Deb Never breaks down her Intermission project, track-by-track
After premiering her new EP via an incredible i-N SESSION set last night, your favourite LA emo explains everything.
image via Deb Never
Last night, LA-based artist Deb Never took over i-D’s Instagram with an i-N SESSION performance of her new lockdown project, Intermission. Moving around a studio space decked out with coloured lights, a really great sofa and a close collaborator, the 26-year-old shared a collection of songs she wrote and recorded entirely during quarantine. It was intimate. It was awesome. It was very Nirvana on MTV Unplugged. With the aim of supporting healthcare workers currently saving lives, Deb is selling the acoustic-leaning EP on BandCamp, with all proceeds going to Direct Relief.
“I didn’t initially intend on turning this into a project,” Deb tells i-D, “but I wanted to do something to help the nurses and doctors who work hard and risk themselves everyday during the pandemic. I have a mother and sister who are nurses and who I wish could work safely from home but they don’t have a choice.” More stripped back than what fans might be used to from Deb, the songs span all-too-familiar topics like solitude and post-apocalyptic scenarios.
“This is a special collection of songs to me because of the process -- making the tracks was my escape during a heavy time in the world,” she continues. “I think isolation naturally drew out an intimate sound in the songs and that to me holds its own moment; it’s special. It lives in a certain time and it only felt right to share, hopefully this can be someone else’s escape too.”
Ever keen to know the story behind the music, we asked Deb to talk us through Intermission...
“It was around 11am I had just woken up. While waiting for the coffee to brew, I picked up the guitar and it was crazy out of tune but sounded kinda nice. So I hit record on my phone, started playing and that voice memo is what you’re hearing on this record. I was feeling particularly blue that day.”
“This was the catalyst for the whole project. It was the first song from INTERMISSION that I wrote in quarantine during a time where I was feeling fragile.”
“At one point I was watching a lot of 90s and early 2000s movies in bed. I was so inspired by that nostalgic playing-in-your-mom’s-garage sound that I had to make a track that would fulfill my need to yell into a mic.”
“A year and a half ago I met Nedarb and we made this song. I kinda sang off the top of my head while he was playing these chords and that’s what we ended up recording. I’ve always wanted to put this out but couldn’t find the right time until now.”
In My Head (Interlude)
“I wanted this song to feel like the moment in the project where things shift from day to night. It’s 3am, you’re high, you’re drowsy, the room is spinning, it’s dead silent and you’re alone with your thoughts.”
“This song is how April felt to me.”
End of the World
“Back in London around January it was cold, rainy and I was exhausted running off of no sleep making this track with Hoskins and the 23rd in a basement. I was mad anxious, about to crash, and it felt like the world was gonna end. So that’s what I wrote; about an anxiety attack. This track fit the tone of INTERMISSION and the world outside so I finished it.”
“This was the last song I wrote, last minute and a week before INTERMISSION's release. It’s about the moments in quarantine where I’ve felt extremely lonely and kinda like ‘what’s the point?’ with everything.”