Wyldest is a self-contained world.
A series of creative projects orbiting the imagination of Zoe Mead, she's been able to keep herself distracted throughout the pandemic by focussing on her work.
Secluded away in a Greenwich studio, this London based artist has turned inwards, finessing her writing while broadening her ambitions.
New album 'Monthly Friend' is out now, a divine return that was written, produced, and mixed by Zoe Mead herself.
A true one woman industry, her dreamy indie pop is set against a taut lyrical edge that never strays too far from the autobiographical.
With her new album on the shelves, Clash caught up with Wyldest to see what inspired her in the studio.
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Air - 'Playground Love'
I remember seeing the music video for this in college and I made a stop motion version of it, but I super-imposed the face onto an apple instead of the chewing gum (didn't quite have the same charm).
Besides that, Air have been particularly influential to me on my musical journey. Their otherworldly textures and daring compositions have inspired me to try things melodically, also their backlog of albums are so diverse, I love how they evolve and don't seem to follow a structure or set of rules... Something that I am learning to be OK with in my own writing.
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Broken Social Scene - 'Shoreline'
I heard this song at a friend's house when I was learning guitar. It made me want to get a band together and play a fuzzy guitar.
Broken Social Scene were pretty instrumental towards my songwriting, they paved a gateway to American indie rock for me (despite the fact they're Canadian). Also being introduced to the world of Lesley Feist was a groundbreaking moment - she was probably the reason I started writing my own songs - the delicacy and strength in her voice was always something I strived for.
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Blood Orange - 'Augustine'
I'm in love with Devontè. Who isn't though?
I met him in the street randomly when I played in NYC, got all fan-girly, but he was the sweetest guy. I love this song in particular, the blend of the drum machine, organic piano, his soft vocals and that dreamy guitar makes my mouth-water.
The way he blends organic and electronic instruments in such a contemporary format is so inspiring for me. I love his wonky synths - makes me want to explore sound design and create a bit of weirdness to my music. His music always instantly puts me in a blissful headspace, even when it gets deep and emotive.
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John Brion - 'Phone Call'
I can actually benchmark this composition as the reason why I started writing music for film. I'd seen Eternal Sunshine Of A Spotless Mind numerous times in my life and tafter the hundeth viewing, I guess I finally went down Jon Brion rabbit-hole and listened to this on repeat. The looped guitar, strings and cracking tape hiss is hypnotic and something I've borrowed on numerous occasions, with both songwriting and sounscapes.
Side note. For any Elliott Smith fans, there's some fun stuff on YouTube where Jon Brion does a very low budget 90's attempt at a Jools Holland showcase show - he had Elliott Smith on there, it's so compelling to watch.
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Mazzy Star - 'Fade Into You'
I heard this song on TV when I was a kid. I was addicted to it and at that time (just before the Internet was a big deal) I couldn't find a way to listen to it. I think it somehow got into my blood and when i started writing music, I always had this as a subconscious reference.
I think Mazzy Star is a benchmark for dream pop, but it was before dream pop was a thing I suppose, so it was that transition between grunge and pop. I'm always trying to chase the warm analogue sound that this track has - its beautiful how there's so much going on - acoustic, slide guitar, piano - but there's still so much room in the mix - I think I'll forever reference this tune.
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'Monthly Friend' is out now.