We had a little chat with the rapidly emerging Oxford based songwriter and producer Superheart who released his first single ‘Count On Me’ towards the tail end of last year. It now sits on around 125,000 streams on Spotify and is the basis for Superheart’s winning sound going forward. A blend of lush, sweeping, reverb-laden electronic elements, the occasional guitar and an emotive vocal. We spoke about the genesis of the project, otters, Count On Me, his new single After Midnight and what’s on the horizon.
Hey, could you tell our readers a little bit about Superheart?
Hi, my name is Luke and Superheart is dreamy underwater anti gravity flying music. Last year I made an album called ‘Tonight on Earth’, and when that was done, I wrote a couple of songs that I didn’t know what to do with. Instead of just keeping them on the computer and never showing anyone, I decided to release them as a new project, the result of which is Superheart.
It’s a relatively new project, how did it come about?
In July/August of last year I was staying with my sister in LA – I had ‘Count on Me’ on a USB key – it was the last song I made before moving out of the studio I’d been recording at in England. There is a clip on Youtube of an otter dancing that I was watching when I made it (it synced up perfectly to the audio).
I had always imagined the video idea for the song when making it.. so when she was out one day I spent the afternoon filming myself dancing around her apartment trying to impersonate this otter. It was really fun so I thought maybe I should find a way to do something with the song, but it was the last thing on my mind as I was there to play a show for the album I had just made, so I sort of forgot about it.
A few weeks later I had a really heavy cold and was up one night unable to sleep, a bit disoriented, and I found the footage I took of me dancing and decided that I would just put up the song at least on Soundcloud / Spotify so that I could show it to people and explain what I meant about the otter. I stayed up all night designing the look and feel of a new fresh project that could release that song, and found myself really inspired by it. I may have been hallucinating from the flu.
What kind of sounds and artists inspire your style?
I call it dreamy underwater anti-gravity flying music, because I think that is what it sounds like. My music sometimes has a dark (sonically, as in lack of high end as opposed to sinister) soft sound to it, which I suppose is carried over. On this project I’m really embracing my love of electronic sounds and reverb and big block vocals. It’s more soft, fat, thick, lush sounds rather than thin, spiky, clean sounds. An engineer I sometimes work with said it sounded like it was mixed through a sock… but a great sounding sock. It made sense in my head to make it sound the way it does. I have this old Roland RD1000 electric piano, which I read somewhere was Elton Johns favourite piano. At the moment I’m really inspired by historic cereal packet design, luminous deep sea fish, and that dusty pink colour you see in Urban Outfitters.
When you released your debut single were you expecting it to get the love it did from Spotify?
No, I only put it up so I had a quick way of showing it to people and talking to them about that otter, and I really didn’t pay it any attention – it wasn’t until a few weeks after it was out on Spotify, I looked it up and I thought there had been a mistake cause it had jumped from 10 plays a week to 10,000 or something silly… anyway I’m so grateful to whoever put it on the first playlist and I’d really like to take them for a milkshake.
How did the new one come about and what does it draw upon?
‘After Midnight’ was started at a similar time as the first one, but it was always unfinished and I totally abandoned it for about 6 months cause I thought the words were terrible, but after some encouragement and working on it a bit more I released that because it was started at a similar time it clearly had the same DNA in it and was worth working on. I called it the Enya song for ages cause of the pizzicato string noise in the chorus. Anyway I went back and changed a few bits and finished it. With this project I’m trying to focus less on obsessing over creating the perfect song each time, and more on creating a mood and atmosphere and some words that the listener can soak themselves in and enjoy, which is really refreshing and exciting for me.
Did it evolve in the studio from the original demo version?
Yes, although I just listened to the first version I started and most of the song is there, it mostly developed production wise – but I didn’t have the chorus for quite a while, that happened quite quickly one afternoon, but a few weeks after the idea was put down. The most interesting thing (for me anyway) about this whole project, is that it’s been really freeing in terms of the way I’ve thought about the genesis of songs.
I’m quite traditional as a writer in that I often start with a title or lyric at a piano or guitar, but ‘Count on Me’ was started on GarageBand a borrowed laptop, I didn’t even have any speakers or a keyboard, I’d never used the software before and I was just using the mac keys to play sounds and messing around. There was something about forcing myself to come up with an idea under a strange set of conditions, it really made me creative, and when you are used to creating a certain way with certain equipment for a long time, that is hugely exciting. I wrote a song on the GarageBand app my phone a few months ago, it’s so cool… I’m really having fun.
Do you see yourself as primarily a songwriter or a producer?
What do Superheart fans have to look forward to over the next few months?
The third single ‘Satellite’ is out on April 6th and after that I am going to delete Superheart from the internet. Unless I get 1,000,000 plays, then I might keep going.