WAXED OUT delivers new music to keep your record collection fresh & stacked to the ceiling
words + photos by @Evan_Gabriel
If you haven’t heard Abigail Press, you should probably crawl out of the hole you’ve been living in and get WAVY. The twenty-four-year-old soul electronica singer/producer has just gotten her European tour funded through Kickstarter and is scheduled to cross the pond in early September.
Abigail, who was born in Wisconsin but moved to Portland to attend Lewis & Clark college, has been on my radar for some time now. With both a solid local presence as well as an online collaboration network that stretches well across the Atlantic, Abigail’s dream to tour Europe makes sense.
Abigail’s first internet single, “Drifting Dawn” was released on the Slovakian label Melodica Netlabel and received over 30,000 downloads. While studying German at college, Abigail also lived in Münich for a year. “It’s going to be solo performances. I’m doing everything,” Abigail says about the tour, which over the course of two weeks will hit London, Leeds, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Levoça, Münich and Milan.
I finally got a chance to sit down with her and shoot the shit. Our conversation follows.
When did you start making music? “I grew up in a musical family. In church I learned how to do harmonies. Senior year of Highschool I stepped back from everything and stopped doing it. It confused a lot of people but I needed to find out who I was instead of singing notes on a page. I went to college and studied German. In college I took an electronic music class where I learned to use Reason and GarageBand. Those programs took me into this world of being able to make my own music. I also started working with people on Soundcloud.”
You work with a lot of different producers. How much work do you put into the production yourself? “My first EP was co-produced by D/C who’s out of London. We first met in college. He was working on his production and wanted a vocalist. We kept working together and had five tracks. He went back to London, and but my next EP, “Eclipsis,” was all self-produced. I was really proud of that because it was all me. I wanted to find my own sound on “Eclipsis.”
What would you say the theme of your “Eclipsis EP” is? “I’m really influenced by the phases of the moon, and how the moon can affect the earth as well as people. ‘Eclipsis’ is an archaic way of saying ‘ellipses,’ but it also means eclipse. If the middle dot is an eclipse, then what is on either side? The eclipse is this moment where everything lines up and you can sort of see through yourself. So it’s the passage of time while I was writing the album. It’s also about the human understanding of time and nature in tandem.”
What is your writing process? “For my productions, I’ll start something and then come back to it. It takes a long time for me to feel comfortable with all the sounds. I’m not musically trained. But we had a Baby Grand, so when I decided I wanted to start making my own music I just sat down at the piano. I can feel what sounds right. I saw my dad compose, so it comes naturally to me, but sometimes it’s frustrating to not be able to express that to someone who needs a chord.”
You collaborate with a lot of people on Soundcloud. How does that work? “Currently, I get hit up by people online for collaborations. So the producer sends me the track and I write the melody. It’s mostly me finding some inspiration to add vocals to their tracks.”
When you aren’t singing/performing, what might you be doing? “I work in a business affairs advertising agency. So that’s where I just came from.”
How did your experience in college reflect on music? “It was a pretty lonely time. It was a hard time in my life. I didn’t start pursuing my own music until the summer after my Sophomore year. I rode some hardships out, and it was something to turn to. It was really personal, and kind of terrifying to share with people.”
Dream collaboration? “I would love to collab with Little Dragon. James Blake would be sick. He seems like this person who would be able to direct and bring your music to a place it’s never been before. Hanz Zimmer.”
Best place to eat in Portland? “Best sushi might be Saburo’s. Also Bollywood Theater on Alberta for Indian street food.”
You have a tour coming up. Can you tell me about that? “I’ve been thinking about it for more than a year. Working with people on the internet is really cool, but it’s like, will we ever be able to make music in person? [The tour] is also something I want in my life. Why wait for it to happen? I think I am at that point.”
Abigail’s “Wavy” tour shirts will be sold at HiiiTop Gallery. You can check out her website to keep up with the latest music updates.