KUČKA: Entering A New Dimension Of Electronic Music

With the unveiling of her second album, ‘Can You Hear Me Dreaming?,’ electronic powerhouse KUČKA deepens her artistic evolution with the project’s fantasy joyride. ‘Can You Hear Me Dreaming?’ is a phenomenal, playful human dissection of the collective Internet experience, with the bonus of KUČKA’s stellar pop songwriting and piercing electronic production.

Battling with jetlag after a trip to Australia, KUČKA (aka Laura Lowther) hails from her home in LA. She unfolds her intentions behind ‘Can You Hear Me Dreaming?’ and its musical vigor to interpret specific emotions without restraints on imagination and genre.

Immersed in the endless dimensions of her ‘cartoon brain,’ KUČKA and her wife, Dillon Howl, embarked on a unique journey of creation. Their collaboration birthed the synergy of ‘Can You Hear Me Dreaming?,’ a new universe of ’emotional voyeurism.’ Through alternate lives and character building, they tapped into people’s stories through emotion rather than logic and thoughts, creating a work that is both personal and universal.

‘Can You Hear Me Dreaming?’ is a prime example of brilliance that appears after following instincts and making space for free creative flow. KUČKA confirms that this record reflects her true personality, with a diverse range of emotions and a personal mood board of random influences.

KUČKA takes us inside her 4 a.m. thought processes with answers about her signature sound, growing up, the creative desires behind ‘Can You Hear Me Dreaming?’, and the significance of the artwork’s demonic wings.

What was it about electronic music that you gravitated towards instead of other genres?

I’ve always been drawn to electronic sounds. I remember hearing Zombie Nation for the first time when I was in the car as a kid and was so intrigued by the synth tones. Of course I had no idea what a synth was but I just remember thinking it sounded so satisfying and cool. 

How did you first got into producing music?

I started playing around with GarageBand, recording my vocals and acoustic guitar when I was a teenager. I used to layer up a bunch of FX and get it to sound super swampy. 

How would you describe your signature sound? Could you tell us more about the journey of how you discovered it, or when you felt the “click”?

I was always drawn to more ambient/softer tones when I was writing. I think maybe because I started writing as a way of processing my emotions and they seemed the most calming and cathartic to me. Over time I’ve branched out a lot but the chill tracks are always my favourite. 

What were your musical influences growing up?

I actually grew up in the UK in Liverpool. I loved dance music and R+B. Then when I was a teenager I discovered rock and grunge which really changed my world. 

What has changed about your creative process since your debut 2012 EP?

In the beginning I was really just experimenting with sounds and playing around. Now I have an idea of what I want to create and then I can execute that.

What were the biggest lessons you picked along your journey?

I think finishing tracks is the most important thing. You never really know if it’s going to hit until it’s 100% done. I definitely lost a lot of tracks to demo-itis over the years.

Congratulations on the brilliancy of your new album ‘Can You Hear Me Dreaming.’ First off, why does this tittle perfectly summarise this body of work?

Can You Hear Me Dreaming? will mean something different to everyone. I love how certain words can activate different parts of your imagination and I think this particular mix of words puts my brain into exactly the right headspace that I would want to be in when I’m listening to the record. 

On this project, you followed your instincts rather than feeling constrained by creating within restrictions and limitations. Would you say on this album you feel the most authentic? Could you elaborate why?

I definitely feel like this album reflects my true personality in the sense that it covers a broad range of emotions from moody to angsty to horny. I like that it doesn’t feel restrained to any one genre or feel. 

During the period of recording for this album, what were your main sources of inspiration?

My inspiration was viewing the world around me through the filter of my computer and by extension through the Internet.  I think this is the most common way of interacting with most things these days and we have created a collective consciousness where we experience everything and nothing at the same time. 

For the purpose of expressing your personal experiences, you used fictional characters with elaborate backstories, you coined the term “emotional voyeurism”. Could you explain the meaning and reasoning behind this approach and the term itself?

Emotional voyeurism is when you try and tap into other people’s stories through the emotion rather than through logic or thoughts. I think this is the coolest thing about the medium of music, somehow it can really hit you and make you feel a certain way just through the way the tones interact with each other. 

You also worked with your wife Dillon Howl, how was it working together?

I love working with Dillon so much. The best thing is that we end up coming up with ideas at the most random times. We will be chilling on the couch randomly talking and then suddenly we will be bouncing lyric ideas back and forth or something will click in to place that we have been working on. You really never know when a breakthrough will happen.

What is the significance behind the devilish-looking wings that are a centre piece of all the ‘Can You Hear Me Dreaming’ artworks?

I had a collection of images that I created when I was writing the album that I would keep coming back to in order to make my aesthetic choices and keep things cohesive. There were a bunch of surreal creatures in there so I always wanted some kind of creature on the cover. At first I thought it was going to be a cartoon of some kind but then Dillon found the wings at a costume store in Hollywood and they were perfect. 

Now that the album is done, what are the main elements of the ‘Can You hear Me Dreaming’ starter pack?

Electronics, emotion and eclectic stories.

Could you elaborate on your relationship with Flume? How did you guys first met and decided to collaborate?

It was pure luck that I got to work with him. I was at a random gig at a Bowling Club in Sydney and got chatting to a friend of a friend at like 3am. I of course had no idea who he was but we started talking about music and I told him one of my favourite recent releases was from Charles Murdoch. Turned out  he happened to work at Future Classic and was working on Charles’ new record at the time and shared some demos on his headphones! I was super into it and ended up working on one of the tracks, which started my relationship with Future Classic.   A few months later I saw him at a festival I was playing and he asked if I was interested in working with Flume.

How do your sessions look like, do you have any rituals or traditions?

My in person sessions are usually pretty fun. I like sharing our favourite tracks and chatting about what we’re excited about, usually whilst drinking a lot of coffee. When we’re all hyped up we get to work and hopefully we can capture that energy. 

Out of all your collaborators, who was the most fun to work with, do you have any funny stories that you could share?

Of course it has to be my wife Dillon.  We have lots of funny things but most of them are in-jokes that have so much ridiculous lore that would make absolutely no sense if I tried to explain. Nobody wants that!!!

‘Can You Hear Me Dreaming?’ is out on July 12th. Pre-Save Now.

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Words: Karolina Kramplova
Photographer: Dillon Howl