Slow music for fast times.
It’s all too rare to discover a new artist who doesn’t acquiesce to the current penchant for in your face treatments, instead choosing to aim squarely at your heart. 24 year old, Auckland artist, deryk is one such exception. While all around her the world moves at a dizzying pace, she manages to summon space and instil stillness in her music, as well as delivering a few surprises on her multi-layered debut EP Womb.
As for the name? deryk is a tribute to her late grandfather who was an early champion of her tuneful curiosity. Both as a link to formative years living in London, before moving to Hawkes Bay, as well as a pivotal figure in her development, it’s a good deal more than a simple project signifier.
Drawing inspiration from powerful female artists like PJ Harvey, Kate Bush, Joni Mitchell, Esperanza Spalding, Fiona Apple and Bjork, as well as her love for Bristol and its culture in the 90s, deryk has crafted her own sound that feels utterly contemporary while still retaining a hazy timeless quality. Contributing to that is production and writing spar, Elemeno P’s Justyn Pilbrow, whose extensive experience with artists like The Neighbourhood, Chelsea Jade and Halsey helped her capture her vision on Womb. The sound of deryk is unique and captivating, moulding distinctive, rhythmic vocal phrasings and visceral lyrics around craftily submerged melodies and ghostly modular tones.
Lead track Call You Out surreptitiously rides sparse beats and rolling acoustic guitar to construct a woozy, intriguing scenario that lingers long after the song has finished. Accompanied by a lockdown necessitated, self directed, produced and performed video - shot in her kitchen cupboards with the help of a red lamp and a delightfully distorting glass jar - Call You Out is a powerful statement of intent. MEN and Goodtimes merge soft atmospheres with sharp lines, while the colourfully vitriolic vibes on Heard It All Before summon up more emphatic textures. The vocal gymnastics of One Star house the line that carries the most resonance for deryk. ‘Your plaster will never heal a bruise, if you never treat the wound, like coffee it will brew’.
Womb is the culmination of her development from acoustic beginnings through to the study of music and electronic production, and now a realisation of all that in deryk. In her own words she likens the release of Womb to the ‘burial scene from Kill Bill’, when Uma is clawing her way out of the coffin, preparing to avenge. It’s fair to say deryk is only just getting started.
Slow music for fast times, space and solace amongst the confusion, a gentle reveal in the age of instant gratification, mordant lines over sumptuous melodies - deryk is something special.