Hermitude is an Australian duo originating from the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, and that is exactly the environ where the boys returned to release their latest album Mirror Mountain.
The first single from the album dropped earlier this year when they announced the tracklist, and we've been excited to listen to Mirror Mountain in its entirety every since.
Hermitude's Mirror Mountain album achieves what few albums can, a textural experience that is as visceral as it is ephemeral. We had a chance to catch up with these gentlemen and chat about the nuances and details that went into songs in hopes that you may be able to achieve similar effects in your own productions.
The album, Hermitude admits, only took about a month to find its backbone but it took another two years after that to perfect the ideas and bring the final vision to life.
And the end was entirely worth it, as Hermitude reflects on the album as a whole by saying:
See other How It Was Made features.
What is some advice you have for newer producers who are struggling to stay inspired and motivated long enough to write an entire album?
I think it's good to try and not commit yourself to anything too much initially. The most important thing is the music.
If you're happy with the sound you're developing, things will fall into place. Maybe start with an EP, keep it simple, like three tracks.
Pick three heaters that you're really proud of, and from there, listen to them together and figure out an order.
You might find listening to them as a whole creates a certain mood, and perhaps those three songs are enough for what you're going for.
Or maybe you'll find that the mood is great, but it's missing something, so then you'll have a direction to head in to complete how you feel it should sound.
How do you approach writing an album differently than writing a single or an EP?
We've always been album guys.
We love writing a body of work and fine-tuning the journey. A single or an EP can be a group of songs that you wrote in a period of time. They don't necessarily have to strictly relate to one another.
Whereas with an album, we put a lot more thought into the arc, the emotion, the relationships the tracks share, and the sound palettes. It's an opportunity to create a world where we can invite people in and share with them the feeling the music gives us.
Of course, it's always up to the listener to decide how to interpret it, but hopefully, they pick up on the energy we had when we wrote it.
What makes a good album to you? How did you prioritize this in your album?
It's got to be something that makes you come back and listen to it again. Something that draws you in. Especially with the volume of new music that we all have access to every day, it's a challenge to write something that people will revisit.
The creative blueprint for Mirror Mountain was to simply go where the music took us. I know it sounds cliche, but that translates to freedom—the freedom to try an idea out, no matter how weird or crazy. Not to be afraid of anything. Try it. If it sux, move on.
Don't dwell on anything too long. Just keep it moving.
Hopefully, people can sense that playful energy, which keeps them coming back.
How did you keep a central vibe consistent throughout all of the songs on your album, despite them all being so unique and different from each other?
I think the overall vibe of this record feels cohesive because it was written in a short period of time. We had the bulk of the ideas written in about a month, and then we polished those ideas over a longer time.
Capturing the essence of the record in that small moment helped keep the story consistent, regardless of the different styles we visit throughout.
Each song has a unique story to tell yet feels closely related to one another.
Share something about your own creative process that you wish somebody would have told you earlier.
The biggest lesson for me has been to leave your ego at the door.
This applies more to collaborative writing but don't steer a song in a particular direction for any other reason than it'll make the song sound better. Even if you only contributed one hi-hat to the track, that one hi-hat took the track to a better place, and at the end of the day, that's the most important thing.
The guys are set to go on tour in support of Mirror Mountain, but only have stops in Australia.
Below are the upcoming dates.
Jun 2 - Vivid Live Festival (Sydney)
Jun 10 - The Princess Theatre (Brisbane)
Jun 11 - The Croxton Bandroom (Thornbury)
Purchase tickets and keep up to date with more tour dates here.