Gaspar Narby’s fusion of lush broken beats, downtempo melancholia and singer-songwriter reflection has been rewarded with a broad sweep of tastemaker tips from new music and electronica media alike. Now the 25-year-old Swiss artist puts a new twist on his artistry as he shares his new single, ‘Death & Other Things’, alongside its official video. Listen HERE. Watch HERE. The song previews his upcoming fourth EP, which will be released early in 2022 on Everybody’s Records.
‘Death & Other Things’ is the first example of his new approach, first writing everything on guitar and then crafting the production once the song is completed. The result is a tender sound led by acoustic guitar and his vulnerable, whispered vocal - a sonic approach that leaves the turbulent emotions that he explores with no place to hide. While it still deploys engagingly unconventional production elements, Gaspar Narby’s electronic textures are now placed in a style that feels closer to Sufjan Stevens or Bonobo’s most minimalist and organic moments.
Gaspar says, “Creating ‘Death & Other Things’ was an intense moment of self-honesty and vulnerability, a meditation on my fear of growing old and never finding my place and a body-based realisation of my inescapable mortality. It felt like transcribing, rather than writing, in the sense that the song was already there, somewhere, and all I had to do was make it make sense. I was really surprised to see acoustic folk in the verses and lo-fi electronics in the choruses cohabiting within this one song.”
The video for ‘Death & Other Things’ juxtaposes the intensity of Gaspar’s lyrics with a montage of clips of his childhood that were filmed by his parents. The concept was devised by his partner, Lena Vallat, and the video was directed and edited by Theo Le Sourd.
Gaspar adds, “We decided to use VHS footage that my parents filmed when I was a kid. We wanted the innocence of these childhood tapes to clash with the brutal lyrics. I was blown away by the dynamism Theo managed to bring to these fairly static videos.”
Both ‘Death & Other Things’ and the rest of the new EP were entirely written, recorded, produced and mixed solely by Gaspar in his bedroom studio in Brockley, London. It was then mastered by Jeremy Cooper at Soundtrap. All of the new songs find Gaspar confronting his fears and anxieties. It’s also the first time he has put so much focus on his voice, having previously usually either called upon guest artists or used his voice as a texture rather than a dominant sound.
Since debuting with ‘Home’ in 2017, Gaspar Narby has never repeated the same idea twice. It’s something which can be heard throughout each of his EPs to date. 2018’s ‘A Stare Makes Two’ simultaneously possessed free-wheeling experimentation, the warmth of live instrumentation, and an influence from his then-new home city of London. ‘Transatlantic’ then embraced the lo-fi ethos, as he recorded a solitary and introspective set of tracks primarily on cassette. The subsequent ‘Collab’ EP was the polar opposite, with all four songs the result of collaborations that delivered a broader pop edge.
Highlights of Gaspar’s streaming support to date have included multiple New Music Friday playlists, as well as the likes of Your Office Stereo, The Other List, Good Energy and Garden Indie.