We’re back for 2018, showcasing a different Spinnup artist each week that we think you need to know about with #SpinnupIntroducing.
The first act up for the year is Scottish electronic duo Chuchoter. The Edinburgh based duo immediately caught out attention late last year with their debut Spinnup release, ‘Pieces‘, a buzz-worthy electronic jam packed with disco-pop synths and catchy melodies. Obviously we had to know more about the newcomers, so we got in touch with producer Owen McAllister and vocalist Emily Smith to get to the bottom of who Chuchoter are.
Growing up in rural Aberdeenshire, Owen and Emily’s met in high school, sharing early musical influences from the likes of like James Taylor, The Smith and Hall and Oates. After moving to the city to study Music at the University of Edinburgh, these influences evolved into something more akin to their musical style, drawing on artists such as Bossy Love, Shamir, Chvrches and Jamie XX.
Having almost finished their studies (Emily) and working as an audio engineer (Owen), these two have made their mark on the local underground scene playing a number of shows, including a support slot for Australian rising stars Kllo. Now the duo are back in the studio and focussed on creating stimulating and accessible pop music. With an EP already under their belt, their new release ‘Pieces’ sees Chuchoter continuing their sonic exploration. If we could use one word to describe the track it would be ‘anthemic’. Emily’s powerful vocal oozes emotion, sitting perfectly over Owen’s layers of retro glitchy synths, drums and claps, creating an appeal for everyone from electronic buffs to pop fans.
Having spent years building their sound together, Owen and Emily feel like they’ve hit on something that really encapsulates their style. We got in touch to ask them about their musical process, here’s what they had to say.
Spinnup: ‘Pieces’ is an incredible track, so many layers and moving parts – how do you guys come up with something like that?
Chuchoter: Usually when we write something, Owen will work on a track and put that all together using Sibelius then ProTools. Owen is a drummer with a background in Jazz and a deep love of Disco, so naturally his work is really rhythmically driven and the music is quite dense, definitely not a standard 4-chord progression. He tries to fiddle with something new every time he writes, whether it’s a sound or a new harmonic direction or a new beat structure that he hasn’t tried yet.
Once Owen is happy with a track, he shoots it over to Emily to listen and come up with some lyrics. This either happens in half an hour or takes months, there’s not really an in between! Emily will get a feel for the track, try to relate it to a feeling or a theme or an attitude and take it from there. Sometimes the lyrics will just come and the song will be done in one session. If it’s a more difficult one, the lyrics take a bit more work to unlock, and it can be months, even up to a year, of working on it. Once it’s done we’re usually absolutely bouncing about it. We then pop into the studio to get the vocals down ASAP, take it home to mix and we usually have the whole thing done in a few days.
Spinnup: How would you describe Chuchoter’s sound, in your own words?
Chuchoter: Emily grew up listening to great singer/songwriters like James Taylor, Carole King, Suzanne Vega, etc. so she’s soaked up that flair for word setting and colourful metaphor. She also doesn’t take shit from anyone and we think that comes across in the latest track ‘Pieces’. The combination between the rhythmic and harmonic complexity that Owen brings, and the attitude and colour that Emily creates is what really makes Chuchoter sound like it does. It’s this combination that also makes it difficult to describe our sound. Usually we go for electronic pop, but there’s bits of everything in there, so it’s difficult to put your finger on exactly what we are.
Spinnup: We’re so glad to have you on Spinnup! How did you find the self-distribution process?
Chuchoter: When we were thinking about releasing ‘Pieces’ we did a lot of research on what would be the best way to release it. As an unsigned band it can be quite daunting putting your product out there, especially when we create every part of each track ourselves, from the writing to the recording to the mix. The internet is so saturated with new bands, it can be difficult to get it to a place where anyone will hear it. That’s what we liked about Spinnup. It’s really easy to use, it gets your music on all the major platforms, everything’s checked by the staff including the cover art, and there are scouts with direct lines to Universal that listen to your stuff and give you really valuable feedback. It was an easy choice really!
Spinnup: Okay, we’re dying to know – what’s up next for you guys?
Chuchoter: We have a few shows lined up for 2018, but nothing’s finalised as of yet, but you can expect to hear from us playing in Scotland and England real soon!
Where to find Chuchoter: