A Chat with LUMINAR (06.12.2020)

After releasing a number of EPs, LUMINAR has unleashed their debut album on the world. Go On offers an airy and cinematic soundscape threaded with pensive and reflective lyrics. Evert Zeevalkink (guitarist) and Sofia Dragt (vocals) started creating music in 2017 and captivating fans ever since. We sat down with LUMINAR to talk about the debut album, their creative process, animals, the pandemic and much more!

OSR: How did you two meet and start making music together?

Sofia: We met in 2017, Evert was touring with his band Tim Akkerman & The Ivy League and I was the opening act. We got to know each other and noticed that we have the same taste in music and decided to write together.

OSR: Is there a theme or backstory to your debut album Go On?

Sofia: A lot of the songs deal with acceptation and letting go. But it’s not really a central theme per se. We like our lyrics to be open for interpretation. A lot of our music has a kind of a cinematic feel to it and I think it’s nice to give our listeners the opportunity to make up their own story along with the images the music and words provide.

OSR: You have released a range of exciting EPs, why release a full-length album?

Evert: For me as a listener an album is still my favourite way to get to know a band. I still feel it’s the most mature statement an artist can make, even though the industry has kind of moved away from it. You can certainly see singles or short EP’s have more value on a platform like Spotify so I guess the decision to release a full-length album is informed by our preferences as music lovers more than anything.

OSR: What was your creative process for Go On? Did you start with a concept or a single track that you worked around?

Sofia: Mostly the way we work is that Evert has an idea or an instrumental sketch and from there we start working on the melody and lyrics. The songs usually evolve in the process, things get changed, sections are added, etc. We didn’t really think of a concept for the album as a whole. These songs each have their own feel but still work very well together.

OSR: If people could experience one emotion while listening to your music, what would you like that to be and why?

Evert: I think it would be melancholy. Sofia and I are both suckers for melancholic songs even though we’re pretty upbeat people in normal life. We like our songs to be really dreamy and atmospheric.

OSR: Was there a track that you found easier or harder to create than the others?

Sofia: Usually our writing process is really smooth and we work quite fast. But I remember we struggled with the lyrics for ‘Solid Ground’ a bit. On the other end a song like ‘Go On’ felt really good right from the start and came together really quickly. It’s still one of our favourites.

Photo by Melissa Scharroo, Capribee.

OSR: When you started making music together, did you have an idea about the sound you wanted or has this evolved over time?

Evert: The reason we were keen on trying to write something together is we found out we had quite similar tastes in music. Bands we talked about when we first met were Sigur Ros, London Grammar and Olafur Arnalds. So we had those artists as sort of a backdrop to what we could do when we first sat down to write something. But right of the bat, I felt we had our own little magic happening and I don’t think we ever really referred to other artists anymore once we started to work on our own music. I think the biggest change in our music over time is that we started to incorporate more acoustic elements in our music. Our first EP Moving Slow was a little more electronic sounding.

OSR: If your music were an animal, what would it be and why?

Evert: In general I’m terrible with animals, so I’ll let Sofia answer this.

Sofia: Such a difficult question! It might be a flock of starlings flying in slow motion?

OSR: Has the pandemic affected the music you make?

Evert: As for LUMINAR, we are mainly recording artists, we don’t play live, so not a big change in that sense. Of course the projects and bands that we’re in apart from each other that do play live are affected. But we are both very lucky to be working as composers and producers so we’re still able to create music, both for ourselves as well as for others, even in this pandemic.

OSR: What else do you have planned for the next 12 months?

Sofia: Creating more music together as LUMINAR and of course we’ll be working on different cool projects aside from that as well.

Evert: Continuous producing other artists, composing and working as a session guitar player and I write and produce my solo project under my own name and have different film projects coming up as a composer.

Thanks to Evert Zeevalkink and Sofia Dragt for chatting with us! You can find more about LUMINAR on their website, Facebook, Instagram and Spotify.

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