In an industry that sploits the theme of love, there’s a surging need to always see both sides of the story. Relatiiv make a point of embracing their emotional struggles in the way they write and produce, while aiming at a ‘keep going’ attitude to move past the woes of life. Their music – an enriching combination of electronic R&B, nu-soul and downtempo hip-hop – is like a diary, one that is open and full of raw truths, and serves as a catharsis amid their growth and emotional maturity as both individuals and musicians in this ordinary world.

Places, their second EP, is a product of this and a burning passion for what they do. It’s a demonstration of love, honesty, hard work and true, long-lasting friendship… and we hear it clearly.

Ahead of the new release (out this Friday, February 7th), we invited Laura Lloreta and Markus Ehret to tell us what’s at the core of their new release and who they rely upon a source of inspiration. You can pre-save Places here.

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Biig Piig – Perdida

The vulnerability and minimalism in the lyrics of this track definitely influenced the writing process of our EP ‘Places’. Biig Piig has a way of making any lyric feel like an effortless, spontaneous poem, and that’s a vibe we can really get behind. The vocals are always so raw, you can really tell she doesn’t go for the perfect-sounding take, but for the most honest, real one. And that is something we’ve tried to stick with for the duration of the creation and recording process of our EP.

Biig Piig – Roses and Gold

Another track by Biig Piig. This one has a bit more of a latin/bossa vibe that we love. It feels jammy and light and summery and I think you can find a bit of that vibe in our track ‘Suddenly’. As with the rest of these tracks, none were directly influential and we never took them as clear references, but it makes sense that what we were feeling the most in that moment had an impact on the types of sonic elements we incorporated into our music.

Noah Slee – Lips

The filtered vocals at the beginning, the doubled lead vocals, the sampled vocals in the chorus and playing with all the vocal layers throughout the track… we actually deconstructed this song by Noah Slee after we had laid out the main structure for our track ‘Places’ and we were looking for ways to elevate it. After analysing ‘Lips’, we realised the importance of adding weight to songs by layering harmonies, but also by playing with the effects on the lead vocal line.

Jorja Smith – Blue Lights

We love the mood that’s created through the repetition of the main sample. It gets you in a trance and then when it changes it’s even more impactful. The beat isn’t crazy complex, it’s basic and perfect. And the visuals are flawless: we love the combination of a beautiful documentary looking shots in black and white mixed with dancing and movement.

Jordan Rakei – Goodbyes

Jordan Rakei has been a very big influence for us over these past three years, so it’s very hard to just pick one tune by him that we think has been important in the development of our EP. We chose ‘Goodbyes’ because of the vocal layering, the repetitive/trance-y lyrics, the moody intro that comes back as a leitmotiv throughout the track, the groove… all things that we have transferred into our own sound, and that we’ve absorbed from Jordan a lot. It’s something that really impacted us and caught our attention. The intro to this song is so powerful: it forces you to come out of whatever it is you’re doing.

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