In a DIY age where bands are increasingly able to write the theme tune, sing the theme tune, mix the theme tune and occasionally print the theme tune onto t-shirts themselves, dream-pop trio Wyldest are true masters of their own destinies. Core members Zoe and Mariin are continually seizing the means of their own production to the point where they’re now responsible for their own artwork, videos, production, sound mixing, additional instrumentation and pretty much every other peripheral aspect of their music you could think of.
“In the past we listened to songs, looked at artwork, watched videos and thought ‘Wow, they’re amazing. How can we do this?’ And you can!” founding member Zoe explains in their studio in Greenwich, “There’s a world of tutorial videos on YouTube; you can be anything you want to be in this day and age.” Zoe originally started writing songs in her bedroom and releasing them online under the moniker Wildest Dreams, while, unbeknownst to her, her future co-guitarist/bassist/keyboardist/singer Mariin was doing the same thing in her bedroom in Estonia. After starting to pick up some online coverage, Zoe made friends with Jack Gooderham, drummer for Still Corners (who are currently renting Wyldest their studio on the cheap while they’re out of the country), before finding a kindred spirit in Mariin and inviting her into the creative process.
Though both women have a sound-engineering background, it wasn't until after cutting early 2017 single 'The Poet' with Grammy-award winning producer Guy Massey that the pair decided to take on production duties themselves for their new EP 'Hitchhiker'. "When you work with someone you’ve got this element of guilt, you have to get stuff done," Zoe admits, "So it’s kind of awesome that we have this studio and can sit for hours just working on the sound."
The two of them are also responsible for all Wyldest's visual elements, and Mariin has designed the cover for their next single. "She just took a picture of dead flowers in her room and it went with the mood and everything,” Zoe reveals, "It’s mainly been us scrolling through photos and putting it all together,” Mariin adds.
Part of the appeal of complete creative control to Zoe and Mariin is crushing the old stereotype that there's always a man working behind the scenes for female-fronted bands (see The Staves and Justin Vernon, or Warpaint and John Frusciante in their early days). "It feels good to be part of this new wave of female musicians," Zoe enthuses, "We’re not just pigeon-holed as ‘the singer’ who’s going to be at the front of the band anymore. There are more of us playing guitar now, more multi-instrumentalist females. And there’s no reason they can’t go out and produce themselves."
As self-aware torchbearers for female musical autonomy, Wyldest positively relish questions about being 'girls in a band'. “We love talking about it! We’re proud of the fact we have this studio and we’re producing ourselves," she affirms, "It’s something we have discussed time and time again over beers. We’re like ‘Cheers! Come on to the album, let’s get this done!’"
And a debut album is indeed on the horizon after 'Hitchhiker's release is done and dusted. "We just thought, screw it, let’s do an album. And then let’s just do another album. And then keep on going!" Zoe laughs, "Because it’s power you know... Knowledge is power, having this space is power. We don’t really want to waste it, it’s a privilege.”
WHAT: Like Warpaint, Beach House and Grimes moved into a commune and made sweet, woozy dream-pop together
GET 3 SONGS: ‘-45’, 'Hitchhiker', 'The Poet'
- - -
- - -
Words: Josh Gray
Join us on Vero, as we get under the skin of global cultural happenings. Follow Clash Magazine as we skip merrily between clubs, concerts, interviews and photo shoots. Get backstage sneak peeks and a true view into our world as the fun and games unfold.