Nov 09, 2022
By Dom Gourlay
Yorkshire duo Kimber release their debut EP Slow Moon, Long Night on Friday November 18th via Safe Suburban Home Records. Comprised of six songs including recent single “Drive Me To The Sea”, Slow Moon, Long Night showcases the duo’s many facets and the EP will be launched with a show at Dubrek Studios in Derby on the day of release also featuring Al Bamfs, Emzae and Pale Stranger (TICKETS HERE).
Kimber are producers, multi-instrumentalists and long-time friends Mikey Wilson and Josh Heffernan. Their northern, working-class roots and work ethic emerge in their approach to making music: DIY, self-engineered, self-produced and self-mixed, with both members putting money aside each week to slowly build their shared studio. Their studio space has become a sanctuary, with their passion for production and gear allowing Kimber to experiment sonically as well as be self-sufficient artists.
The output is heavily textured with hints of Mount Kimbie in the woozy production, Beach House in the melancholic melodies and New Order with the dynamic basslines. There is an impressive looseness to their sound, with a ‘performed-not-programmed’ ethos, drawn from their passion for capturing an authentic human feel. Kimber’s music is neither austere electronica nor the simple bounce of new wave. It sits somewhere between the cracks.
Both Wilson and Heffernan spent the last decade working through different projects and guises before finding home with Kimber. Drawing inspiration from the alternative and experimental to post punk and new-wave, Kimber write with production at the heart of their music. Their friendship allows room for vulnerability in their songwriting which is often inspired by real events.
2020 saw Kimber release their debut single “Like Shadows On The Wall” as a limited edition coloured cassette via Safe Suburban Home Records which sold out within the month of its release and saw them placed in Under The Radar’s 21 For 2021 list two years ago. After being locked down the previous year, 2021 gave Kimber the chance to unearth their intriguing live set as well as finish their follow up to 2020’s debut, and earlier this year, the duo signed to Safe Suburban Home Records.
To commemorate the EP release, Kimber are also playing a hometown show at The Vaults in York on the 2nd December and Servant Jazz Quarters in Dalston on the 7th December (TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE).
Slow Moon, Long Night can be pre-ordered on vinyl HERE.
In the meantime, the duo (Mikey Wilson and Josh Heffernan) have given Under the Radar an exclusive track-by-track rundown for each of Slow Moon, Long Night‘s six pieces.
“How We Spent Last Summer”
Our history is rooted in guitar music, with electronic sounds only entering our soundscape in the last few years. This is our version of a ‘guitar band’ song and probably our favourite to play live. We have an extended intro with our drum machine on loop then we build the song from there. The samples you can hear throughout are from when a friend went traveling around South America. On safari in Brazil he took a load of field recordings on his Tascam and the vocal cut is of his tour guide, Elmo. I have wondered what Elmo is doing now!
“Think I Know The Answer”
This song was written just before lockdown, during a period where we were living in different cities, so mainly composed over emails to each other. When recording, we couldn’t get access to a studio so the drums were recorded at home, individually multi tracked and layered, under a duvet into my vocal mic, as that was all I had available to me.
“A Melancholy Spring”
This was the first song we finished producing for the EP. We’d had several versions of this song floating around over the past few years but never really settled on its production. We spent a week together last winter and focused our attention on finishing it. Once we did it felt like we’d set the tone for the record and used it as a reference point to produce the rest of the EP.
This was the last song to be finished for the record. It’s a short instrument we love playing around with live. We play it different every time and hopefully the recording has captured the spontaneity of that. We were tempted to write melodies and turn it into a full song but after a few attempts we decided to leave it as it is and not take away any of the fun from it.
“House in the Sky”
This was the first song written for this project. I’d just bought a volca beats and was messing about with different loops when we came up with what’s now the intro loop to this song. It’s not obvious it’s a drum loop, it probably sounds more like an arpeggiator, but it was our first bit of analog gear and it sounded so much better than any of the soft synths we’d been using previously. We pretty much ditched everything we’d written to that point and it became the main hook of the song and we built it from there.
“Drive Me To The Sea”
This song is the heartbeat of the EP. It’s the only song on the record where the lyrics were written before the production. They were written in an east London hospital days after a life changing event. Writing is what pulled me through that period and this song shaped the concept of the EP. Every lyric that was written after this was through a new lens and even if a song isn’t directly related, you can feel it’s pulse in the meanings. The vocal take is lifted straight from the demo. With the song carrying so much meaning, when it was first sung those emotions were fresh and raw. We tried to re record them a year later when we were finishing the song but nothing captured the feeling like those initial takes did. So we stayed true with what we had.