Band of the Day

2015.02.14

Graveyard Love

A bleak, blurry distortion between gospel, alternative and dance
Me I’m not myself, the clock ticks as I stare at all the faces, at all of my life. All I want to do is waste away.
lyrics from Me I'm Not Myself

New Zealand based artist Graveyard Love creates a sound that exists somewhere between an 80’s getaway car scene and the desolate mood of factories at dusk on the outskirts of the city. As bleak as that may sound, his music is somehow a transcendental experience – a blurry distortion between gospel, alternative and dance.

Graveyard Love started as a side project circa 2006 in Auckland, New Zealand. At the time, Hamish (the sole artist) was playing in a local indie-pop-rock band. With growing frustration about musical direction and general dysfunction, he turned to the aid of robots and machines. With his first sequencer (Roland mc-303) and synth (Korg Poly-800 mk II) the world of midi, sequencing and opportunity opened up.

Although the name Graveyard Love invariably brings with it connotations of corpses and necrotic romance, the moniker is actually a reference to Hamish’s long history of working the graveyard shift, be that at psychiatric hospitals, prisons, hotels or rehab clinics. While sleep hit the rest of us, late nights, artificial lighting and the bubble of other people’s madness were all feeding into what Hamish calls a spiritual connection to the modern disconnection. “There is something hollowing but ultimately satisfying about walking through a cold city after being up all night; through all the mess that a night might bring, this feeling was always enlightening. It was these experiences that feed my music.”

It’s important not to underestimate the role that setting has played in the creation of Graveyard Love’s sound. “I’ve lived in a lot of pretty depressing places, like a room with no natural light and a flat right next to the railway. I’ve always tried to make music that reflects that without becoming depressing. Like a wasteland with a broken fridge sitting in it – you should be able to make that sort of stuff beautiful, because that’s the view from your back window.” It’s for this reason that he describes his music as a kind of ambient gospel, or a distorted block of industrial buildings. “I like to think of my music being the aural equivalent of pink light hitting a row of factories in the afternoon – at least, that’s what I’m aiming for.”