Shaped by long walks through the English capital that’s currently home, Kiwi singer-songwriter Kylie Price describes her latest single In The Crowd as the beginning of her “London catalogue”. NZM asked the former Ōtepoti artist to expand a little on how the song came to be. Made with support from NZ On Air Music.
Near the heart of London one September evening in 2022, I was playing a melody I had had circling my mind for a while. I thought of a line I had written some months ago, “I let my hair grow long, you always liked it that way,” and over the rest of that night I came up with the first verse and chorus that would become In The Crowd.
In my East London (Stepney Green for all those familiar with London) bedroom, I found myself exploring emotions that I had buried down deep, that I was obviously still in the process of working through. I realised that the universal experiences of heartache and mourning the end of a relationship was something I hadn’t quite come to terms with in my own life.
I had reached out to who would become my producer, now band member and dear friend Duncan Brookfield, over Instagram and asked if he would be interested in producing this song with me. We were literal strangers at this point, but I admired his own song writing skills as well as his work with Anne-Marie and Charli XCX.
Duncan and I are both driven by a passion for storytelling through music, and Duncan’s unique perspective and musicianship proved to be the perfect partner to create the song. Between us we played all the instruments, sang all the vocals, and Duncan both produced and mixed the song, while the talented Takahide George mastered the final product.
London itself played a significant role in shaping the song’s identity. I recall walking through the streets for hours listening to demo after demo as I’m one of those people who obsess over one track or artist until I know it inside out! The initial demo had a particular bridge that was much more counter melody heavy (we had 4-5 harmonies stacked heavily over the main melody, as well as huge drums driving the bridge) than the one on the track, and it took me a really long time to accept that as brilliant as that bridge sounded, it didn’t fit the overall soundscape of the song.
I walked through Spitalfields Market, through Bank, Moorgate and Hoxton every other night that we were recording, and these streets would be just as familiar with every stage of every demo of this song as I am. I did the exact same process until I was content with the final mix!
One of the most important parts for me when recording a track is to ensure that it is vocal and guitar dominant at the front of the mix. It’s my signature, and something I’ve carried with me through all the genre-hopping I’ve done over the years. It is one of the consistent anchors across all my songs and Duncan really understood that this was an important feature to always be aware of. It also kept us from going “too big” at times. I never wanted a track I couldn’t replicate authentically live, and there were a few demos where things needed to be scaled back.
The studio environment, however, presented a unique challenge, particularly when it came to capturing the vocals. Unlike the comfort I find in delivering live performances, the studio demanded a different type of balance of vulnerability and strength. Getting the vocal right became a personal struggle, and this is why I take even longer signing off on a vocal take. Duncan has a particular style of treating vocals and I really valued his skills in capturing the tones and dynamics throughout the song.
Moving from little Ōtepoti to London was a massive opportunity of self-discovery and a hell of a lot of growth. I can’t thank London enough for showing me so much diverse music that has shaped this new sound I’m still settling into. In The Crowd is the first of what I call “The London Catalogue” and I’m really excited to share what is coming next!