WORDS : MALVIKA PADIN
Allowing creative freedom to lead them rather than their identity, the mysterious Egomunk’s genre-defying music is intended to move beyond comfort zones by fusing ethereal soundscapes with allusive lyrics about impactful topics. Following their examination of the loneliness experienced by older people on single ‘Islands’, their most recent offering, ‘Radio Hum’ addresses the battle of inner demons.
Speaking of the recording process for the single,taken from the recently released EP Only One, Egomunk says, “ The recording process was relatively smooth. ‘Radio Hum’ started off strumming around the kitchen table with the family milling in the background. The visual interpretation was of skeletons being aroused from their innocent slumber in a graveyard to sharing a conga of fun then being baptised into the scary world of human debauchery enticed by the devil.”
About the haunting animation video created by Robert Beebe, they add “ Thoughts of Tim Burton and the archive Silly Symphony Disney animation of Skeletons were some of the sources of reference to create a ‘Day of the Dead’ type film. It’s reminiscent of a mystery voodoo priest performing a rebirthing ritual.”
The toughest part was taking the recording through to the visual process to convey our vision and message visually
Crediting Beebe for alleviating the hardest part of the EP’s creative process , they reveal “the toughest part was taking the recording through to the visual process to convey our vision and message visually.” Balancing the humour injected into the ‘Radio Hum’ visuals with the sensitivity of ‘Islands’, Egomunk and Beebe have managed to capture the artistic versatility that shines throughout Only One.
Talking about the inspiration ‘Islands’, the proceeds of which was donated to Age UK, Egomunk says, “ It was driven by the need to convey the closeness of two people of different ages, one in the prime of their life and the other elderly and infirm whom are both connected through friendship as well as a support system.”
On why they decided to donate all proceeds to Age UK they add, “It just seemed to be the natural, most appropriate thing to do. I appreciate there has been a spate of charity associated releases recently but for us lockdown reinforced and exacerbated the plight of many mature and frail people in the community and nationwide.
“Their vulnerability is exactly the tale of the old man in our song ‘Islands’ and the unfolding of the animation as the older humanoid is fortunate enough to have assistance and doesn’t need to face embarrassment or loss of pride by seeking help. It’s saying it is OK to appeal for resources and the last few months have demonstrated the force of good out there. If a senior citizen feels they cannot reach out to family, friends or neighbours, knowing that there is a professional movement that can offer relief is security they may need.”
Without revealing who we are, there can be no expectations creatively or critique about what we are expected to deliver
Egomunk’s true identity has been one of the most closely guarded secrets in the music industry since the release of debut album Footsteps to Mars in 2016, with collaborators asked to sign non-disclosure agreements, asked if they have ever considered abandoning this anonymity, the answer is a resounding no.
They explain,”I don’t think we would abandon our anonymity as we never intended for the focus to be on family, friends and relationships. If people want to comment let that be about listening to the music and hopefully gleaning something fulfilling from that experience and not the introspection of tabloid gossip or lurking in social media. Without revealing who we are, there can be no expectations creatively or critique about what we are expected to deliver.”
The video for ‘Radio Hum’ finalised the trilogy of visuals to accompany the EP, however Egomunk has some clear goals in mind for the future. “There are two songs that create a visual trilogy for ‘Islands’ and embellish the traverse of the old man and his companion carer and the fate of their fellow humanoid inhabitants,” they continue,” Also, we have a track reminiscent of the joys of dance culture with society needing to be uplifted and joined together again, unified through music and that collective experience.”
Inspired by the musical stylings of Temper Trap, Bon Iver, Beck, David Bowie and Travis Scott, the cryptic creative of filmmakers like Wes Anderson and Stanley Kubrick, and the support of their own family, Egomunk makes that is equally impactful and philosophical as it is imaginative and fun.