Daniel Lee and April Aliermo recorded Phèdre's breakout debut with Airick Woodhead of Doldrums. They’re down to a duo for the follow-up, Golden Age, but they’re adamant that Phèdre is not a two-piece band. Instead, it’s a loose, amorphous project that spontaneously sucks in any of their friends who happen to enter their orbit. To celebrate this week’s release of their futuristic electro-psych opus Golden Age, we asked April and Dan to share some work by a couple of the friends who helped shape the album in their dreary-winter Berlin apartment. You can read/listen/watch below, then check out UNCHARTED: Phèdre.
APRIL ALIERMO: Scott Harwood a.k.a Ken Park is one of our closest and coolest pals. We made friends with him in Berlin, where he watched the entirety of Golden Age come to life. He would sit in our living room and listen to me and Daniel argue about the tiniest little sounds. He would be the first person we would blast our new songs for. Scott would feel them right out and always gave us honest opinions. He made us feel awesome when we felt like we were going nowhere. He'd give in to us coercing him into late night drink breaks at A-Umlaut. He even wrote “Sunday Someday” with us:
I really appreciate having Scott around, not only because he is funny as hell and sweet as fuck, but because he is super socially aware. He constantly empathizes with all the sexist bullshit women still face in this world, he fully acknowledges the privilege and power he has as a white man, and is very sensitive towards issues of gender and race. Whenever I feel like a psycho feminist bitch he reminds me that I'm not and encourages me to keep fighting the good fight.
Scott has an awesome project called Ken Park that you should all check out. He's coming on our mini-tour with us when we get back home.
DANIEL LEE: Leah Gold was also living with us in Berlin during that time. Leah is an all-around creative type and positive person. She is an insanely determined and magnificent dancer, and contributes a lot to Phèdre live performances and videos. She ran a playschool with April, and has worked a lot in childhood education. And she is a highly accomplished visual artist.
Recently, Leah developed a style for her visual artwork that really resonated with her, and it was in Berlin where she explored it for an exhibition of her work. While we wrote and recorded she would be by the window working on majestic masterpieces of bears (the Berlin Animal), and giving us feedback and encouragement. She lent her vocal talents to “Atomic Love”, in which she sang the "oohs":
We also ate a lot together. Leah is very good at eating, as Phèdre is, so we get along very well in that regard. I also convinced her that she is racist against lobsters, and she tenderly and sadly concurred, "I guess I am racist against lobsters." It was an emotional moment.