Jay Arner’s solo debut left a strong impression on us, its winding melodies making their way into our heads. Now the Vancouver native has undertaken a different synth-laden project, along with partner Jessica Delisle: They call themselves Energy Slime, and there’s a hazy halo about their tunes. (They’ve also got a wild sense of humor—see the video for “Bustin’ Up”.)
Energy Slime’s 10-track debut spans a weird, dreamy 13 minutes. Delisle has said that the duo does its writing and recording in quick bursts: “Quite often the songs are recorded immediately after Jay has an idea. Each song takes maybe an hour or two to write, record, and mix. Then we listen to it a bunch and laugh and quote all the lyrics to one another for the next week or two until we make the next one.”
Despite the quickness of process, “Only Clouds” is fully fleshed out. It’s packed with melancholic energy, a heady dream of a track that floats in the ether with plenty of tiny sparkling synth sounds and wavy keyboard notes. Delisle’s sweet harmonies ring for long intervals in the back-and-forth sway of the song. There’s something sympathetic about the whole sound—through the haze we can hear a few standout lines, like the telling “I know you’re losing faith in people.” With lyrics that quietly poke holes and a gradually descending synth line, this tune is geared at our hearts.
New Dimensional is due out on 7″ November 11 through Mint Records. We talked with Jay Arner about the new project and his process.
What’s the story behind the birth of Energy Slime?
Jay: I’ve been making short weird songs as long as I’ve been making any other type of music. Maybe two years ago I made one called “Energy Slime” and decided that would be the artist name as well.
So most of my songs after that that weren’t “Jay Arner” became Energy Slime.
The tracks on New Dimensional are super short, but they contain such a wide range of sounds. What did you have in mind in making the songs so brief?
Nothing premeditated! Most of my songs hover around two minutes because who reallllllly wants to hear a third verse (nobody). Energy Slime is for when you can’t be bothered with a second verse.
How do you know when a song’s finished?
The songs are made like “POOF! It’s a song.” You externalize the idea and it’s done.
You said last year that you make songs by developing the music that you hear inside your head. What’s it’s like working with another person? How do you collaborate?
It’s about the same, because all the songs come from the same place (who knows where that is). They’re usually self-contained, so I’m never like “where should this go,” I just follow the idea along. It’s more like the music is collaborating with US.
That said, Jessica plays and sings on pretty much everything, and everything on the next solo album as well. It’s fun, especially since she’s a better singer and piano player than I am.
Where do you get your energy?
I recently realized that coffee is just bean juice and it blew my mind.