The Wireless presents the premiere of Junica's new single 'Looking Out'.
It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Junica. Former Over The Atlantic member Nik Brinkman released his debut solo album under the name way back in 2012, and apart from a very low-key sprinkling of new tracks here and there, you may have been wondering where he’s been. We were curious too.
It’s best to start at the beginning. Nik recorded a follow-up to The Celebration in late 2013, but decided to scrap the record before it saw the light of day. “It ended up being quite a personal set of songs,” he says. “So I decided to keep that album private.”
Putting the lost album behind him, the Wellington-based musician says that these days he’s more inclined to collaborate with other musicians that might be able to steer his ideas in a fresh direction.
I’ve made a conscious effort to stop being a ‘solo’ artist as much as I can, as I sometimes find myself going in circles when I work alone.
“I’ve made a conscious effort to stop being a ‘solo’ artist as much as I can, as I sometimes find myself going in circles when I work alone. It’s kinda like travelling alone, you don’t get to share the experience with anyone but yourself. I find it more interesting to create songs with other people.”
Which brings us to ‘Looking Out’. Ex-Mint Chicks/Opossom vocalist Kody Nielson, who is now working behind the moniker of retro-futurist act Silicon, produced the track and helped to push it away from the shoegaze guitar sound that Nik had gone for in an early demo of the song.
“I wanted to take the song in a new direction and I thought Kody would be a great fit for this. We stripped the song back quite a bit, and tried to give it more space.
“I’d love to write with Kody again as it was a pretty easy session and was fun to play around in new musical territory. I always like seeing the different work flows people have, and how they get from Point A to B.”
Nik began working on it about a year ago and says that “it’s basically a song about facing change, and how fear can hold you back from doing what you really want to do with your life.”
The release of the track follows him recently teaming-up with Sam McCarthy from Strange Babes. The former Kids of 88 vocalist, who is now based in Echo Park in Los Angeles, was initially meant to produce ‘Looking Out’, but unable to time it right, Nik ended up approaching Kody instead. Eventually, when Nik was last in LA, him and Sam did manage to knock out a new one called ‘Million Years From Now’.
Among other things, Nik’s also been filling in the time since The Celebration by releasing the Dreamworld EP (put out under his own name) and he even made his first short film, I’m Only Dreaming, which was also shot in LA. More recently, his main focus in on developing the ‘Ghostwriters Collective’ website, which he plans to launch early in 2016.
The idea of releasing full albums seems slightly archaic to me at times, and I like the instant feel of singles, and how you don’t have to make things sound ‘cohesive’.
“It's a curated collective of musicians that can use the site as a platform to present and release new songs - collaborations, one off tracks, or instrumentals. It will be an outlet to explore new territories and try ideas that have no external pressure to them - labels, management, publishers, radio etc,” he says.
“The idea of releasing full albums seems slightly archaic to me at times, and I like the instant feel of singles, and how you don’t have to make things sound ‘cohesive’.”
Despite the new approach, there will be more new Junica on the way at some point. Nik’s been sitting on the last two songs he recorded in New York with producer Mark Saunders, who worked on albums from The Cure, Depeche Mode and Siouxsie and the Banshees. From there, it’s simple. He hopes to head back to California to keep the run of songs coming.
“I am half-American after all, so it feels like my second home in a strange, deep-rooted kinda way.”