Calling in from a swanky high rise in Docklands, it’s corporate meets musician with Melbourne’s Nick Jenkin who takes time to chat to Forté about the latest effort from his band In Capital.
Born and raised in Melbourne, In Capital was formed at a house party over a mutual love of music and has since grown into a fruitful musical partnership and friendship between Jenkin and band mate/film-maker Cameron Ford. As producers, writers and musicians, their instant and lasting chemistry has been the key to everything. With common goals, yet differing tastes in music, the duo have a unique approach to the craft (being entirely self-run) which sees them hauling away to create their music.
“We tend to go away and just plonk ourselves in just really picturesque locations, we don’t really like recording in studios per se,” Jenkin explains. “Studios can stifle creativity and productivity; you’re in there for such a small amount of time that you need to go there with songs that are in the state where they can be taken to the next step. This [hauling away] means we don’t have the pressure of doing that. We can go down with ideas and then workshop them for two weeks at a time and just see what comes out of it.”
First travelling to the Otways for five days to produce their first EP, the duo most recently isolated themselves in the Grampians for 10 days to produce their debut album Human Is.
“This time, we went away for 10 days in a house in the Grampians overlooking Mt Sturgeon. We had this farm stay with floor to ceiling windows overlooking this massive long sweeping valley,” Jenkin explains. “Cam would go down and write lyrics during the day while I’d be making music up in the house and then he’d come back at about five or six in the afternoon and we’d crunch together what we did for the day. We went down with maybe three or four songs, but majority of what you’ve heard on the album has actually been fine-tuned while we were down at the Grampians.
“I think it’s worth it for our kind of process because it just means that we’re finishing up with something that’s really uninhibited, and this way it means we get to go out and be out in nature… and everybody loves a bit of a weekend away anyway.”
As for the final product, Human Is bridges the space between ambitious studio project and dance floor masterpiece with effortless stride, fuelled with ’80s synthpop hooks and irresistible beats. Covering a a tremendous amount of creative ground with overarching themes of the universal travel through life, sorrow, mortality and everything in between, Jenkin touches on the premise that each song continues on from the last, yet takes you somewhere entirely new – from the synthwave perfection of ‘Afterthoughts’, to the gentle, rising strings of first single ‘Little Architect’.
“With the album, if you listen to it as individual songs, some of them might sound completely removed from one another, but they’ve actually been sequenced in a way that makes it a listening experience that you want to have from start to finish,” Jenkin explains.
“There’s some heavy stuff in there emotionally,” he continues. “I wouldn’t consider it a breakup album, but it does deal in the existential stuff and relationships; it’s a universal language that you can tap into to capture the heart strings of people, and it flows in that way too.”
With their first album complete, the pair are focusing all their energy on taking their live show far and wide, before knuckling down on album #2 next year. Always destined for the stage, the songs on Human Is blur the lines between indie, electronica and EDM – delivering an exciting hybrid that begs to be played as loud as it can.
Release: Human Is is out now.
Written by Talia Rinaldo