Music Feeds’ Love Letter to a Record series asks artists to reflect on their relationship with the music they love and share stories about how it has influenced their lives. Here, Elspeth Scrine of Melbourne/Naarm duo Huntly salutes Erika de Casier’s debut album ‘Essentials’ (2019).
Huntly allowed four years to elapse between the release of their debut album, 2019’s Triple R-endorsed Low Grade Buzz, and its follow-up, February’s Sentimental Still. The new album melds together influences from UK garage, electropop and alternative R&B, while also betraying evidence of vocalist Elspeth Scrine’s work in music therapy. Scrine and bandmate Andrew Huhtanen McEwan will play album launch shows in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane this April.
Huntly’s Love Letter to Erika de Casier’s Essentials
Elspeth Scrine: Dear Essentials by Erika de Casier,
Thank you for coming along when you did. At a time when, although I didn’t realise, I was lost for inspiration, craving for something to excite me, to prompt me to make music. I was in Berlin for the summer in 2019 and had heard your single ‘Do My Thing’ the year before. Someone mentioned you had come out in full, and I was hooked.
I rode my bike to the lake with you in my ears that Berlin summer. We put you on in the Airbnb apartment, and each time you’d come on, the mood would change. You made things feel light, sexy, casual, but also sentimental, urging me to “Better recognise real things.”
You’re only young in the scheme of things; you’ve been around nowhere near long enough to be known as a “classic.” And yet, somehow, you trigger something deeply familiar. Perhaps it is because you’re etched with nostalgia of instrumentation and beat structures from music I grew up dancing to at blue light discos.
The harpsichord playing the riff of ‘Do My Thing’ just before the beat drops; the circular guitar melody in ‘Little Bit’; the lush sounds of water that trickle and splash throughout most of the tracks; the little whispers trailing around the vocals; and the G-Funk back beat that holds almost every song together. How did you manage to pull it all together in a way that wasn’t trite, but instead earnest and lovable?
You tell stories of puppy love and wanting to take cute piccies, to be in the moment with friends, punctuated with the sounds of water droplets or chimes, or a harp or a camera click, and somehow it’s endearing and in no way corny.
Erike de Casier – ‘Little Bit’
After that European summer in 2019, you were not only a soundtrack for my world, you were who I turned to for inspiration in my own writing and approach to production. The following two years for me were spent in lockdown, wondering whether I would ever play live again; just writing and recording, Andy and I sending files back and forth, slowly putting together our second album.
So many songs were inspired by you. I wrote our single ‘Undertage’ as an homage to that Berlin summer and to you as an album; your collection of playful, precise songs about crushes. Our song ‘Make You Proud’ was the last song I wrote before we released our album, and by that time, ‘No Butterflies, No Nothing’ had been released, which drew on more orchestral instrumentation. It allowed me to go deeper still.
Pretty quickly after you entered the world, you were devoured and appreciated by many, and rightly so. I imagine you are used to letters like these written to you, from listeners, other artists you’ve inspired, and the broader industry that welcomed you as a fresh and profound change. And although you’ll never know me like I have come to know you, I think we have forged something special together. You’ll hear it in our new album, Sentimental Still, the title of which you might even see yourself in. I hope it feels like an honour to you, as it has been for me to get to know you and appreciate you in the way I do.
Huntly – ‘Undertage’
Huntly Sentimental Still Album Launches
- Saturday, 15th April – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne VIC
- Thursday, 20th April – OAF Gallery Bar, Sydney NSW
- Friday, 21st April – Warehouse 25, Brisbane QLD
Tickets on sale now