Fresh off the release of their debut single, ACER SPADE shed some light on their meet-cute, the best neo-noir movies, and writing an ode to an ex.
Gold Coast duo ACER SPADE are penning tracks with cinematic potential. Whether destined for an ’80s thriller remake or a neo-noir masterpiece, the tracks boast an infinity, glossing through some of life’s most influential moments with clarity.
Following the release of their dynamic first single DON’T TRY TO COME FOR ME, we were lucky enough to sit down with Lindsey Nolan and Rhys Evans. Their sultry, neo-noir collaboration celebrates a visionary alt-pop style and we took a moment to delve deeper.
HAPPY: Hey, how’s it going? What are you both up to right this moment?
RHYS: Everything has been going great still coming off the high from releasing our debut single after months of hard work and the response has been crazy.
LINDSEY: Yeah, honestly the past three weeks have been crazy good to us, especially when you consider that 2020 was something written out of a Stephen King novel. But for real, it’s been amazing!
RHYS: As of right now, I’m preparing to get the next single ready to be released by adding all the final touches.
LINDSEY: This next single is something we are so keen to get out into the world and I’ve been busy lining up our promo for our next release. Independent artist things, you know? But, we have super exciting things on their way and can’t wait to share it with everyone!
HAPPY: Congratulations on the release of your debut single! How does it feel having out there in the world?
RHYS: Honestly, pretty unreal. I’ve always dreamt of making music that people would listen to but the actual amount of people that have listened is crazy to me.
LINDSEY: Yeah, the response from our families, friends, and followers has blown us both away and has really made me realise how bloody lucky we are to have such a close-knit support network backing us all the way. We’ve been really lucky in that department. I have been constantly and obsessively checking our Spotify for artist app and every day the numbers just keep growing which is insane to me.
HAPPY: Was this release a child of COVID-19 or was it a long time coming?
LINDSEY: Yes and no?
RHYS: Yeah, I think the actual song itself was made at the very beginning of quarantine but this entire project had been in the works well before COVID.
LINDSEY: No, yeah, exactly right. We started working together in November of last year but DON’T TRY TO COME FOR ME was the first song we had worked on that truly felt like ACER SPADE and we didn’t write that until maybe April or May? I honestly believe that the extra time we have been given due to the whole COVID situation allowed us to figure out what this entire project is to us.
RHYS: Our sound, aesthetics and message really came to fruition through those months spent in lockdown and isolation.
LINDSEY: It’s been a weird silver lining.
HAPPY: Could you tell us a bit about the song?
LINDSEY: This song was one of the quickest songs to come out of the studio for us. It was close to finished in a day and I feel like that’s why it feels most genuine to us as a duo. I remember I had so much fun writing it because it came so easily which is rare!
RHYS: Lindsey can be very pedantic for all the best reasons.
LINDSEY: Oh, extremely pedantic for all the best reasons but with this song it just flowed. Our influences for it stemmed from Billie Eilish and Lastlings, which we were listening to heavily at the time.
RHYS: Yeah, with the production, I wanted to create a blend of all the dark elements of Billie Eilish with a coat of underground EDM paint.
LINDSEY: The dark production Rhys did was so inspiring for me and I went in on the lyrics. The song is kind of an ode to an ex who isn’t actually an ex but I don’t know what else to call him. It’s that new age of dating bullshit where you do everything that a couple does but you’re not official. Yikes haha, I feel like I was just done playing nice and being a doormat for people especially those who have a god complex and this song was kind of a catalyst for me realising my own self-worth which, if you know me, is a big character development moment.
HAPPY: You’ve described this track as being reminiscent of a neo-noir film. What are your favourite films in the vein?
RHYS: My personal favourites are Drive, Nightcrawler, and Chinatown. All excellent films with fantastic soundtracks too.
LINDSEY: For me, it would probably be more recent films seeing as though this whole realm of music is relatively new for me. But, I would have to go with any of the John Wick movies or Blade Runner 2049 which all heavily inspired the lyrics and sonics heard in this track, but also because I am a simp for Keanu Reeves and Harrison Ford.
HAPPY: How did your musical meet-cute occur? Has music always been a common ground for the two of you?
RHYS: We actually met at University where we both study music, so yeah, that’s how we have come to know each other. I study the technical audio engineering side of things and Lindsey studies songwriting and performance.
LINDSEY: We went eight months into uni last year until we properly met through. I remember we were in our only shared class one day listening to everyone’s demos and, when his song came on, my immediate thought was “wow this guy is streaks ahead of everyone here.” I thought his production was so intricate and insanely well crafted. Genuinely, Rhys is so good at what he does! So I slid into his DM’s to ask if he wanted to collaborate.
RHYS: I had no idea that someone would think my work was good enough to send me a message after and ask to work together. I didn’t think anything would come from that class but something did and I’m grateful for it.
HAPPY: And the name ACER SPADE, where did that come from?
LINDSEY: There is actually I weird story behind this one. My sister was going around to all my family members with a deck of cards one night and asked me to draw my life card and I picked the Ace of Spades which, for those of you that don’t know, is the death card. I thought it was rad because it also signifies new beginnings and, for the longest time, I had wanted to rebrand myself and switch music genres but I sat on it. So, ACER SPADE felt so fitting when Rhys and I started working together because this project is a new beginning for us both!
RHYS: I couldn’t let such a unique moniker go to waste so we adopted it.
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HAPPY: Where has your appreciation of alt-pop stemmed from?
RHYS: For me, I’ve always been into electronic music, hip-hop and RnB. However, I’ve always appreciated pop music for its simplistic, effective songwriting and its hidden complexities in the productions. I think over time, electronic music has taken on a lot of the foundations of pop and alt-pop, which is where I’ve sort of gotten my taste for pop.
LINDSEY: And for me, it has always been fun experimenting with different songwriting styles and genres because songwriting is my main thing. I write songs for my friends and for myself but alt-pop has always remained very alluring to me. It’s the fact that it has so much freedom within the genre which leaves plenty of room for experimentation that intrigues me the most. But it all really clicked when I started working with Rhys, working in the studio with him and seeing how much time, effort, and skill the production side of things gave me a whole other level of appreciation for the genre.
HAPPY: Fantastic, any other exciting plans in the works?
RHYS: We’re prepping for our next single release with hopefully more performance opportunities after our first ever gig at the Triffid!
LINDSEY: Yeah, I know we’re both super hyped for the release of our next single. It’s tough as nails and will be the perfect follow up from DON’T TRY TO COME FOR ME. We can’t wait to get it out there and keep things moving. We are keen to see where we can take ourselves with this project, I mean as it is we have enough to release an EP so that’s always on the cards too.
RHYS: Definitely on the cards!
HAPPY: Thanks so much for your time guys.
ACER SPADE: Thank you for having us!
Check out DON’T TRY TO COME FOR ME here.