Recently Yasmin De Laine‘s debut EP, Each Heart Devours The Other, was released.
I was afforded the opportunity to ask Yasmin some questions about the release.

Ez: Hi Yasmin,
Hope you’re having a good one, or two, or possibly even three.
How do the songs on Each Heart Devours The Other compare in terms of change to The Isolation Singles?

Yasmin: I’d say they differ most by maturity and tone. When I wrote The Isolation Singles, I was still discovering ‘my sound’ in playing a genre that was relatively new to me after years of playing in heavier bands. With the new EP, I’ve managed to find a sweet spot that harnesses an old-time folk sound while simultaneously indulging my love for darker genres, making it feel a lot more authentic and true to my vision.

The Isolation Singles were written in 2019 and recorded about 2 months before the COVID pandemic really kicked off. The years since being in and out of lockdown in Melbourne impacted me significantly, and it was a pretty bleak time personally. I found I tended to struggle with my creativity (people seem to think negative emotion positively impacts creative output, but I would disagree), however the little glimmers of creation that shone through towards the end of the lockdown period were worth savouring. They became what my EP is today – gloominess and all.

Ez: How did you go about ensuring Each Heart…’s sound maintained clarity and expression?

Yasmin:  I had a few conversations with my producer about this. I really struggle to stick with a single genre of music, and although I have a stronger creative vision now, I still want to include all kinds of influences. On the new EP, a song like ‘If I Can’t Have Their Worship, I Want Their Pity’ sticks out as the only guitar-based song on the tracklist with a more slowcore vibe, but I think I’ve arrived at a point I can marry all of my influences in a way that still feels cohesive. There’s just so much that I want to express and I don’t want to be limited to any one specific sound.

Ez: Lyrically how did you arrive at what worked best for the music?

Lyrics are probably the most important part of songwriting for me. Sometimes I get too obsessive over words, spending days to weeks doing background research and tinkering with the smallest details until it’s something I can say I’m truly proud of.

I can sometimes get too flowery and grandiose with my writing, but I think this style,  when used thoughtfully, can lend itself well next to such dramatic sounds. I think there’s space for both understated and theatrical lyrical content in this kind of music, but in my experience, Australian music tends to favour the former – and I’m a big goth at heart. I like theatrics.

Ez: What is it about the medium of sound that you think works best for what you’re expressing?

Yasmin: As someone who grew up listening to hardcore and emo, and then found folk music as a teenager, I was struck by the ability to convey a similar sentiment used in heavy music in such a radically different manner. My mind has continued to open throughout the years and I’ve found huge inspiration in old-time folk and country artists. Some of the content is just so mournful and bleak, and I think country in particular is such a critically misunderstood genre.

I’m a relatively new banjo player, and I’ve been inspired by old Alan Lomax recordings and early Appalachian folk when learning and writing for the instrument. Banjo might be even more misunderstood than country music. It can produce such a uniquely eerie sound that I think lends itself to my kind of music perfectly.

Ez: Continuing on from that question, what is it about this set of songs that makes them work best together as an EP?

Yasmin: The EP originally consisted of 5 songs, with the absence of my most recent single ‘Greensick’. ‘Greensick’ was recorded months after the other tracks as I felt the original single didn’t properly represent me. The original single was a lovely song, but ‘Greensick’ tied together the entire package perfectly.

While the topic of the songs vary, they all carry an undercurrent theme of violence, beauty and destruction – of loving something or someone to death, whether that be our family, the environment, or the ones we worship. It paints love as something dangerous and something to express with caution, all tied together in a gloomy little folk package.