Hawkes Bay artist Jacob Tait makes music under the name Orphic Decor. He’s a multi-instrumentalist who takes that independent streak further by writing, recording and producing all of his music. His first EP, ‘Ida’, offered an eclectic exploration across multiple styles, including electronic, ambient and indie pop. Tait spoke to NZM about his new song Paint, a single he says is his personal favourite among all his songs to date.
Paint was created after I was wanting to challenge myself by making an ambient track. At the time I was listening to a lot of Thom Yorke and Four Tet, which gave me a certain path to look down as I was writing. I decided to choose a 5/4 time signature which would push me to think outside the box and give me more to think about. (Wrapping my head around writing a melody and lyrics to 5/4 was something new and paid off!)
I will 9 times out of 10 write the instrumental and write lyrics, so I started with a piano. Piano was another thing I had never tried to start with before so this is all new to me.
The instrumental tracks took a couple of weeks to form and come together. Originally the song ended with no drums and none of that last verse, but after listening to it for a while I knew it would add something interesting. I feel the drums at the end really open the song up and give the listener a sense of relief (which it did to me). I also used a technique that I love and it’s tracking two separate acoustic guitar tracks and panning one hard left and one hard right. This is a very satisfying track to listen to and I don’t think you would notice it without being told.
The lyric writing happened on late night drives back to my house. I wanted to match the ambient instrumental as much as possible so decided to write about visuals rather than telling a story. The lyrics are about lights, wet roads and night skies. This also adds to the psychedelic feeling the song gives off. The lyrics almost make no sense, but still paint a vivid picture in your head when you listen. My favourite of them is, “Dancing silhouettes leave a momentary mess,” which was written about light bouncing through the wet tarmac as you drive along.
Paint was interesting in the fact that it is such a different step in my music creation. It was written about six months after I released ‘Ida’ and the song made me rethink my entire second EP. At the stage, I had probably five songs in creation for the second EP and after writing Paint, it made me completely change it – so I have now technically recorded two EPs, and only one coming out. I would say Paint is a very strong foundation single for the EP as the songs that followed it are based in the same atmosphere. The new EP will be a lot slower and more synth-based, which for me is extremely exciting.
Paint is by far my favourite song I have made. It doesn’t follow any particular structure which allows me to expand creatively. I have heard the song so many times and wish I could hear it with fresh ears, so I’m super excited to share it with everyone. Hope you enjoy!