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∆ L Y S creates soothing EP for turbulent times

Njabulo Ngubane | Jun 26, 2020

If you’re not familiar or comfortable with the terms “ambient music” or “electronica,” let me put those aside and explain it this way: “Enid,” the new EP by the Upstate artist ∆ L Y S (pronounced “delta-liss”), is one of the most beautiful, breathtaking and soothing musical releases you’ll hear this year, local or otherwise.

Over five tracks, ∆ L Y S (real name: Rachel Clark) uses synthesizers and electronics to construct cathedrals of sound, enveloping the listener in towering, shimmering waves of sound. And if the music is the cathedral, think of ∆ L Y S’ voice as sunlight streaming through the stained glass windows, illuminating and shading but not overpowering the flow of the songs.

“I was trying to be gentle with myself, and that’s kind of what inspired this,” Clark says.

In fact, Clark thinks of her vocals as another instrument that adds to the overall sound.

“I really appreciate making music where the voice is an element that’s highlighted at certain times and in the background at certain times, just like the other instruments,” she says. “There are lyrics, but you can’t really understand them. It’s more about a feeling than an actual language.”

Clark has been making different kinds of electronic music for years, both on her own and as part of the duo The Parlor Pinks. And typically, when she makes more contemplative music like the “Enid” EP, it’s not typically a structured process; she follows her instincts on what to play and when to play it. This time it was different.

“I’m not classically educated,” she says. “I’m self-taught in terms of composition and production. I’ve done other projects like this before, and I think that my approach has been instinctive. But this is probably one of the most structured iterations of that kind of musical idea for me. I was a lot more intentional with this.”

Perhaps one of the reasons that “Enid” was so consciously created is that Clark actually intended it as a sort of meditative therapy for herself as she attempted to deal with the rapidly escalating pandemic.

“I didn’t really create this intending it to be for other people,” she says. “I meant it for myself to meditate.”

“When the pandemic started, there were a lot of emotions I was processing,” she says. “This has been the most challenging thing to get through; it’s changing our way of life. I was trying to be gentle with myself, and that’s kind of what inspired this.”

In fact, Clark didn’t even intend to release “Enid” to the public, at least at first. It was something meant just for her

“I didn’t really create this intending it to be for other people,” she says. “I meant it for myself to meditate. The process of making it for me was meditative, and listening to it is meditative. I usually don’t listen to my own music, but this is such a different thing. It’s more of a meditation than a musical piece to me. It was a pleasant experience to listen to it when it was done.”

“Enid” might have stayed unreleased had Clark not begun posting bits and pieces of the EP on Instagram and soliciting feedback from her followers. We can thank them for the final result.

“I’d been working on the tracks and I posted them on my Instagram and asked, ‘Hey, should I share this?’” she says. “And the response was so overwhelming that I realized I should release it.”

“Enid” is available on Clark’s Bandcamp page,
The name “Enid” is Welsh in origin and it means “life,” “spirit” or “soul,” meanings that attracted Clark to the name.
Clark has already completed her next project, a collaboration with Florida rapper MVTCHI called “Callisto.”
Listen to more at this link

Written by Njabulo Ngubane


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