Introducing a brilliant Trackd artist called Shimai which is Japanese for ‘sisters’, with their mesmerising sibling harmonies and indie folk style. The duo have been playing live at various festivals and venues across the UK. Highlights include being support for 90’s band ‘Dodgy’, ‘Geoff Downes’ of ‘The Buggles’ and ‘Asia’ also featuring on the recent rock n’ roll cruise alongside bands including ‘Martin Turner ex ‘Wishbone Ash’, all of which they can now call fans. This self titled EP, which started as ideas on Trackd, is their debut offering featuring a member of ‘The Manic Street Preachers’ and was recorded at Faster Studios with their engineer/producer Loz Williams. If you like The XX, Fleet Foxes and Joni Mitchell we think you’re going to like this.
Their EP ‘Senses’ is out now and can be heard on Trackd and on our Trackd – Apple Music playlist.
We caught up with Angharad and Rhiannon and we discussed the EP, how they use Trackd to write songs and to ask them if they had any tips for aspiring Trackd artists.
You’re sisters and we love your harmonies! When did you first start collaborating musically?
We’ve always loved harmonies! That was one of the things that brought us together musically in 2014.
Can you tell us about that lightbulb moment the spark of inspiration to get a song idea down? Typically when does it happen for you?
It really varies and there doesn’t seem to be a way of controlling it. Often lyrics or an idea for a song will come at a time when you can reflect like when driving or even sometimes when you’re falling asleep, strangely!
For Shimai what comes first the music or the lyrics?
There’s not really an exact pattern for us, sometimes one of us will get inspiration from experiences or our thoughts, that will come in the form of lyrics and then we work on the music together. Other times we play around with sounds and chord progressions before thinking of any lyrics.
What’s your favourite feature in Trackd?
It is great to have Trackd on your phone, easily to hand for those moments when you do come up with an idea off the cuff, that you need to lay down before you forget it. Not only that, you can expand on ideas and lay tracks on top of each other building your song as you go.
Watch Shimai Live Here
There’s a eclectic mix of music, instruments and styles on the EP from ‘Senses’ to ‘Live It’…. Could you elaborate around some of the themes in the songs in the Shimai EP and some of the musical decisions you made whilst developing the songs?
We like to try out different sounds and effects but we don’t consciously aim for a specific genre. We wanted to have some thoughtful tracks that are quite nostalgic and can be down to personal interpretation. We also like to inject some fun and happiness in there too, to get people foot tapping or clapping!
What was recording at Faster Studios like with producer Loz Williams?
Great fun, long hours but Loz likes to experiment with sounds and we loved trying things out and having a crack at different instruments too. We stuck paper to a guitar and used drum brushes to get a different percussive sound for one track.
What was your first live show and what’s your most memorable live show?
Our first live show was at a local festival – Raglan festival. One of our most memorable live shows was in Llangollen, winter was in full swing and we were playing a stage outdoors. We couldn’t feel our fingers and could barely contain our shivers! We were given a cup of tea between songs in an attempt to warm up!
If you could collaborate with any artists dead or alive who would it be?
So much choice! Joni Mitchell would be one, she has such a colourful voice. Also Coldplay would be cool, we love the catchy riffs they come up with!
Paying it forward, what advice would you give to songwriters and musicians starting out?
As we say in our song…”Live it”! Enjoy what you do and embrace it for what it is. Stop waiting for something to happen, you’ll miss what is happening.