Originally published for Notion.
Allow yourself to drift away to Andrea Balency’s mesmerising and ethereal music and you won’t regret a thing. Part French, part Mexican, Balency is one of the most interesting and diverse female vocalists around right now. Her soft, subtle vocals flow beautifully across sparse and atmospheric production, drawing comparisons to the likes of FKA Twigs and Björk.
We had a chat with Andrea – following the release of latest single, ‘Waterfalls’ – about her new EP, upcoming album and how moving to London has influenced her music:
You just put out a new track, ‘Waterfalls’, which follows the release of
‘Deep Sunk’ – both of which will feature on your upcoming EP ‘Volcano’.
Why did you choose to release those tracks in particular?
It’s hard for me to know how the audience is going to feel about my
music, but people thought these songs would be a good introduction to
what I do.
Both tracks seem a bit darker and more industrial than your previous
work – are they indicative of the sound of the rest of the EP?
Yes, as well as indicative of the sound of the album I’m working on at
Tell us a little bit about the making of the new EP – who did you work
with? What are the key motifs?
I usually write, record and produce everything myself, but I was lucky
enough to have Rob McAndrews (Airhead) co-producing with me on this
EP, and Marilyn Baker on guitar and backing vocals. She also made the
artwork which is a very good visual representation of a place where I
see the music coming from. This EP has a lot of synths that are kind of
bending all the time and moments in the music that came from the way
cells move and divide. When I was writing the music I watched a lot of
microscope videos to try and capture that kind of movement.
Your sound has been constantly evolving over the last year or so – has
this been a result of your tastes changing and developing?
Yes, I would say developing more than changing. Moving to London was
also very important for me. I feel like I even learned how to listen to
music all over again.
You have some pretty revered fans (James Blake and Mount Kimbie, amongst other supporters) and you opened for The Cure in Mexico last year on the last date of their world tour – what did that feel like?
It was very exciting, but being on stage is always being on stage – once
you’re up there, no matter where you are or how many people are
watching, you block everything and focus on the music.
I note that you’re part French and part Mexican, and that you’ve lived
in several different cities – does this influence your music?
Yes and no. I think all experiences shape the way we make music. At the
same time I did have the chance to meet amazing people in different
countries that make very different music, and that’s very inspiring. I
don’t think my music sounds very French or Mexican in particular though.
You’re currently working on your debut album, which you have said you’re working on with Airhead and a visual artist, Marilyn Baker – is this
still the case? And can you tell us any more about the album?
I was working on the album until me and my manager decided to release a
second EP first. So that album I was talking about actually turned into
Volcano, with Airhead on co-production. Marilyn did the artwork. I’m
still working on the album now.
You’ve said you’re inspired by contemporary dance and visual arts – will you be incorporating either of these in to your live shows/visuals?
I’d like to keep my show as simple as possible, just make it about the
music. Visuals maybe, but I’d rather give the person or visual artist
I’m working with the freedom to interpret the music however they want.
Thanks Andrea. Best of luck with your year!