Tuesday August 27 2013
Scout Pare-Phillips was introduced to me at Over The Eight, a good friends bar in Brooklyn, NY. She had pin-straight bangs and oceanic eyes and a Pamela Love rosary. A photographer and musician, Scout is most notably the front woman of her post-punk/americana band The Sterling Sisters. She has recently released a solo 7″ record of her own solo work on Pesanta Urfolk, entitled “Fields of Ash”. 13:13 premieres her new video & follows the Piscean on her swim in to deeper waters.
1. Astrological sign: Pisces.
2. Currently living: Chelsea, NYC / Baltimore, MD.
3. Currently working on: Electronic collaboration with Soren Roi, and new music for my band, The Sterling Sisters.
4. Tell us about your solo venture, what inspired you to make a record alone: I’ve written folk music for years – I’m not even sure that’s the right thing to call it anymore – as well as writing music for the various post punk bands I’ve been in since I was 14. In the beginning of high school I started classical music training for composition and theory, as well as singing opera. Ever since then there’s been a split in the kind of music I write; I’m someone who grew up listening to post punk, electronic, and noise music but has a strict operatic backbone. How do you accommodate for those two things? There was also always the traditional singer-songwriter influence of my father, who was a country musician back in the day. Via those three outlets, I’ve arrived here, somewhere between neofolk and Lucia di Lammermoor…
5. Someone or something that inspires you: I learned pretty much everything I know about music – and life – from an experimental electronics composer, Jonathan Elliott. He makes a guest appearance on this record. He’s kind of like a father to me, or I’m not sure, maybe I’m his mother.
6. Favorite sound: When you wake up in the middle of the night to hear the rhythm of the person next to you breathing deeply and slowly, fast asleep, dreaming and content.
7. Tell us a bit about the video for “Fields of Ash”:
Fields of Ash all began with me buying an antique autoharp on a whim for a few dollars. They are fascinating instruments. On one hand, they are deceivingly simple; you press a button, it holds down a chord for you. But it is an incredibly hard instrument to master in terms of dynamics and picking out what elements of those chords you want to incorporate in your playing. In the first few days of owning it, it was something that was just perpetually laying on my bed and I’d play it whenever I passed. One night my boyfriend Soren and I were messing around on it and I started hearing the melody to Fields of Ash. I worked out the song later that week. We were going through some really difficult times, so of course the song ended up being an ode to our relationship. Truly inall stages of it’s development, he was directly an inspiration. So when almost a year later, once we were back together and this song had gone from being timidly plucked out in a bedroom to being recorded in one of the best studios in New York and released by Pesanta Urfolk, of course I needed him to appear in the video. A lot had happened in each of our lives in the interim, but we
were drawn back together (at times, seemingly by and with a force neither of us understood). This video somehow tries to articulate that inarticulate push and pull that we’ve experienced for about two and a half years now, and all the fleeting memories that come with that kind of love. It was filmed by me and the director, Rob Brulinski, between my apartment in New York, in the woods of Baltimore, and while Soren and I were traveling in Romania and Greece this summer. So all of the shots are very honest to our story. I bore my heart in that song; I didn’t want to shoot a music video in some studio. It wouldn’t be right.
8. Dream collaboration: Lately I’ve really wanted to get into more of an electronic sound for my music, but I’m also interested in collaborating with another soprano female to somehow duel with. I’ve pretty much always been in bands with a pair of male + female singers. It makes for a great dynamic in the music. I think there could be a lot of tension if I ever were to find another soprano to sing with, however. I’ve never worked with another woman. My band’s playing with Jarboe in California in September, maybe I’ll ask her, ha.
9. Currently reading: The diary of Anaïs Nin.
10. Current obsessions: Lina Cavalieri, Honey, Writing down all of your thoughts as fast as you can until your mind goes completely blank. Good stress reliever.
11. Favorite place: Bucharest, Romania. My mother has lived there for 3 years now. I would never want to live there, but in terms of being that mystical place you think about at least once a day, it certainly is a city I fixate on. Sort of a home away from home.
12. Plans for the future: I’m in the final stretch of getting a masters degree in teaching art. I love children; hopefully I can work with them for my whole life in some form even if my music or photography has to take priority.
13. Last thing you do before bed: Take off my pound of jewelry, kiss my boyfriend, tell my 17 year old dog to stop coughing.
The record is available here: pesanta.bigcartel.com/product/scout-fields-of-ash-in-the-end Self-portrait by Scout Pare-Phillips. Follow her adventures on Instagram: @scout_pp