X priest X

Next week will see the release of Florida dream duo X priest X’s debut EP Samurai. We caught up with singer Madeline Priest to talk about inspiration, dancing, and why they’re signed to Swedish label Emotion.

Hailing from Florida, singer Madeline Priest and producer Dave Kazyk of duo X priest X make hypnotic dream pop, merging clean vocals with swaying synth melodies and strokes of slight melancholy. With their Samurai debut EP out on Swedish label Emotion next week, we caught up with the Priest herself to talk about inspiration and dancing.

How did X priest X come about?
– Dave and I met a few years ago, but we didn’t start this project until January 2013. He knew I had a performance background and asked if I’d want to demo some songs. We toyed around with different things, we were just having fun but ended up getting some great feedback so we kept recording and writing. A few months later we put a couple songs on Soundlcoud, and now we’re here.

 Where does the name come from?
– It actually took us a few months to settle on it, but my last name is Priest so it really just came from that. Added the x’s because there were already some accounts under the name and we wanted to stand apart.

Can you tell us something about your creative process? How does a new song usually come about?
– Usually Dave will send me what he’s working on, then we get together and hash out demos in our little “studio.” We collaborate well together and we’re pretty proficient. When we’re working we definitely take it seriously but also really have a fun.

I enjoy spending time alone,
because it’s like my time out
from the rest of the world

What can you tell us about your upcoming Samurai EP?
– I wouldn’t say there’s any particular theme, at least not intentionally. It’s just kind of the way it worked out. But there’s definitely a consistent “dreamy” vibe in each song. I’m just excited for people to hear it!

How come you signed with Swedish label Emotion? 
– When the guys from Emotion got in touch with us we were so stoked – they were genuinely excited about the music, and very friendly. It just seemed to be the right fit and the timing has been great.

Do you need to actively seek inspiration? And if so, where do you find it?
– I don’t really think I seek it, I just draw from different experiences whether it be from my past or things that are just going on around me. I actually enjoy spending time alone (well, with my dog) because it’s like my time out from the rest of the world.

Who writes the lyrics?
– Dave has written the majority so far, but sometimes once we’re in the studio we’ll change things if it’s not working. He’s a great writer, and we have a similar style.

You have a background in dancing. Has that affected your music making?
– Well, I think since I was exposed to an array of music through dance, but not exclusively, it’s always been prominent in my life and something that I’ve loved. If a dance is choreographed with music then as a dancer you have to connect with it – whether it’s the melody, lyrics, whatever. So I think the same kind of idea applies when I’m singing, but it’s just a different feeling; hard to put into words.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
– We have some things in the works, but I’m just really excited for the EP to be released! For now we’re going to keep writing and recording and see where it takes us.

Listen to X priest X’s latest single Sophie K above. Their Samurai debut EP will be out on April 15 via Emotion.