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Getting to Know: Inky Nite

Brighton-based band Inky Nite began as a lockdown project with husband-wife duo Flick and Jim West making dreamy alt-pop anthems in their seaside flat as the weeks blurred indistinguishably into one.

While their melody-rich songwriting takes cues from Fleetwood Mac and Kate Bush, the hazy backdrop is a vibrant cocktail shaker of other influences. Combining 80s-tinged Juno synths, shimmering guitar and vintage drum samples, their sonic recipe mixes a measure of Metronomy, a splash of the Stranger Things soundtrack and a twist of Twin Shadow before being topped up with Blood Orange.

Named after the duo’s daughter, For Raya is their new three-track debut EP, which was bedroom-recorded and mixed and mastered by Kristofer Harris (Belle & Sebastian, Bear’s Den, Ghostpoet).

We had a chat with the duo all about the formation of the project, For Raya, their creative process and more. Read the Q&A below.

Hi! Please tell us a bit about yourself and what it was that led you to make music.

Flick: “We’re Flick and Jim West, a husband-wife duo making dreamy alt-pop songs in our little Brighton flat. We met playing a gig at Bournemouth’s Sixty Million Postcards in 2010 and after a decade of dilly-dallying and abandoning Garageband projects, we finally actually finished making some music together just after the pandemic struck. And with that, Inky Nite was born!”

Who/what were you influenced by growing up?

Jim: “I discovered Linkin Park in Year 7, started watching Kerrang! TV after school with my friend and we formed our first “band” called Hell 4 The Larynx, which was three 12-year-olds armed with a 3/4 size Argos classical guitar and kitchen pots and pans. From there, I was in other bands and was heavily inspired by Marc Bolan and T. Rex, as well as all the indie bands that emerged on MySpace.”

Flick: “I started my music journey a little earlier than Jim… my first gig was on my 3rd birthday in 1993 when I took over the karaoke machine and belted out my fave Dionne Warwick tune! Later, at college, I was in a folk-pop duo with my friend and I was influenced at that time by the likes of Bloc Party, Jack Peñate, Larrikin Love, Cajun Dance Party and The Wombats.”

What can you tell us about your new EP For Raya? What are the songs about and what does it mean to you?

Flick: “‘For Raya’ is our three-track debut EP, which was recorded at home and mixed and mastered by the brilliant Kristofer Harris (Belle and Sebastian, Bear’s Den, Ghostpoet). We made these songs during my pregnancy, so they’re really special to us. The lead single ‘Raya’ is named after our daughter and was played as her entrance music at her birth in the summer of 2021, the follow-up single ‘Dream Totem’ was written prior to that during lockdown 3.0 after watching the film Inception and the last one ‘The Filter and I’ is about people’s relationship with social media.”

What is your creative process like?

Jim: “We pretty much start all our songs with a bass riff or some chords on an acoustic guitar, before diving into recording and adding vintage drum samples, layers of sustained Roland Juno-like synths and chorus-drenched guitar. The melodies and ideas exist as Voice Memos first – we’ve got a bank of hundreds of them from over the years! Most of these are just me humming or singing (badly) into my iPhone mic as I’m walking down the street with traffic noises in the background or forgotten recordings of us jamming in our mid-twenties.”

What do you hope listeners take away from your music?

Flick: “Well, we always kind of strive to create music that’s vibrant, evocative and immersive. Hopefully, it’s something that could be on your favourite nostalgic soundtrack, but that’s also catchy and immediate.”


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