By Alessandro Improta
Known in Provo for her contributions to the folk scene as well as her more recent electronic exploits, Claire Grayson will bring her electro-pop duo to Provo for the first time this Saturday at Velour Live Music Gallery. The Seattle-based Neu Yeuth is comprised of Grayson and California native Huntington Filson. Reach Provo got to speak with them about the group’s formation, their sound, and how Provo’s music scene compares to the great northwest.
How did Neu Yeuth come together? How did you guys meet, and why did you start a project with each other?
Huntington: We connected through a Craigslist ad, and ended up meeting for coffee this past November and we just clicked right off the bat. We talked about our interests and goals as musicians and we seemed to line up pretty closely together. We quickly decided that we should meet again and try writing together. We later had our first writing session and songs just started sort of falling out of us! It was a really exciting time and I think we both agree that that same creativity is still flowing between the two of us – we’ve had to really discipline ourselves with working on our existing material when we both feel such a strong desire to keep developing new material! We’ll show up to band practice and be so excited about a new bit we’ve been working on and the other has to go, “No, no! Not until we’ve gotten everything else absolutely perfect!”
Claire: Yeah! Sometimes we convince one another and end up working on the new bit anyway. We don’t always have the control to set it aside, but most of our best tunes have happened because of it! I had a lot of responses to my Craigslist ad. I met with several different people. Most of them were not the right fit or not serious (or hella creepy). I posted it three times and had pretty much given up when I got an email from Huntington out of the blue. It’s been such a natural process since our first meeting and I feel very fortunate to have him as a band mate.
How would you describe your sound? What are your influences?
Huntington: Claire brings an indie folk/singer-songwriter background to our music and I have my roots in more produced, electronic based music. We both came together with very different backgrounds but were looking to head in the same direction musically and meet somewhere in the middle with an electro synth-pop style. It’s been really fun to push each other into new territory.
How does Neu Yeuth differ from past projects you’ve worked on? How is it pushing you as artists?
Huntington: We are finding really vibrant, unexpected pop style melodies over the beats I produce. Claire has really lightened up my sound as a producer and brought me from a darker, heavier value of production to something with more color and energy to better match her lyrics and sound. I used to always joke about how I didn’t know how to write a “happy” song, but I find that it’s coming pretty naturally as Claire and I feed off the vibe we have together as friends and collaborators.
Claire: It’s honestly so crazy and rewarding working with Huntington. He has the most ingenious ideas. I think it’s interesting because most of my songs are seemingly happy, but have a cloaked depth to them. I think that’s something I’ve brought into this new project. Huntington and I cowrite so well together. We both have such different expertise to bring to the table and so far I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve done. He pushes me to really sit down and get things right. He also really has lyrically brought me to a new level. AKA I love him.
You’ll be playing on KUTV this Friday morning. How did you land that gig? Are you nervous about it?
Claire: My friend Aimee Vargas has been a crucial part of my music career. Always making sure I know about opportunities and always supporting me. She gave me some contact info and we sent them some pretty rough demos. [Laughs] I’ve played on KUTV before so it’s nice to kind of know how it goes down. Aside from street performing in downtown Seattle, this is our first live show together. I think we’re both excited!
Claire’s been in Seattle for quite a while now. What has your experience there been like? Have you been able to explore the music scene? How does it compare to Provo?
Claire: It’s really interesting. It doesn’t really compare to Provo in my opinion because it’s so different. I do miss Provo. I miss going to shows and knowing everyone and watching my friends proudly. I miss the community of the music scene. Things are different here, but good different. I haven’t jumped too much into the music scene aside from familiarizing myself with venues and local artists. I’m excited for Huntington and I to release things soon and have something really edible to offer venues.
Why did Neu Yeuth decide to come to Provo to play?
Huntington: Well, it sort of fell into place because Claire has her roots here in the music community in Utah. We’ve both been eager to get in a studio and record some tracks to share with the world and Claire already had some connection to the awesome folks over at Bone Shack Studio. We figured we could come utilize those contacts and also make the most of our time here by playing a few shows and dipping our toes in the water before we return home to Seattle, where we plan to start hopping on some shows in the near future.
Claire: Definitely. Also I miss home and this was a easy way into forcing Huntington to take a road trip with me.
So it doesn’t sound like it so far, but Does Neu Yeuth have any music out? Even rough demos? [Laughs] If not, when can we expect a release?
Huntington: We’ve been working really hard on an EP that’s coming out with the help of the phenomenal Cat and Chris over at Bone Shack. We are planning for a release in mid to late May! When we get more specifics, all of the information will be available at Neuyeuth.com.
Claire: I’m really excited for our music to come out. I think it will surprise people (in a good way). I’m so passionate about our work and ready to get it out there.
I’m really excited. Thanks for the interview, guys.
Claire: Thanks homie! You’re the actual best!
Neu Yeuth will be performing Saturday, April 23 at Velour Live Music Gallery alongside Festive People and Mia Grace. Festive People will be releasing a new single. Tickets are $8 online and $8 at the door (cash only). Doors open at 8PM. Make sure to like Neu Yeuth on Facebook for progress and updates. You can hear Claire Grayson’s “Hold Your Fire” below.