An electrifying vivid collation barely skims the surface of The Eyes in The Heat’s debut album. Program Me, is a roller coaster ride of post punk, electro beats punctuated with blues riffs and avant-garde pop pizazz. The London-based duo have gigged Paris and Berlin to capture an innovative, techno-psychedelic sound that’s prime for 2013. The entrancing incantations of vocalist/artist Zizi Kanan, combined with the sinuous electronic pulsations of techno producer and DJ Oliver Ho, creates a hauntingly nostalgic album. Ahead of their forthcoming single 'Florida', they talk to us about ski-diving, Kraut-Rock, Jackson Pollock and give us an exclusive look at their new video.
Dazed Digital: How did you both meet?
The Eyes In The Heat: We met in mid-air while base-jumping off the Empire State building. No, just kidding… We actually met telepathically during a séance to contact Elvis… No, actually, the real story is far too boring, so we’re not going to reveal it. But once we began making music together it clicked instantly, the two of us working very instinctively, just really getting each other. And in the last year we met Jerome, our drummer, at a séance while sky-diving…
DD: The album is an amalgamation of musical references/influences, how would you describe your sound?
The Eyes In The Heat: The album very much represents what we have been working on over the last three years – a minimal, electronic sound, but tempered with a very human presence. We love the contrast of the cold grind of machines and the warmth and melancholy of the voice. There’s an economy of sound – we like to distill everything down till it’s almost skeletal. In that way it’s like a kind of future blues. There’s quite a hypnotic element in our songs too, certainly in the way that they cycle and repeat. These are ideas we love, that are also found in New Wave, Kraut-Rock and Minimal Wave… but with a slightly 'poppier' edge perhaps. There’s not enough intelligent pop music out there in the world…
DD: How did you get involved with Paris based label Kill the DJ?
The Eyes In The Heat: We first met the label through Ivan Smagghe, who is part of the same experimental, techno/DJ world that Oliver also inhabits under his techno moniker ‘Raudive’. Now we’re part of the Kill the DJ family, which is great because everyone there is so smart and enthusiastic about interesting music. It’s such an important label too, for the role they have played in the French music scene; and for being the only surviving, truly independent label left over there.
DD: The Eyes in the Heat is the title of a Jackson Pollock painting, what is the influence of art within your music making?
The Eyes In The Heat: When we’re making music the starting point is often a powerful image of some sort, whether that’s a personal memory, a scene from a movie, or a work of art… a lot of the time imagery comes from writing too. Like the song ‘Good Morning, Midnight’, which was inspired by and titled after a Jean Rhys novel. With the Jackson Pollock painting too – it wasn’t the actual painting, so much as the imagery conjured up by the phrase itself, that attracted us: a sort of intense, paranoid, voyeuristic feel, which we felt described our sound really well.
DD: How did you start working with artist Tom Dale on the album artwork and previous videos?
The Eyes In The Heat: We really love his work, and we share such similar ideas about the hidden nature of things, about dark esoteric meanings. It just seemed like a really natural fit; and the images he’s come up with are so powerful and haunting.
DD: What was the approach for the video of 'Florida'?
The Eyes In The Heat: 'Florida' is one of our most personal songs, lyrically speaking, and it’s meant to explore the point where personal memories blur and bleed into fantasy; where imagination starts to shape experience. The video, by artist Beatriz Olabarrieta, encapsulates these ideas really well – with its luscious, woozy, tropical feel, and layers of different realities mixing together.
The Eyes in The Heat play The Waiting Room in London on 6th December