Sylk

From a pop encounter to creating black and white sound, the Dublin based  electronic duo walk the line between experimentation and melody.

 

Photographed for State's Faces by Olga Kuzmenko

Where did you meet?

We actually met in 2009 at a Lady Gaga concert and have been best friends ever since. We're originally from Carlow and Clare so we never really saw each other a lot but always kept in touch. The whole SYLK collective are from different parts of Ireland actually so we all used to meet up every couple of weeks to hang out.

 

Can you remember the first time you made music together?

The first time we ever sat down to jam we ended up doing a cover of a song by the Veronicas in college in Bebhinn’s bedroom. We were like 19 and just did it for fun one night and realised we actually loved doing music together. We've been saying for years that we should make music together and we never really got the chance to properly until we moved to Dublin in October 2016, we started recording that month and had our whole EP recorded in just a few sessions in Bebhinn’s home studio. It all just came naturally and so fast, we feel, because it was brewing inside us for so long we were eager to get started and we had the EP pretty much finished by December.

 

Can you describe what a 'black and white sound' is?

It’s how we would visualise our music, it’s dark but it can be light, it's a pretty abstract description for the distorted bass heavy vibe that we try to create with our music.

 

How do you approach playing live?

We feel like at the beginning we took a very backward approach to playing live. In February 2017 we released our first single 'Am I Alone' and had our debut gig at the end of that month and we had never practiced playing live. We hadn’t a clue how we would play live because our music is very electronic and it took a lot of crafting and manipulating and sampling sounds of Taylor’s voice and structuring the songs around her vocals we had to transfer it all back into a way we could play live, Maschine is our go to software we can play tracks samples and synth lines at the same time. We always knew that we wanted to make our live show and immersive experience, incorporating live lighting/sound/smoke/performance. Playing live is where we are most happiest, whether it's in the corner of a tiny bar in front of a few people or performing for a bigger crowd at music festivals. We really bounce off each other and there is nothing like connecting with the energy from each other on stage from the audience.

 

What was your strangest moment of 2017?

Being asked to play a midnight slot at Body & Soul, we never expected to play a huge festival like that only a few months after we first started gigging, it was a goal for 2018, and we really didn't expect to play it in 2017, it was magical! Another strange surreal moment looking back is from this time last year at Whelan’s Ones To Watch 2017. We went to the festival and were sitting outside in the smoking area drunk and playing a stripped back version of our song 'Cigarettes & Sex' on the out of tune piano and the security guy came over to us and told us to stop playing it and we wished so much that we were able to play on that stage, where we have seen so many artists that we love. It felt like such a far away dream at the time, because we had never played live before, and we thought we wouldn't get any good gigs for at least a year. And now, we're playing the same festival and so much has changed for us in those 12 months. We feel like we've really carved out who we are as a band, it feels amazing and overwhelming to have achieved more than we could ever wish for in such a short amount of time. We're so grateful.

 

"Getting a real FKA Twiggs - esque sound from Sylk. Really nice stuff" (Proper Micro NV)
“I adore their unique and captivatingly dark sound…” (Lōwli)