The Montreal duo She-Devils released their debut self-titled full length last month, which expands on the scope and ambition of their sweet-and-sinister sound. In a freewheeling interview of each other, Audrey Ann Boucher and Kyle Jukka discuss their signs, influences, visual art, and hopes for the future of the group.
Listen to “The World Laughs” from She-Devils here.
What’s your sun sign and how do you relate to it?
Capricorn. I can relate to aspects or it. I feel like I work at a pretty slow determined pace. i’m pretty methodical and repetitive which i’m into. altho because i know i’m like this i try to consciously do things that will kind of throw me off or force me to adapt creatively.
What about you? What’s yours?
I’m an Aquarius.
I relate into in the sense that i’m very future-focused. I’m stubborn and have very specific ideas for everything I wanna do, I daydream a lot, and love brainstorming. I like working in spontaneous bursts of energy rather than at a slow and determined pace. I like provoking and testing people’s boundaries, sometimes in a mean way or sometimes in a nice way. I like to see how far I can go with anything.
And of course I have a very strange sense of humour and idiosyncratic habits.
What did you see in me that made you wanna work with me?
I think just having a sharp and unique style and a good singing voice. things that are highly individual always stand out to me in a positive way. i also feel i need to build music around a voice and don’t like own too too much. I like having a strong voice as a kind of starting point.
What are some singing voices you most like the sound of?
On a purely sensual level I find Roy Orbison’s voice extremely soothing. I like listening to Brigitte Bardot because although she’s not a great singer, she has so much love and playfulness in her voice all the time and it just makes you smile. I like the natural texture Bjork’s voice and the intensity she puts into her singing. She’s definitely one of those singers who can put tears in my eyes purely because of how raw she can be.
You have an interesting way of making music who do you think has shaped your sound the most?
hmmm that’s really tough, but there’s a difference between inspiration and influence i guess. as a sort of producer/beat maker some big influences that are consistently in my life are mad lib and panda bear. There’s something incredibly earthy and mysterious about both their stuff. they can be really challenging and patience testing which i love and also hit these big pleasure spots. listening to their stuff is always an adventure full of imagination and interesting sensations. they make me see the spirit of sound, the face of sound. I like stuff that points into the future, the work that says “there’s lots to discover” rather than celebrating what’s become tradition at this point is pop music. I try to channel something like that into the work i do in our band.
What is She-Devils to you?
She-Devils is many things to me. It began more as a way for me to express the feelings I had and my aesthetic sensibilities in songs, it was a way for me to be who I wanted to be in some version of reality. All of my creative expressions are channeled into it now. It’s also an imaginary girl gang that hang out in space which I like to draw and imagine. I think I can be someone who’s not very structured, having She-Devils as something that I work on daily is very grounding to me and creates a reason for all my creative expressions. It can be challenging because I’m learning a lot of new things at the same time, but it’s equally rewarding.
I know you’re really into the way landscapes become assimilated into music, what kind of landscape do you see our music taking place in?
ah right yeah, i guess it depends. it’s not all super consistent but some of our tracks are kind of like flinstones in space. like rock n roll with laser beams and dinosaurs in a 60s cartoon with surreal purple skies. something futuristic and something primitive or even primordial.
Cool, yeah i really like that image. That’s the kind of the universe I imagine my drawings living in as well.
yeah totally! where do you get that style from do you think?
It’s a mix between watching a lot of Disney movies and cartoons and watching a lot of old Hollywood films. I’m very inspired by the way women looked like in those movies with arched eyebrows, pouty lips and dramatic hairstyles. I really like mixing this and my love of cartoon to create this kind of old fashion but futuristic characters. Sometimes i’ll just make a drawing in a couple seconds. In my practice I try doing either putting the least effort into vs putting more effort into it. Its definitely a hard line to walk but i’m probably more into putting the least effort in. For one because I have an affinity for things that are clean, clear and simple and another reason is I think I don’t have the technique to do more intricate things and I especially don’t have the patience for it. I’m the most proud of a drawing when it just looks perfectly shitty. I grew up in poverty to a single mother and the only distractions I had were colouring books and crayons and TV. I definitely see a kind of colouring book style in my drawings. I started making them with oil pastels which is kind of similar to crayons, they’re like the adult version of crayons so I definitely see a continuity in this. I had a lot of Disney colouring books actually.
Cool, where do you want to take she-devils in the future?
I’m really into all aspects of the band, like i’m an art fan as well as a music fan and i guess i just want to reach those new heights creatively. using our band as a rocket ship to get to new places with sound and image. aiming at refining our aesthetic while seeing what else it can do along the way.
What about you?
It’s hard to say, I think what I consider timeless and universal is defined by my singular vision of the world. But I’d like to work toward timelessness and universality as much as possible without losing what’s unique about us. I’m into brand building and ultimately I would hope for it to be a platform where me and you can express ourselves in every way we would want to and would like to find frequent collaborators that understand our mission and could add to what’s already there. I guess I’d like to see it expand into infinity. (laughs)
Illustrations by Laurent Hrybyk