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Back in Vienna

Hey, we have decided to tell our stories from a first person perspective from now on, using squared brackets at the beginning of each part to indicate who’s speaking.

In late September we started working in the studio again. After all, we haven’t recorded any new demos since Spring 2020! Back then we wrote all of the songs for EP1 and EP2. In the meantime, we didn’t only gather lots of new ideas but also made some progress with production software, plugins and recording techniques. Besides that, we had a tiny photo shoot for our first merch collection (more info soon) and were featured in a print magazine for the first time. Yay!

Also, we have decided to move to Tenerife for the winter, a small Spanish volcanic island in the Atlantic, close to Morocco. The weather there is usually warm and mild, which is kinda what we’re looking for. We’ll be surfing and running outdoors every day. To capture some of these moments, we thrifted a Sony HDR CX450 camcorder which makes everything look super old school. Might also use it for livestreams, let’s see 🤪

[Louis] On my tiny looper pedal (a must have for guitar players imo, boosts your creativity a lot) I’ve recorded more than 90 melodies and also Emil wrote quite a few new pieces in Ableton. Also, the new tube amp sounds absolutely killer! Imagine a stormy ocean of sound, huge waves of distortion crunching everything that comes in their way – that’s about it! Together we sat down and listened to all of these ideas and fragments, writing down our favorites and drafting a timeline for our upcoming releases. 

The beginning of September was pretty chill in Vienna. I was out a lot, meeting friends I haven’t seen in a while and exchanging stories. Fall can be beautiful in Vienna and I often found myself walking my parents’ dogs (one of them is the most annoying animal on earth while the other one is a true angel) or going for jogs in the woods. Even though I often feel like running away when staying in my home town for too long, it’s nice to catch up with my friends and remember the school days and my roots. One of my best friends even got engaged! Made me feel quite old lol. 

Some of you might not know this but I’m quite the guitar freak and love to experiment with different sounds and pedals. Even though most of these pedals only involve a few simple electronic circuits, they can be super expensive! I’ve already spent too much of my modest savings on these toys and I can’t afford to buy more. Therefore, I decided to learn how to solder and build these pieces of metal myself (super interesting right?). A few YouTube tutorials later I already had a good idea of which equipment I’d need and soon I bought a pretty neat soldering machine for little money second hand. Capacitors, diodes, resistors, input jacks, foot switches and much more … all ordered from Aliexpress for little money as well. I’ve already started my first build and I fucked up some parts instantly. Anyway, I’ll let you know soon about my progress! Maybe we’ll create some peach pedals in the future 😉

[Emil] Even though I didn’t live here for the first ten years of my life, I would still consider Vienna to be my home town. It’s not my happy place though, in fact, it’s quite the opposite! [WARNING OPINION HERE] To me it seems like people are always stressed out, mainly because they work a lot during the week and then drink too much on the weekends so they never get to recharge their batteries. And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing since we returned from our last trip.

At first I had a bunch of energy stored from our adventures in Spain that I harnessed into my creative flow, helping us write and record our new songs, but that energy slowly started decaying until it recently disappeared altogether. Now I feel tired, sluggish and lifeless. A lack of sleep is the main contributor to this strange mix of feelings. I’ve been eating clean and exercising, so those parts should be in check. One of the things that are keeping me going is the thought of leaving Vienna mid November. We’re moving to Tenerife and that’s exactly what I need right now – after all, I would have to go into hibernation over here and that’s not a suitable state to make music in, let alone to exist in. Of course I am being dramatic, but in essence that’s how I feel right now. 

There certainly are underlying issues that make it hard for me to be happy in Vienna and I am running away from my problems to some degree, however, I recently was able to solve two of those issues instead of turning my back on them: One, I finally finished my internship in software engineering and twooo, I officially finished my degree at university! I honestly never thought I would see the day, but it’s really here and that makes me happy. Once again, I always thought that I would somehow feel different after graduating college, but I don’t and I’m still the same old Emil, stressed out over tiny issues that nobody would even think about. When we were living in Spain earlier this year, I felt alive, even though on paper I was under way more pressure than I am now, juggling four rather large tasks at once. Now I’m pretty much only working on peach tinted with Lou, but I feel a lot worse than a few months ago, so my big hope is to regain my spirit down in Tenerife and to go back to feeling alive.

Some of the moments in my life during which I felt the most alive were live performances with my old band. I recently started looking into planning our live show for peach tinted and that has been another much needed source of joy and excitement. The technical side of playing a show with only two people on stage is quite complex, but as you can imagine that’s exactly my cup of tea. We’re pretty sure that we’ll be using “ableton live” as the soft(ware) heart of our performances, aided by a piece of hardware called the “ableton push” – a metal box with buttons and knobs that lets us control what is being played by the computer vs. what we want to play live on stage. I’ve also started looking at other more boring equipment that we’ll also be needing, like stage headphones and various stands.. yikes. Both Lou and I are huge proponents of buying gear used, so I think we should be able to afford the stuff we need.. at least for now.

Lou on guitar, talking to friends
Emil recording some fire
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Homecoming

After seven incredible months our time on the Iberian peninsula finally came to an end. The last weeks in Razo were super sweet, even though the weather wasn’t the best in Galicia; the beautiful green landscape made up for that though, imagine Ireland but it’s in Spain and warm from time to time – insanely peaceful up there! Not only did we manage to get a lot of administrative and promotional stuff done for peach tinted, but Emil finally finished his degree in Computer Science. Hack hack! Both of us wrote some more demos for our upcoming releases as well, which is something we’re super excited for.

The waves in Razo were among the best we had during our entire trip, the water was surprisingly warm and “soft” – not sure if that description makes sense to you. Unfortunately Emil destroyed his surfboard again, the third time during this trip already! He won’t become best friends with that board anytime soon. Lots of swear words were heard at the beach that day, much to the astonishment of local Spaniards enjoying a beer at a beachfront cafe. In comparison to Cortegaca there were way more people in the water and we barely talked to them. Interestingly, the more people there are, the more anonymous a place can make you feel, probably because you can melt into the background when surrounded by large crowds.

Gustavo got a checkup at the local mechanic’s shop – and lord, this guy knew what he was doing. He immediately fixed a rattling issue that we thought was terminal for free and also found an additional issue that needed to be fixed. An investment of €60 later and Gustavo drove like a completely different vehicle, ready for the long way home!

Louis left Razo a week early due to his mother’s 60th birthday – can’t miss that! So while Louis was chilling in the Austrian countryside, Emil was working like a machine on his bachelor’s thesis, constantly on the verge of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Within a week he was able to finish his paper, pretty stressful times. Additionally, there was a large forest fire right next to our house so Emil had to evacuate. He was certainly thankful to have a vehicle he could sleep in. The last five days of thesis writing were done in Gustavo, which could have been cozier, especially considering that all of our equipment along with FIVE surfboards that our friends conveniently left behind as well as two bicycles were stacked to the ceiling inside of the van.

On September 5th, Emil finally hit the road after one last surf session and began his adventurous journey from the Western tip of Galicia back to Vienna. He immediately broke his phone charger and therefore got lost somewhere around A Coruña, trying to navigate via a map he had saved on his laptop. After spending a weekend without a phone in the area, he finally began travelling east, and picked up a new (used) amplifier for Louis on the way, somewhere close to Doniños/San Sebastian. The two guys who sold him the amp were super nice and acted very surprised when they found out that we are two Austrians buying second hand equipment in Spain. One final night was spent in Spain and then Emil drove up North-East into France. He found himself racing through the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, soaking up some sweet morning rays that soon turned into blistering heat, melting him to the RV’s seat – after all, Gustavo doesn’t have air conditioning lol. This didn’t stop him from driving, but rather encouraged him to get the trip over with asap, covering more than 900 Km (550 Miles) on that day alone. Emil spent a night next to the motorway in France, close to Dijon and then drove on towards Vienna. After traversing Germany at insane speeds he made it to Austria and eventually back home where Louis was expecting him. We were finally reunited after Emil had travelled over 1100 Km on the last day of his trip. [ED TRIGGER WARNING] He managed to survive his long driving shifts by sticking to a strict diet consisting of hummus, Swedish crackers and decaf diet coke, the latter being the most important component by far. When he arrived at home, he had listened to a total of 32 hours of podcasts. Lou helped Emil move all of our equipment back into Emil’s Studio/Apartment and just like that the entire Iberian experience was over for both of us.

The first thing Emil noticed after his return was the significant drop in temperature compared to Spain. It’s been quite cold and somewhat rainy here in Austria recently, which sucks but also motivates us to organize and move to a warmer place as soon as possible. We do have some destinations in mind, but we’re not gonna tell and jinx ourselves again, like we have done with our close friends. Isn’t it the worst when you tell people about plans and then they ask later and you have to tell them that they didn’t work out? Gross. One thing we will say is that we’re trying to get a tiny tour bus for the two of us, so we can get around easily within Europe and have a car that we can sleep in. Unfortunately we’re gonna have to put Gustavo up for sale, he’s just too large for us – so if you know anybody who’s trying to buy an 80s RV, let us know.

Emil walking to Gustavo after a surf session, with the forest fire commencing in the background. Our house was right there on that hill 😮
The route that Emil drove to get back home. The letters “x” mark the spots where he slept.
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Razo da Costa

Currently we’re in Razo da Costa, a tiny yet lively village at the coast in Galicia. Our house is cheap but quite large so we have enough space now to set up our studio and record demos. The beach in Razo is quite known in the area for its great waves, and hell yeah we’re definitely taking advantage of that! We already got washing machined a few times but our spirits are still high – that’s part of the sport! Since our friends who accompanied us in Portugal are gone now we have a lot of time for ourselves and for working on the music project. Within a short amount of time we got a lot of stuff done and are confident to write new songs. This weekend we drove to Coruña and enjoyed a cool public concert by the Spanish band Triángulo de Amor Bizarro.

Also, we finally took some time to add a bunch of stuff to this website, so have a look around if you feel like it – the gallery section is def worth it. Also working on something suuuuper sweet that isn’t music related, so check back soon for that. We were a bit shocked when we recently discovered that this site has had over a thousand visitors in total yet we never put anything up here. We’ll be posting regular updates here from now on and the gallery will grow over time as well. This page here is like a blog, so if you scroll down you’ll see older posts. Thanks for reading!

View from the mountain we’re staying on. Got washed soo hard in those waves lol.

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Cortegaça

After three incredible months of staying in our beloved bungalow we had to move on and find a new home. We had planned to leave anyway but the nice lady who rented the bungalow to us actually moved it off site right after we left, so weirdly enough we were the last people to ever stay there! Due to the high rental prices in Andalusia in summer we had to look for cheaper options and found a nice apartment in a small village in the North of Portugal. Still used to the warmth of Andalusia we were shocked by the rough and cold weather in Portugal. Wind, clouds, rain and an average temperature of around 20 degrees celsius welcomed us. Imagine having a beer on the beach in a t-shirt at night one day and then wearing a fully fleeced-out Jack Wolfskin jacket the next night in Portugal. It took a while to get used to these conditions, however, we still managed to have fun in Cortegaca. From time to time the waves would be really good and allowed for some great surfing sessions. There were not many people in the water and the ones who were out there were exceptionally friendly. In general, we found Portuguese people to be the friendliest we’ve ever met in all of Europe. Also, Porto turned out to be an absolutely amazing city with lots of cool neighborhoods and options for going out. However, this wasn’t enough to counterbalance the rough weather and the limited cuisine (yup, we’re not fans, sorry!). 

It was cool to stay in Portugal and get to know another culture, but all in all we were happy to move on to the North of Spain in August.

Look at us wearing jackets in July…
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El Palmar

In order to finish his degree in Computer Science, Emil had to complete an internship in the same field for at least 3 months. Since his university allowed to do this either in Austria or abroad, Emil took this opportunity and organized a remote 6 month internship in Spain. This gave him the freedom to leave his home and hit the road. In February 2021 Emil drove all the way down from Vienna to the South of Spain with a close school friend and his “new” RV Gustavo, a Fiat from the 1980s. Since Louis’ classes at University were all online he joined the two in March 2021. Through a local real estate website we managed to rent a tiny, sweet bungalow close to the beach in a small town called El Palmar. In fact, El Palmar is an informal settlement and most houses are actually mobile and not connected to the electricity net and sewerage. Our bungalow was one of these mobile houses, counting 30 square meters in total and powered by large solar panels on the roof. El Palmar also happens to be a surfer paradise, a reason that led to our decision to move there. The three months of our stay were some of the best times of our lives; enjoying the warmth and sunshine combined with surfing, hustling for work/university and mixing for peach tinted was all we did. And we miss every bit of it. 

The best part of our stay down there was the time we didn’t have Gustavo because he was getting fixed somewhere in Sevilla after breaking down there (engine failure). All we had were our two ancient bikes that we used to run all of our errands. To get our clothes washed we would have to cycle to a laundromat eleven kilometers from our bungalow, with all of our threads in backpacks and additional bags. We’d pick up a nice treat from our favorite grocery store (MERCADONA) on the way back every time though, something like fresh salmon, crunch muesli, fuet, jamon iberico or our favorite wine coto imaz.

La playa de Palmar. Our friend Alex came to visit.

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The pandemic and Cinematic Youth

This might sound bad, but the pandemic actually impacted us in a very positive way and gave us the opportunity to work together more intensely than ever before. Louis left Paris and flew back to Vienna since all of his on-site classes were cancelled so that the both of us could spend more time in the studio in Vienna. From March to June 2020 Louis snuck out of the house daily and met up with Emil to finish mixing and mastering. The city was dead and often Louis found himself alone in the streets, trying to get to Emil’s place without being stopped by the police.

In early June 2020 we had finished the Cinematic Youth EP and needed to shoot our cover pic. Louis came up with the bizarre idea to hang from an outdoor gym bar/getting splashed with peach tinted paint, symbolizing the contrast between heavy themes and joy. After some online research we found the perfect spot in Vienna’s 22nd district, a neighborhood we barely knew. To not disturb the locals at the outdoor gym (which is located next to a playground) we decided to go there at dawn with a group of friends to film us and splash the paint. At 5am on some random day we drove there and managed to complete the entire shoot in around 50 minutes. It was hella fun and we remember the process clearly as if it was yesterday. Nobody saw and after cleaning up the mess we went home covered in sticky paint from head to toe. It took both of us several hours and multiple showers to get that stuff off of our bodies, but we did have the foresight to ask our local paint dealer (why does that sound illegal haha) if it was safe to pour the stuff over our skin. The guy in the shop didn’t act surprised at all, apparently Austrians like to play with paint, who knew..

The cover was shot on real film, an old 35mm Nikon Camera, operated by Emil’s sister Sophie. To make sure that we would get a picture no matter what, we had our friend Maxi take backup pics on a digital camera. He ended up shooting some cool behind the scenes stuff, here are some of those he took during and right after:

The first pour.
All peachy

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Almeria

In September of 2019 Louis started his master’s degree in Paris and we did not have the opportunity to work together in the studio anymore. Therefore, we organized a trip in winter 2019/20 to Almeria in the Spanish region of Andalusia. Over there it’s warm and sunny even in winter, something impossible for Vienna or Paris. We stayed there for a total of 2 weeks before moving on to an even smaller town called La Herradura. We absolutely fell in love with Almeria, a wonderful mid-sized town at the coast, full of friendly people, affordable cuisine and great nightlife. During this time we worked intensely on EP1 (“Cinematic Youth”) and EP2 (“Peach Tinted”) – Yes, EP2 was already written back then, 16 months before its release. EP1 was inspired by the time before the trip, full of melancholy and dark feelings, while EP2 was more of a result of the fun trip. Again, our equipment was very minimalistic on this trip, a 150$ guitar, an interface, a few cheap pedals and a Roland Cube were all we brought (however, that was enough to record the lead melody of Roller Coaster!)

La Herradura is a summer vacation hot spot on the Mediterranean coast that was almost completely empty when we went there in winter. The lines are getting a bit blurry because of the pandemic leaving places empty as well, but I’m pretty sure there was no pandemic back then.

Also, Europe’s only desert is located just behind Almeria. We went there to take some pics but didn’t actually end up finding the spot lol. We got some shots on a random hill close by though. Here’s not one of them:

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Beginnings of Peach Tinted

Even though we’ve worked together on a few different music projects (never to be revealed) from 2017 onward, we did not take it seriously until mid 2018. Back then, both Emil and I went through chaotic times, not knowing what to do in our lives and hopping from one personal low to another. Additionally, both of us experienced some pretty bad heartbreak / toxic relationships that year, not making the situation any easier. Something had to change and therefore we bundled our energy to focus on something we loved, creating music. Our budget was low and our equipment was basic, not allowing for the best possible production quality. Additionally, we were not the most experienced in mixing and mastering, skills we’d still need to acquire in the following months and years. Consequently, we had to think strategically about how we could develop these skills while also gaining some traction; after all, we’ve been studying at the same time and appreciated any extra revenue we could make – tutoring gigs or allowance money are not a sustainable source of revenue and we wanted to be independent.

As a result, we focused on making instrumental lofi beats, a niche genre that experienced great growth at that time. In no time we wrote and recorded a few lofi songs, Taro La being the first one. Fun fact: Taro La doesn’t really mean anything, the name is derived from a YouTube video called “The Art of Landscape”. However, mixing and mastering took wayyyy longer than expected and we did not manage to release Taro La on Spotify before June 2019. Partially this was due to the fact that we did not work together on the task as Emil traveled around Los Angeles and the United States’ west coast while Louis was doing an internship in Manila. 

We were incredibly stoked when we finally released our first lofi beats on streaming services. Within a short amount of time we received amazing support from some wonderful people, including twitch streamer Klean. Less than two months in we had more than 20’000 monthly listeners on Spotify, something we would have never imagined before. Driven by this excitement we released 14 lofi beats in total until December 2019 before we felt like it was time to move on and work in the genre we truly identify with.

Sitting on a dock in Punat, Croatia, Probably talking about deep stuff. At this point we had already written some of our lofi tracks.
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Early Days

We met in high school at the age of 10 (yes, high school starts that early in Austria) and were classmates for 8 consecutive years. The school we went to is a rather strict catholic institution in the heart of Vienna, full of tradition and conservative values. We often felt like we did not belong there. In fact, Emil and I were not the closest friends in school, even though we happened to play in the same blues rock band for a while before Louis left the band due to quarrels with the other guitar player.

Our friendship did not develop further until the age of 18 when both of us started mandatory community service at a local ambulance service. Austria is still quite old fashioned and all boys have to serve the country for six (military) to nine (community service) months after graduating from high school. We did not enjoy this time a lot and our mutual aversion connected us. After these nine months, Emil started studying at the local university of technology while Louis started his degree in business administration and went abroad.

Waay back when we were two babies
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