When Dominique Garrard was approached by a mutual friend of hers to sing on Nicholas Acquroff’s song for a film project she didn’t realise that such an important relationship was unveiling. A few years past and Acquroff reached out to Garrard again to sing on more tracks, sparking the Melbourne duo we now know as N.Y.C.K., an act who has supported the likes of Amy Shark and most recently Ok Moon on their national tours.
“We started singing together and it was really easy and our voices were great and our voices were really good together and we went ‘okay we can start a band here’,” explains Garrard.
“[Acquroff] had a lot of songs that were written that were on the Alive EP and we kind of just got together and shaped those songs; got in the studio really quickly and recorded ‘Decision’ and everything kind of blew up from there. We released ‘Decision’ not really knowing anything and that started our career together.”
That seamless transition reflects their chemistry musically as well, as their vocal lines sink into each other like feet in wet sand.
“That kind of reflects us and our relationship too – we’re best friends and we kind of just sync together. It wasn’t hard and we didn’t try and it just happened, and it was really raw and beautiful and I think that reflects our music really well.”
Their stunning vocal harmonies cement the building blocks of their ballad, folk driven tunes, with arms extending into the electronic realm, and are the basis of their recent debut album Wild Streak.
“It’s something that we experimented with and something we quite liked, that electronic feel with our raw vocals so we kept the initial sound of our band but adapted it along the way. I do feel with our Wild Streak album, there is a little bit of everything on there too, so we do go back to our basics where we just sing together with the piano but then we delve into LXE which is a bit more electronic and there’s a full band with Wild Streak, so there are so many elements that weren’t planned but just happened with us in the studio.”
While LXE draws on the electronic and out-of-the-box sound N.Y.C.K have been dripping their toes into, their latest release ‘I’ll Be The One’ is a heart-wrenching ballad that drives their minimalist approach. The title track, however, fuses all of their experimentation and exploration, showcasing the highly collaborative and clean slate approach the duo took in the writing and recording processes.
“When we were in the studio with John Lee, we really kind of went in with a clean slate which was really nice because when we went in with Alive we had preconceived ideas of what we wanted- but when we went into the album Nick and I said ‘okay we’re just going to experiment and see what we like’ and take a step back and let someone else lead as well. Doing that we came across using live drums and recording that which we haven’t really done and just using all of the analogue synths, and taking the lid off the piano and using the strings- all of those cool ideas. Working with Hayden Calvin and Laurence Greenwood and Oscar Dawson and stuff, they had their own touch on each song that they did too which was nice, so working with a few producers and engineers was great.”
Release: Wild Streak is out now.
Written by Tammy Walters
Photo by Maclean Stephenson