vocal collaborations from a number of very talented female artists from all over the world.
When you think of winter, what’s a memory that stands out for you?
In the late ’70s, the snowbanks in Blackburn Hamlet were well above my head.
How do you survive winters in Toronto?
Eat lots of rich food. Wear lots of wool sweaters — yes, lots. Make babies.
What are you most looking forward to for the Jan. 16 edition of Long Winter?
Being immersed in an event of this magnitude all under one roof for one night.