On November 14, Varick self-releases his Boundless EP. Composing and playing piano since the age of 6, Keith Varick eventually studying music theory and composition He later left college and moved to NYC to start his band, and after years of developing his sound, he is exploring a balance of all that influenced and inspired him. This exploration draws from baroque and romantic classical, ’90s alternative music, spirituality, and digital and analog synths.
After moving to the city and finding his way, Varick teamed up with producer David Sisko, (remixer of Cut Copy, Goldfrapp, Dragonette, Roxy Music and others) to start recording the demos he had been building up. His music is best described as the merging of ’90s introspective melancholia alternative with modern electronica, and ethereal melodies on top of heavy, edgy synths with pulsing beats. Lyrically, Varick explores themes of advaita, non-duality and enlightenment.
Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Varick to discuss the EP, which is a precursor of the full-length album set to follow sometime early next year.
When did you begin writing the material for Boundless?
I had written demo versions of these songs spanning over the last two to four years, they’ve all been produced and recorded in the last year.
What was the most difficult song to take from the initial writing stage through recording and mixing? Why was it so troublesome?
“Boundless,” and it was difficult just from the sense that it was the first time working with a producer with Sisko’s experience and background. Working together has definitely elevated my sound, but it was an adjustment for me hearing the initial mix being so different from the demos I had been so used to working with.
Which of the songs on the EP is most different from your original concept for the song?
We ended up going with a very different approach to “It Will Be Done” from the original. The demo had a very basic drum kit sample, simple beat, and almost an ‘unplugged’ or ‘acoustic’ feeling with some ambient synth sounds, it was more laid back. The final version ended up being this sort of intense, dramatic dance song, with a lots of builds and drops. I have in the back of my head of putting out some remixes for that song because we were actually playing with a few different versions that were pretty cool.
Why an EP, instead of doing a full length? Is there a full length in the works?
There is an album in the works and will be out early Spring next year. It was more of a timing thing with the EP, I was just getting this feeling like it was time to start getting the music out there, so I put an EP together with some of the songs we had finished for the album. There’ll also be more momentum behind the full length when it comes out, and more anticipation and excitement from people wanting to hear more.
What was it like working with the likes of David Sisko?
Working with Sisko has been fantastic. He puts a lot of care and intensity into everything, and really takes the time to understand what each track is about, keeping the vision, but still bringing out it’s fullest potential.
Have you begun playing these songs live and which songs have elicited the strongest reaction from your fans?
Yes, I’ve been playing them out for the last six months or so. “We All Know The Rest” has definitely had a strong reaction at my shows and it makes sense to me why. It has a familiarity to it, and it’s easy for people to grab on to at the first listen.
“Boundless” is another popular track, I initially put it up on Soundcloud unofficially, just to get a sense if people where into the Varick sound, and it’s been very popular. It’s received hundreds of comments, and over 10 thousand plays. It’s now out officially as a single, on iTunes, Spotify. etc. and being used to promote the EP. All in all, it’s been very encouraging and I’m excited to see how the Boundless EP is received.
(Visit Varick here: http://keithvarick.com/.)