What we can expect from Flume's new album

By Siena Yates

Flume talks to Siena Yates about his forthcoming arena tour and new album.
Flume's new album Skin has him working with artists like Tove Lo, Vince Staples, Little Dragon, Vic Mensa and more. Photo /
Flume's new album Skin has him working with artists like Tove Lo, Vince Staples, Little Dragon, Vic Mensa and more. Photo /

Harley Streten, better known as Flume, has just announced a new album and a massive five-month tour - his biggest yet.

The Australian electronic music producer, who headlined Laneway earlier in the year and closed the night on one of the Coachella stages last month, has made an impressive name for himself, gaining traction with his hit remixes of songs by the likes of Sam Smith, Disclosure and Lorde.

His new album Skin has him working with artists like Tove Lo, Vince Staples, Little Dragon, Vic Mensa and more. We caught up with Flume to see what we can expect.

Talk to us about the new music, how does it compare to your first album?

I think the older stuff has a similar pulse throughout the record, but this one I think has a much broader spectrum of sound. The new stuff is - sonically - much richer, the production is a step up, I feel.

There's a lot of really intense moments ... and a lot of really chilled moments. So it's got a lot more diversity than the first record.

And way more vocals too.

Was adding more vocals a deliberate change in direction, or was it just because so many people wanted to work with you?

Part of it was that I actually had access to people who I have always wanted to work with. And the other half was, I just wanted to explore songwriting a little more. A lot of songs off the first album were kind of just instrumental beats, which is fine. But I just wanted to write some real song songs.

So how does the writing work on these collaborations, are you involved with writing lyrics?

Usually I'll kind of start with an idea and we'll get in the studio together and I'll play them some of those ideas I've been working on and we'll see which ones we're vibing on, and once we've got an idea we're both excited about, then we'll start doing melodies. Then the vocals come. I kind of work with lyrics thematically, but the vocalists will do the lyrics.

You said in an interview once that there's never been a better time for music - why is that?

I guess there's more accessibility to music than ever before, for people listening and people making it.

Anyone with a laptop can make music now and they can make it at a professional level - you don't need money to write awesome music anymore, and to get it out there as well is easier than ever and that's awesome.

Well you yourself started out with a program you got out of a cereal box, right? So any tips for beginners looking to go pro?

(Laughs) I never really thought of myself as pro.

Really?

Well a lot of the s*** I do is not really professional level, I mean I guess it is, but I never got a degree or anything saying, "cool, now you're a professional". It's just been me f***ing around on a laptop for so long, and it's never really seemed that serious. I just sort of kept at it, learned from tutorials online and got better programs, you know, you just learn. I've just been at it, just playing around for a while.

And how are you feeling about where you're at now? Apparently you've got a whole new set-up for the live show?

Yeah, it's going to look super cool. Basically the whole new set-up makes the Infinity Prism (from the last tour) look like a little b****. What I'm really excited about is, this is the first time in my career that I've been really proud and excited about my show, and how it looks and how it sounds.

I've put a lot of effort into getting this structure looking great, into getting the visuals and aesthetic right, just that fine detail. Usually I'm really excited about the music and the show is just part of the package, just what you do. This time I'm really excited about just showing people what we've made.

And is there any likelihood of seeing any special guests join the tour?

Yeah yeah, there will be. I don't know who or when, but there's definitely going to be lots of special guests. We'll have to see, it depends on availabilities and stuff, but definitely there will be vocalists.

What's it like to have this recognition and for the show to be this big? Has it all sunk in?

Yeah, totally. I mean, I'm not that famous or anything. Whenever someone says famous I think of like, Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp. No one makes a fuss over me. If I go out to a bar I'll probably get recognised, but I'm not like getting paparazzi or anything. So it's cool, I like it at this level ... I like my normal life, I like being able to be a normal human.

Low down

Who: Flume aka Harley Streten, Australian EDM giant

When and where: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin July 19; Horncastle Arena, Christchurch, July 20; Vector Arena, Auckland July 22

Also: New album Skin out on May 27

- TimeOut

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