Perth, Western Australia based, Howevever is the solo project of multi-talented Isaac Lee. A walking, talking one man band, Howevever recently released his debut album ‘Leaning From The Steep Slope‘ and it’s one of the highlights of 2021 already. Diving into the deep end of electronica mixed with psychedelic pop, the electrifying release is bathed in production that sounds like it’s been made in another dimension. Ground breaking and an artist that everyone needs in their collection, I caught up with However to find out a bit more about his journey and what’s to come.
Hey, Howevever – how are things with you? How have you been keeping yourself busy during these uneasy times?
Things have been good! We’ve been hardly touched by COVID here in Perth, especially in comparison to most other parts of the world. During the short time we were in lockdown I had the chance to focus more heavily on finishing this album, so yeah I’ve been super lucky.
You’ve got quite the story! Can you tell MoggBlog viewers your favourite achievement to date? If you can’t pick your favourite, your top 3 is also great.
I suppose it’s not so much an achievement as it is an experience, but the opportunities I’ve had to work with artists and labels around the world has been really rewarding. I’ve never been an especially collaborative person, actually I’m a bit of a control freak, but it’s always cool to see what other creatives can bring out in you, and what you can bring out in them. I recently had the chance to work with Catlaine, she’s a super talented and driven artist from Berlin. She’s got this infectious enthusiasm for art and creativity. She turned what was set to be a forgettable B-Side into one of my favourite tracks on the album, both through what she added to it as well as in the way her attitude inspired me to keep working on the track.
“Leaning From The Steep Slope” features 14 tracks sent straight from the heart. Coated in emotive vocal performances that will leave you stunned from their honesty, each track tells a completely different story to the last one. Having gained international recognition composing instrumental electronica under the pseudonym ‘flisss’, Isaac Lee seems comfortable with writing these heartfelt tracks.
If you could describe your sound in 3 words that begin with h, what would they be?
Hefty, Hectic, Heaps-good. Don’t ask me what that means.
Your new album ‘Leaning From The Steep Slope’ is truly breathtaking – what’s the writing/recording story behind that?
It’s a long one! It started out as 10 tracks almost 3 years ago. I recorded them all in my bedroom on this painfully slow laptop from 2007, using an old field recording mic that picked up every noise in the house. It was at that time that I was only just learning how to combine songwriting with electronic production in a meaningful way. I wasn’t very confident in my voice or my lyrics so to hide them (and all the unwanted noise that my mic would pick up) I would smother everything in reverb so that it sounded super lo-fi. In late 2019, I finally had the money to invest in some better gear and my production quality benefited immensely. Also, it was at that time that I decided to put the album on hold and record my acoustic EP ‘A Healthy Fear Of Everything’, mostly in an effort to get more comfortable with my songwriting and singing. So now I had this newfound confidence in my work and the ability to create a much more polished-sounding final product, and I started replacing each of the original 10 songs one by one. Eventually all but two of them were replaced, and I added another 3 tracks. Raffles is the only track that’s left untouched from the original 10, He’s An Eccentric is there too but I edited it to run into Lying To Yourself. So for me I guess this album represents a lot of personal and artistic growth. But I’m definitely still just at the beginning of that learning curve.
What’s in store for the rest of 2021?
I’m branching into other mediums, learning about different ways to package my music and to compliment it. The focus at the moment is on animation and 2D motion graphics, which I’ve already been able to incorporate into my promo clips, but there’s still heaps to learn. The plan is to start work on a larger audio/visual project in the not-too-distant future. I’m super keen to see where that rabbit hole leads!
You can follow Howevever on Instagram and Twitter.