Closeness Interview: “This project combines the personal and the analytical”

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New EP Personality Therapy is out on 24th February via Graveface Records.

You know those things you always talk about doing but never get around to? Here at Overblown, that thing is video interviews. We really should get our collective finger out. For wife and husband Orenda Fink and Todd Fink (born Todd Baechle), the thing they always talked about was starting a band. In 2015 they finally got it done. We’re pretty damn grateful they did.

Their project Closeness is one of those rare endeavours that manages to combine the coldness and sparity of synth based music with a warmth and humanity that is striking. For Closeness, the synthetic aspects of their music emphasise and add gravity to the human vulnerability at the core of the songs. Their upcoming EP, Personality Therapy, is a six track piece of beauty. Some tracks soar, some drive, and some contemplate. They’re all captivating.

We had the chance to chat with Orenda and Todd about the formation of the band, how their combination creates something unique, and mumurations of starlings.

Overblown: From what I’ve read, you both have been talking about collaborating for a very long time. Was there something that happened that provoked the collaboration after over ten years married?

Orenda: We had been talking about starting a project together for a long time, but we love collaborating with our friends and always seemed to have too many things going on. Last year, I had an unexpected heart surgery, and it really put everything into a different perspective for us. We decided there is no time like the present to pursue those things in life that you have always wanted to do.

O: Judging from the name of the project, the EP, and the songs, it seems to me that the project is rather personal and intimate. Were you both able to be more open in this collaboration than in your other projects?

Orenda: I am usually pretty personal in most of my writing, and Todd is more analytical and questioning. I think this project kind of combines those two perspectives.

O: The first track to be released from the EP, ‘More Romantic’, is quite a beautiful, soaring synth based number. Is that something you enjoy about writing music like this? The combination of the human and the synthetic? The warmth and the cold?

Orenda: Yes! Again, I think it’s a nice marriage of mine and Todd’s musical styles. It took us a while of experimentation to hit the right balance. It doesn’t work every time, but when it does, it’s a great feeling.

O: I was fascinated to see that The Enneagram of Personality is listed as one of your influences. How does this influence your music or approach to art?

Todd: Well, being type 5 (the observer) i’m obsessed with the intake of information. Ultimately, I’m attempting to gain an understanding of what life really is. I guess my addiction has led me to the Enneagram system. In a nutshell, it describes the 9 basic strategies humans use in order to fulfill our needs. I find it fascinating. It’s also helping me feel more empathy towards other people and not take things so personally.

O: I’ve read that you are big David Lynch fans. The Sopranos is often considered the beginning of modern, layered television, however I would contend that it was in fact Twin Peaks that was the standard bearer. Are you excited about the Twin Peaks revival?

Orenda: Yes! Much more so when I heard that Lynch was on board with it. I’m really excited to see what he will do.

O: One of the tracks on the EP is called ‘In Murmeration’. When thousands of starlings fly together it is called a mumuration. Does this have anything to do with the song?

Orenda: Yes, we were thinking about the phenomenon of murmuration and how our human psyches mirror that collective movement, even when we are unaware of it. For good or bad…

O: Do you have plans to tour as Closeness? What would that entail?

Orenda: Yes! We’re headed to SXSW in March and then are planning to hit the road in the spring!

O: What would be a successful 2017 for Closeness?

Orenda: Being on the road as much as possible, meeting like-minded musicians, and getting started on our full-length record.

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