Life a bit too real atm? Tap out with the transformative electronica of Lonelyspeck

Adelaide based artist Sione Teumohenga is re-imagining electronic music as Lonelyspeck.

His newest track is an intimate and deeply moving interaction between electronic, indie and pop – a breathtaking preamble to his upcoming EP, Lave.

Photo by Jono Revanche
Photo by Jono Revanche

When life becomes all too real, listen to Lonelyspeck. Fierce yet alleviating, it’s a safe space to let your raw emotions be exposed.

Lonelyspeck’s music is effortlessly ambient, transporting the listener through various unique soundscapes, so it’s no wonder why focusing on space is a vital process.

Space and acoustics are a big part of the way I think about music and sound. I like to have a sense of the space around the sound, it’s very physical and almost visual to me. I don’t like production that doesn’t consider a sense of space.”

Lonelyspeck mixes sounds from the real world and those found on the internet, exemplified by the single Happy New Year which was released at the beginning of 2017. Perhaps it’s Teumohenga’s luscious John Mayer-esque voice harmonising upon a backdrop of ethereal hums, but the track feels otherworldly, like unchartered sounds purring from the depths of an ocean.

Most of the sounds I use are sampled from environmental sounds that I either record myself or come across online, especially on YouTube. I guess similarly to space, texture is super important to me because I like to feel that the sound could be from an acoustic source. I’m not big on synthesisers generally.”

While taking on the hefty task of recording, editing and producing all on his own, Australian listeners have responded to Lonelyspeck with warmth and enthusiasm.

Describing the response as “pretty wild,” not only has his music been broadcast on stations all across Australia, he also landed Laneway Festival in Adelaide and hooked over 300,000 plays on Spotify for All My Skin on the Air.

“It’s very encouraging and humbling that people are connecting to what I’ve been making.”

With such evocative music, it’s no surprise that Lonelyspeck is an audio/visual package. The music video for All My Skin on the Air is a musical gem: a glistering chocolate-brown mannequin contorts itself to the music – uncomfortable, but mesmerising and satisfying.

“One of the central themes in the EP, especially on All My Skin, is the value of directness when expressing unwanted feelings, and prioritising that honesty and directness over respectability or intelligibility. While I was navigating those feelings, I kept picturing this imagery that was very physical and bodily and often involved stretching and contorting bodies, as well as feelings of consciously or forcefully removing parts of the body… it’s a bit gruesome but it was really cathartic and natural to write about and explore visually, and felt like the obvious thing to explore when making the video. The feeling of ‘uncomfortable but mesmerising and satisfying’ is exactly what I wanted to capture with that.”

The music since his first album Presence has progressed just as much as Teumohenga has as an artist, who now feels like “a much better producer, songwriter and vocalist.”

On his forthcoming EP, Lonelyspeck says “I was more deliberate about writing pop songs this time. I think it’s much less head-in-the-clouds than Presence, which was a very conscious change but also a natural one.”