If, as the saying goes, from the tiny acorn grows the mighty oak, then Brooklyn duo Creep seem destined to grow into the biggest tree in the whole electronic forest. “It started off with one track written on a bed. We listened back to it, thought we’d add some stuff, and literally that was [debut single] ‘Days’,” explains one half of the pairing, DJ and producer Lauren Flax, from the dressing room of the cavernous Brighton Dome where her band are set to open tonight’s NME show with Friendly Fires. “It was written on a bed, with some laptop speakers and drinking a shit ton of beer. After we wrote that song and saw how people were reacting to it, and that was without vocals or anything, we realised we had some kinship with writing and decided to take it more seriously. I put my solo stuff aside to concentrate on Creep.”
The track in question that constituted these humble beginnings, ‘Days’, surfaced at the beginning of the year and immediately tagged the pair (completed by fellow DJ/producer Lauren Dillard) in a certain lineage of minimalist, dub-tinged ethereal electronicists – a scene that’d soon become known by more names than other sound around (drag and witch house, for starters) – aided in no small part by the vocal coos of The xx’s Romy Madley Croft. But, if the initial sparks of Creep steered them towards a particularly zeitgeisty niche, then their forthcoming debut looks set to carve out one all of their own.
“Our second single is with Nina Sky, then we’re also working with Kazu from Blonde Redhead, Holly Miranda, Planningtorock is gonna do some vocals and then we might just collaborate on a track all together,” continues Flax. “The Nina Sky track is our second single ’cos it’s quite different. It’s more trip-hop with R&B vocals but you can still tell it’s us; it’s got our vibe. All the music has a kind of sheer darkness to it.”
With a background in house music, fingers in an eclectic expanse of vocal pies and a live show combining specially commissioned visuals (each track is backed by a video featuring the guest star) and a pair of cellists, the duo take the brooding horrors of witch house and the throb of 2010’s ‘bass culture’ and bind them to ungodly affect, as is showcased vividly onstage later in the evening. The duo summon spectres on the giant screens that make their own forms ominous shadows, grinding out their deathly magic on an unsuspecting early-bird crowd in the ornate old venue. Something wicked this way comes...
This article originally appeared in the May 28th issue of NME
Subscribe here and get NME for £1 a week, or get this week's digital issue