Halycine Premieres “Circles”, Talks Many Talents

Meredith Schneider

Halycine

If you were ever a fan of Blue & Gold (or enjoy the gorgeous vocalization on any of their tracks), then you’re about to be blown away. The former singer/guitarist–Chloe Raynes–is back at her creative finest, exclusively bringing us the new single “Circles” from her new project under the moniker Halycine.

Could it be the incredible influence we hear from some of the best woman-fronted rock bands in the 90s? Could it be the way she cites St. Vincent and Best Coast as direct influences? Is it that stellar bass line? Truth is, it’s a combination of all three, plus the melancholy feel is so much different than all the summertime, pop-infused hits we’ve been checking out lately. Suffice it to say, lyrics like “Losing hope that was never there” don’t really bring about thoughts of riding Schwinn bikes up the coast in the summer heat, but it DOES give us Northern California, cold beach, introspective vibes. “Circles” has that deep rock vibe you’ve been craving when scrolling through every other pop station, and we’re big, big fans.

We got a chance to throw some rapid fire questions at Chloe about everything that’s coming up for Halycine. Check it out!

When did you decide to pursue music? Was there a defining moment for you?

I started playing guitar when I was young, and songwriting became an important creative outlet for me. After I spent the obligatory time learning acoustic guitar, my parents got me an awesome white telecaster (affectionately/aptly named White Lightning). Once I was able to play Nirvana and Sublime songs with an amp and distortion, there was no turning back!

What made you choose the moniker “Halycine”?

I wanted to come up with a name that captured the vibe of this project, and after much deliberation, Halycine emerged. It’s made up as far as I know. But the drummer I play with, GG Gonzalez, a paleontology enthusiast (with a degree in geoscience), informed me that it might be some type of prehistoric shellfish species. Doesn’t get much better than that. And Surgeons In Heat was already taken. 

What inspired your new single “Circles”?

I wrote this song after seeing Brett Morgen’s documentary, “Montage of Heck.” Nirvana was an essential early influence for me, and I was really moved by the film and its multifaceted portrayal of Kurt Cobain. “Circles” is an exploration of the human psyche and the feeling that the world is inescapably closing in. It’s not something I’ve necessarily experienced on that level, but I’ve always been interested in looking outside myself and understanding/trying to relate to the life experiences of others. 

There are parts of this song that are very reminiscent of some 90s girl-led rock bands (Think Veruca Salt’s “Seether”, The Cardigans’ “Lovefool”, The Cranberries). Where do you find that your sound influence comes from?

On this EP, some of my biggest influences have been more recent. Over the past few years, I’ve been into Dum Dum Girls, St. Vincent, Jenny Lewis, and Best Coast, among others. I grew up with all the bands/songs you listed, so I’m sure they factor in as well!

You recorded your debut EP In The Salt at The End Studios in Brooklyn, collaborating with GG Gonzalez and Derek Cabrera on instrumentals. What was the recording process like? Any fun anecdotes?

GG and Derek are good friends and I love working with them. We workshopped the songs over a couple of months, then went into the studio and laid them down. I worked with Brian Crowe and Chris Pummill on the recording, who are both incredible engineers. There were no bizarre gardening accidents or spontaneous human combustions in the process, so not much to report!

In addition to the 5 songs you’ve written and produced, there are also 3 music videos that you directed. We saw a sneak peek of some horror makeup on Facebook… anything you’d like to tell us about what you’ve got in the works?

Yes! I love directing, and this was a great way to explore that passion further. I’ve been into horror movies since I was a kid and I thought the genre would capture the essence of a couple of the songs well. One of the three is a conceptual art video, but the other two are narrative short horror films.  I’m also currently working on a fourth video with the artist Lisa Barnstone.

Who is your favorite superhero, and why?

Wayne Rooney. No explanation needed!

America runs on Dunkin’. (Supposedly. I am. Right now.) What do you run on?

I’m at my most productive after a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, a cold pilsner, and a nap.

What’s up next for you? 

I’m working with GG and Derek on putting a live show together, so we’ll be playing in NYC to support the release. And I’m already thinking about getting back in the studio!

Keep your eyes peeled for her debut EP, out July 2016.

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