On their third album, After Dark, Brooklyn duo pecas creates a dreamy dance party that invites us to explore our own morbid self-reflections, embrace the darker sides of ourselves, and change our situations in spite of what fate had determined them to be. It’s a catchy and relaxing listen where you can hear both the tension that centers New York City life as well as the relief that arises when you choose to abandon it.
We chatted with Sandy Davis of pecas on the story behind this record, her future plans, and her favorite Prince track.
AF: Where did you record After Dark? What were your influences involved in the songwriting and production of it?
SD: We recorded in Bushwick in my bedroom and in my producer, John Moirisi’s room. A lot of the songs started out in Garageband on my iPhone and then were translated to Logic and we would build upon them from there. The record was heavily influenced by Japanese disco – Miraya Tekeuchi in particular – and post-disco artists like Hall & Oates, Bozz Scaggs, and Bobby Caldwell. There’s also an element of bossa nova and experimental “smooth funk.” The song “Underwater Boy” by Virna Lindt was a big influence. And on the more contemporary side of things, Blood Orange has been a huge influence.
AF: What’s your favorite piece of gear?
SD: I’m not a huge gear head, but my keyboard, the Roland FA-06, is my favorite piece of equipment. I write and record all my songs on it. I also recently bought a Roland SPD-SX which has been fun to play with. The album was recorded entirely with electronic drums and samples so it’s been great to be able to use those sounds in a live setting using the SPD-SX and drum triggers.
AF: How is this release different than the past releases you’ve done?
SD: This release is pretty different from the past two pecas records. It has a dancier vibe, although it is still pretty laid back. The production and feel is very different. The previous two albums were recorded with live instruments and were more on the indie rock/folk spectrum. This album was almost entirely recorded in-the-box with drum samples and synths, except for a few guitar and bass lines. Even then, a lot of the bass lines were recorded on a synth with a few overdubbed lines of live bass to add texture. The songwriting process always starts with a melody and a vague idea of lyrics in my head, but with this record instead of figuring the song out on guitar I jumped onto my keyboard or my iPhone and developed the song starting with a drum beat and some chords on keys and worked my way from there. The intention with this album was to have the drums be more of a driving force. This is also our first release on a label so that’s pretty exciting! We’re working with Broken Circles. And it’s our first time working with Alex Previty as a mixer which was a really great experience. He really understood the vibe we were going for and helped us flesh it out.
AF: What are your plans for the future?
SD: TOUR IN JAPAN! But until then I’m planning a small tour up north in November, a southern tour in January, and working on the next album.
AF: And if you’re a Prince fan, what’s your favorite Prince song?
SD: I am a Prince fan! Just ONE favorite? A friend of mine put “When You Were Mine” on a mixtape for me in high school and that was first introduction to Prince. So I guess that’s still my favorite. The first cut is the deepest. Second favorite is “Sexy Dancer.” I dance around the apartment to that one frequently.
Catch pecas next show in Brooklyn on September 6th at Secret Project Robot. RSVP here.