Experiment 637 – ‘Too Soon to Call A Search’
Experiment 637 made a compelling introduction with the plaintive pastoral beauty and esoteric production flourishes of their debut track ‘Plains’, which was premiered by When The Horn Blows who praised its “airy electronics that’s as glitchy as it is optimistic.” Now the Bradford-based duo – Ronan Peaker and Mickey Dale – share their second single, ‘Too Soon To Call A Search’, as they prepare to release their debut album ‘Sleepwater’ in September.
While ‘Plains’ was expansive and uplifting, ‘Too Soon To Call A Search’ is claustrophobic and foreboding. The song’s opening acoustic guitar melody suggests we’re heading into familiar territory, but Experiment 637 quickly demonstrate that they’ll guide you into unexpected and often unsettling detours. Underpinned by scattered electronic beats, it takes on a darker hue with layered vocals: part sung clean, and partly intoned with the ominous whisper of a serial killer. It sets the tone for its equally foreboding lyrics, which explore an obsession and a dependency upon a faltering relationship.
Ultimately, it reveals itself to be something which defies categorisation: as if cLOUDDEAD delved into the UK pagan folk tradition and broadened their soundscape with broken beats and a cinematic string accompaniment. Appropriately enough, that atmosphere inspired the session too, as the duo stood chanting the song’s lyrics in the pitch black darkness of Mickey’s home studio.
Ronan says, “‘Too Soon’ is about feeling overwhelmed and trapped by one’s dependence on someone else. You believe that you need to have this person in your life and around you as much as possible, even though you know that it’s no good for anyone anymore. It can be quite suffocating for both parties. As the lyric states, ‘For both our sakes, I need to leave this space, because while you feel safe, I’ve become far too jealous.’ It feels like the protagonist is a vessel to take those feelings and to really amplify them.”
Mickey adds, “I had lots of imagery in my head when we wrote it. I imagined that my relationship was trapped in a wooden shack in a field somewhere, and I was determined not to let my loved ones inside it escape. I was worried that if I left them out they’d never come back. I wanted to protect and provide for them, but the fact was that the relationship had died, so I just had to come to terms with it, open the door and let them go.”
‘Too Soon To Call A Search’ is symbolic of the pair’s experiences as they started work on Experiment 637. Ronan was on the cusp of a break-up in the classical sense, his relationship with his long-term girlfriend becoming stuck in a perpetual downward spiral. Meanwhile, Mickey was heading towards a different kind of estrangement. He had invested near limitless time and emotion into the debut album from Glass Mountain, but the project suddenly unravelled before it could be completed. Even when they sought refuge with Experiment 637, lockdown provided another savage setback.
The duo had been friends for years after Mickey produced some of Ronan’s early tracks and in the wake of their break-ups, they continued to share a camaraderie that helped them overcome their struggles: long sessions in Mickey’s studio, followed by late night, wine-fuelled conversations that helped them find light amidst the darkness.
‘Too Soon To Call A Search’ and ‘Plains’ hint at the scope of the ‘Sleepwater’ record, an album that charts an eclectic array of moods and sonics before eventually establishing a new-found peace. Eventually all of the ‘Sleepwater’ tracks will be accompanied by videos which will unite to share a consistent narrative. The latest instalment, for ‘Too Soon To Call A Search’, focuses upon a man plagued by nightmarish, existential visions – but can he ever break free of them?