- 10 Jun 21
Luke Aston, AKA Arthur Valentine, will share his debut EP 'Splitscreen' on June 18th - with 'Track 3' set to be released as the final single tomorrow.
Hot Press are delighted to premiere 'Track 3', the final song from Cork act Arthur Valentine's forthcoming debut EP Splitscreen.
Luke Aston (Arthur Valentine) is also a member of the HAUSU collective - a group of musicians, filmmakers, designers and programmers working together to pool resources and provide a banner for their own solo projects. Their prolific hard work and innovation has seen them steadily garner a reputation for DIY ingenue.
Arthur Valentine has earned a name for himself by transmuting personal yet instinctively simple tunes to lush production. Reminiscent of the likes of Frank Ocean, BROCKHAMPTON, SZA and The Internet; his knack for lyrical confession and DIY bedroom minimalism marks him out as a trailblazer in the Irish industry.
Splitscreen came about after years of bouncing ideas around with friends in home studios, augmenting his voice with prismatic auto-tuned harmonies, fluttering minimal percussion, and airy lead synths.
Final single 'Track 3' - releasing one week before the EP itself - brings the Splitscreen sound into full focus with high-energy beat-switches and bright, summery R&B production. The soft vocals paired with sharp songwriting overlay captivating beats throughout the song, which describes the excitement of romance in its initial, confusing stages.
"To me, Track 3 epitomises the "Arthur Valentine" sound that Jack (Actualacid), Drew (Automatic Blue) and I have spent the last few years creating," Luke tells Hot Press, noting his HAUSU collective collaborators.
"It was the first song that we recorded when we moved in together at the end of 2019 and one of the first tracks that we built from scratch as one unit. I think more than any of my previous releases, and even any of the other tracks on the EP, 'Track 3' showcases all three of our various styles and approaches to production and songwriting. I think the three of us managed to sprinkle each of our individual styles on the track, while also melding these styles into one (hopefully) cohesive sound."
Aston penned the majority of 'Track 3' on the number 4 bus route home while living in Dublin.
"I was singing the lyrics and melody into my phone while disturbed commuters gave me funny looks," Luke adds, before explaining the meaning behind the hypnotic song.
"The song is about the beginning of a relationship and all the nerves, uncertainty and fake confidence that comes along with it - particularly the hook with its contrasting, back and forth lyrics. That period where you’re both trying to figure out what the other’s mindset is and what their intentions are."
Each track on the EP was written when Aston felt like he was living two alternative lives, while spending much of his time on the road.
"There was this duality, a juxtaposition between the major aspects of my life. One half of my time was spent writing and recording music, the other half was spent completing a college degree I never really wanted in the first place," the young artist acknowledges.
"Most of the songs on the EP were written either in part or entirely while on the road - I would write lyrics on the bus or play demos driving in my car and just sing different melodies over the beats. I think these two things began to naturally appear in the songs - these themes of duality and transience. When it came to building the visual and aesthetic aspects of the EP, I thought exploring these two themes would be the best way to visually tell the story of the EP. It was from here that I came up with the “Splitscreen” concept - using the image of a multiplayer, split screen racing game to represent these themes."
Taking its cues from '90s arcade classics like Daytona USA, a Splitscreen video game has also been created and used for the EP’s artwork. The video game will be available for download to coincide with the EP’s release, and is even being experimented with as an interactive backdrop for live shows.
"I approached fellow Hausu-member Neil O'Sullivan Greene and explained to him what I had in mind for the EP artwork and he proposed the idea of actually creating a playable racing game to accompany the EP. Along with Colm Cahalane (HAUSU's very own oracle), we began designing the look of the game and we fell in love with the 90's Daytona Arcade/PS1 style racing game aesthetic from there."
The creative prowess of the collective has led to anticipation surrounding Arthur Valentine's debut EP, but Hot Press are certain the project will do more than simply live up to the hype.
Listen to the atmospheric 'Track 3' below: