New York duo expand on their bewitching debut...

There's so much more to New York's Corbu than meets the eye.

On the surface it's all frothy psych-pop melodies, flashing colours and billowing texture, yet underneath lies something rather more personal, rather darker.

Debut album 'Crayon Soul' is out now, and it patiently treads its own path; sure, there are lysergic influences at work here, but it plays them in a rather new, rather startling fashion.

Jonathan Graves explains more...

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Pink Floyd - 'Any Colour You Like'

I love 'Dark Side Of The Moon' because it's so grand, but for most of the record, it's so relaxed. Abe Seiferth and I talked about 'Any Colour You Like' a lot when we recorded the synths for 'Branches' and 'Dark Wave'. I've always loved that delay, and the way it turns the melodies into an almost visual pattern. The call and response of the guitars makes it sound like they're having a conversation. We also listened to 'Great Gig In The Sky' before recording the full-band ending of 'Branches', and it made me realize we needed to slow the song down. It felt a lot more powerful when it was more relaxed.

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Tame Impala - 'Apocalypse Dreams' (live)

The performance of this song on their 'Live Versions' record is incredible. There's a fake ending, then the drums come back with a phaser on the whole kit, and a scream of feedback that sounds like a car hitting its brakes. I love what Kevin Parker does because he writes "pop songs" with perfect melodies and hooks, and then they melt into something cosmic and even transcendent.

It gives you everything at once, and keeps a chill, "no big deal" vibe while it does it. I'm sure his use of putting effects on the whole mix has influenced me, as well as all the rhythmic cliffhangers he adds with the drums. And big guitars that never make me cringe.

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Broadcast - 'Pendulum'

I didn't get into Broadcast until late in their career, but I went back and became obsessed with everything they had ever released. 'Pendulum' isn't my favorite Broadcast song - that might be 'Papercuts' or 'Unchanging Window/Chord Simple.' But the lyrics on this one kept popping into my head as we wrote this album. Trish Keenan had a way of using consistent imagery that paints a distinct picture, while describing really emotional/personal stuff at the same time:

Captured under hypnosis
Faster and faster, images
Can a meaning be obtained
Or this mystery explained

I'm in orbit, held by magnet
And the force feels so much closer than love

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Boards of Canada - 'Music Is Math'

I read an interview with Aphex Twin once, where he talked about making music that's extremely emotional, but you can't tell what the emotion is. That kind of power and ambiguity is something I've always been drawn to. Boards of Canada are masters of playing with "tone"; the music is perfectly balanced, and it allows the shading and feeling to come from the sounds themselves.

The chords in this song are neutral and the vocals are barely human, but the sound of the synths is so warm and almost comforting. The beat itself is energetic and threatening to the point of violence. That contrast and balance is what makes it so interesting, and I always try to keep that in mind when making anything for Corbu.

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Panda Bear - 'I'm Not'

'Person Pitch' is an album you can put on when you're having the best or worst day of your life, and it will feel appropriate either way. His studio work has become more crisp and clean-sounding, but his live performances still sound like he's in a huge, damp cave. Panda Bear grew up singing in choirs like I did, and he's been able to take that "sacred vibe" and morph it into something psychedelic and non-religious.

This album does for me what I think church is supposed to do, and takes me to that place in myself. I was going through some bad stuff when I got into this record, and realized later that I heard the lyrics I wanted to hear. Everything is blurry, which makes it interactive and so much more personal.

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'Crayon Soul' is out now.

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