Taylor Swift wasn’t the only one to surprise fans this week. Detroit’s own Blank Slate released their surprise EP, Drifting on Friday.
The band self-recorded the entirety of their release in the bedroom of guitarist Jon Vokal’s home. Drifting was mixed by Boys of Fall vocalist Michael Martenson.
“When I usually sit down to write guitar parts, I always have a lot of pre-planning that goes into it. I would structure out songs very rigidly and have distinct layers for every section,” Vokal explains. “This time around, I would just loop a part that I thought sounded relaxing and just kept adding different things to it until I had a nice 2-3 minute song.”
While this effort takes a softer, “short and sweet” approach in contrast to the bands traditional style, there is much intention to be found with every note and melody.
“Even though it felt very abnormal and outside of our comfort zones to be writing this EP while being apart from each other, I really wanted to convey a sense of the experience of community through isolation in my lyrics,” says vocalist Hannah Boissonneault.
“While simultaneously enjoying the quiet and slowness of a new daily life, navigating joy in this uncertainty, and taking in the silent privileges and blessings I was granted simply by being a supported college student who did not work full-time to sustain an essential business,” she continues. “I was really inspired by everyone around me who constantly were able to come together, create, and exist in a virtual space while endlessly supporting one another.”
Boissonneault can be found showcasing her talent in the song “let it pass”, where she juggles several different melodies working in harmony with one another.
“After some back and forth with the rest of the group, we had a full EP written in under a week” Vokal says. “It was definitely a challenge to show some restraint and write some more straightforward music, but I really love how it ended up. I think the album art, music, and lyrical message all ended up working really great together and conveyed how we were all feeling during this process.”
“Writing parts through a computer program was a brand new experience for me,” drummer Taco Perry says. “It was a more of an analytical/thought out process that was gratifying in its own way.”
“Being able to write music with my friends even though we are scattered across the state is also a challenge that we were able to overcome with modern methods,” he says. “[I am] very proud of what we’re able to accomplish despite our circumstance.”
This release marks Blank Slate’s third EP, and 8th music release overall. It is a follow up to three singles they released in 2019, which marked a significant change in style for the band.
Although all their spring live shows were cancelled, the group says they are looking forward to getting the opportunity to play this new music in front of people once the situation allows for it.
You can stream Drifting on Spotify as well as any other major platform. Follow the band on social media @blankslatemi for more information.