Hailing from Canada, indie-pop duo The Accents expertly craft an infectious blend of electronic indie-pop that glides through a reel of Ektachrome vintage film before hitting your ears. Comprised of Mathijs Kriebek and Rich Weller, the pair actively refuse the fast-paced demand of the modern digital world, preferring instead to embrace the artistic integrity of the past. The duo’s debut EP entitled ‘Still On Film’ was released last month, created with a prolific amount of ideas swirling around between the two and taking two years to develop. Co-produced by Mike Brandolino, the EP is a collection of stories navigating self-doubt set to shimmery synth lines and punchy samples that weave in and out of driving 808 beats. Still On Film’s introspective narrative resonates throughout the soul while anthemic melodies and energetic textures elevate the spirit. Check out our interview with The Accents below!
YMX: Can you tell us about yourself as an artist? Where are you now, how you started, and what are your goals.
THE ACCENTS: We’re an alternative pop duo from Toronto, Canada. We originally met when Richy was managing a band and Mathijs was making music as a solo artist. We quickly realized that we had a very similar taste in music and thought it would be fun to try making some music together. Things just kind of clicked creatively so we decided to take things a bit more serious and slowly developed our sound. Recently, we released our debut EP, co-produced by Mickey Brandolino from Valley, which features 4 songs. This EP kind of serves as an introduction to us as a band. As far as our goals, we hope that we can make music for as long as we’re alive and we hope our music resonates with whoever might listen to it. Obviously we would like to go on world tours, sell out shows, have some hit records, but making good and lasting music is always the main goal.
YMX: Some of our readers might not be familiar with you yet, how would you describe your sound?
THE ACCENTS: Always a hard question but the person who wrote our bio described it as: “an infectious blend of electronic indie-pop gliding through a reel of vintage film before hitting your ears.” and we haven’t been able to think of a better way to put it since.. But yeah, I guess our sound is quite modern with a sprinkle of nostalgia?
YMX: Who have been your biggest influences so far?
THE ACCENTS: The 1975, Frank Ocean, Valley (.. and too many others to name)
YMX: You recently released (or will release soon) SINGLE/ALBUM ‘NAME’. Can you tell us how that project came about?
THE ACCENTS: Our EP ‘Still On Film’ started as a bunch of demos we made about a year or two ago. We sent them over to Mickey Brandolino and he liked them enough to want to help produce them and turn them into some proper songs, which eventually ended up being the EP that’s out now. We had a few sessions with Mickey at his studio slowly polished the production, added some more layers, re-wrote some lyrics, and re-recorded all the vocals. Most of our sounds and ideas come from us just throwing random ideas around in a session and as a song takes shape, we’ll then go back and slowly cut out all the unnecessary things and keep the best bits. The project isn’t necessarily a cohesive one, just 4 songs that we’re proud of and we think they serve as a good introduction to us as a band.
YMX: 2020 has been a hard year for everybody, but the music industry and arts in general took a heavy hit. How did you guys cope with that, musically speaking?
THE ACCENTS: To be honest, we’re still very new as a band so most of our existence has been in the studio, this year just forced us to spend even more time in the studio than we normally would. We’re both fortunate enough have the ability to make music at our homes so this year we’ve pretty much just been working on a bunch of new music that we can’t wait to release. We were initially very excited to play our music and especially this new EP live in front of actual people but that obviously wasn’t possible this year. So as far as performing live, we’ve just filmed a small acoustic set for a local college radio and we also just released a live performance video on our YouTube channel where we play the entire EP in full.
YMX: Do you consider important working together in a team, or do you prefer working alone?
THE ACCENTS: Both actually! Most of our ideas start from an individual place, usually we’ll send each other rough lyric ideas, beats, and demos and then when something resonates with both of us we’ll get together and turn it into a full song. We have a very similar taste in music but our sound selection is pretty unique individually. There’s also been times where we got together in the studio, started and idea together, and turned it into a full song. We also really enjoy having sessions with other artists and there is so much talent here in Toronto so it’s always very inspiring to work with others. I guess our short answer is: a balance of both. Also, in regards to the music business side of things, a good team that is equally excited about the music is definitely essential There are so many variables when it comes to being and artist and trying to do it for a living, having a solid team is very important we think.
YMX: What are you looking for, in terms of promotion? What do you think could be helpful to promote your music around?
THE ACCENTS: Hmm I guess Spotify playlists are a big part of music promotion these days, there are so many people who discover new songs and artists through editorial and user generated playlists so I guess we’re looking for some playlist placements. (*hint hint to anyone from Spotify who’s reading this right now*). Maybe some cool collabs with a clothing brand could be cool and helpful? Having a strong social media branding and consistent content is also super helpful in promoting your music.
YMX: What does playing live represent for you? a way to make yourself known or a way to express yourself?
THE ACCENTS: Playing live is still the best way to really connect with people. Even with social media giving us the ability to instantly connect with anyone in the world, playing your songs live in front of people, seeing their reactions and emotions face to face is still the best feeling ever. For us, we mainly express ourselves in the studio and playing live is the end result of us making music, so I guess playing live is more of a celebration of our expressions? Also it’s a way to meet our fans and just enjoy the connection we share through our music (which all sounds like a distant dream right now because of Covid).
YMX: Finally, what are your plans for the future? (releases, gigs etc.)
THE ACCENTS: We’re hoping to release some more singles within the next 6 months, maybe another EP? Also lot’s of visuals and music videos to go along with it. Most importantly we’d like to play shows and festivals, whenever that might happen again. Our coolest and wildest plans are still classified tho, so I guess just go follow us on social media and you’ll find out more at some point.
Check out ‘Still On Film’ and follow The Accents below!