Interview: CLOVES releases her debut album 'One Big Nothing'
Australian singer-songwriter Cloves (real name Kaity Dunstan) releases her debut album One Big Nothing today. It has been a long, three-year recording process which Dunstan said at times made her feel like she had been “to hell and back.” The result though has been well worth the wait – a gorgeous collection of downtempo, chilled soul-pop tracks all held together by Dunstan’s distinctive rich, warm unique vocals which bring to mind Amy Winehouse, Adele and Joni Mitchell. Women In Pop recently spoke to Cloves to discuss the making of her debut album.
Hi Cloves! Congratulations on the new album One Big Nothing it is absolutely incredible. You spent three years recording it – what took you so long?!
Thank you so much. That’s a fair question! I think it was more just you know, it’s like a journey of self-discovery. I had to kind of learn all the other elements and understand myself as an artist and understand production, sonics and what it means to make an album. It took me a really long time because I was just learning myself and learning music and studying my craft and trying to be really good and proud of what I made. It was also a lot of self-criticism and self-doubt and all of those kind of things that you go through until you can finally feel content.
What was that learning process like? Were there any periods where you freaked out and thought ‘I don’t know what I’m doing’?
Consistently. Constantly. I feel like that today. I feel like that every day in a way. I’m always trying to learn more or educate myself more but I think it’s quite hard to feel content.
Putting out a debut album is a pretty big milestone in any artist’s career. Now that the big day is here, how does it feel?
Well, I was writing my thank-yous the other day for my album and I just got really emotional about it. I have always been working towards this goal for myself. As long as I can always remember, I always set myself the goal that I really want to make an album of music that I’m really proud of. I didn’t really take it in when I finished the music. It didn’t feel real. Now I feel very final, which is quite odd. It’s really weird especially when you’ve given yourself one goal for so long and then you finally get there… now I feel like I’m ready to make something else. I want to keep making more music and do better music and I feel like I can do that.
Can you tell me a little about the recording process for the album and who you worked with?
Well we recorded it all basically in a shed just outside of London in a place called Reading. I used to spend like maybe 2 hours on the train there and 2 hours on the train back. It was an interesting process. I wrote a lot of it with a guy called Jason Parker. I did a lot of the production with a guy called Edward Swinburne and I also worked on the record with Ariel Rechtshaid. So it’s quite a small team of people and I just feel really grateful for those people because I think that they’re very understanding and they’re all great listeners and they all really took the time to understand what I wanted.
Where did the title One Big Nothing come from?
For me, the title of the album sums up the message of everything really well. For me it is very much that kind of feeling when you give your all to something you put everything into it you make your life’s worth and then you look back on it and you just kind of like brush it off in a way. I just loved that sarcasm. I think that’s great for everybody in general. I don’t think it’s necessarily for music. When you finish school, what do you want to do with yourself? How do you want to make it your life? Who do you want to be? That’s the first couple of steps I think.
Do you have a favourite track on the album?
I really like ‘Up and Down’ a lot. It’s very honest, which I think is good. It’s nice to be able to be that honest I think. So yeah, ‘Up and Down’ - today, anyway!
Now that we’re in the streaming age a lot of artists are choosing to delay releasing full-length albums in favour of EPs or single tracks. Do you think the full-length album has a future?
Do you know what? I think actually, no. I think when I first started doing the album I thought in my head I was very strict - albums always have a process of how it should be. But now I’ve been through it and how long it took me to make, I see a real positivity in being able to put out music in the timeframe that you’re in. I just feel like being able to be who you are today and put out music today may be a more refreshing way to be able to deal with it.
Do you think you’ll release a second album?
Oh yeah, for sure. What I mean is that I’d like to release small amounts, for now anyway, maybe I’ll do another EP and another EP, and then do an album, but then do it quite quickly, quite in the now and try really hard to not overthink it.
So now the album is out, what’s next for Cloves?
I’ve got a couple of new songs in the work. I’m working on a new project which I’m really excited about. I feel a lot more prolific now the pressure of the album is kind of missing. I’m really happy…I’m just working towards doing more.
More on Cloves coming soon to Women In Pop. Stay tuned….