Eighteen months since her last release, EFÉ has been busy. Her just dropped single ‘Truth☆Truth’ is the start of something big. Read and listen with our latest Hype playlist cover feature.
Words: Neive McCarthy.
Photos: Adam Kelleher.
EFÉ has been biding her time. Thinking, planning, contemplating. She’s been sat a bit away from the edge, musing on what she’ll do when she reaches it. Now, perched on the precipice, she’s ready to take a leap of faith.
Nearly eighteen months since her last release, she’s back with another richly colourful world to step into. Her new single ‘Truth☆Truth’ marks a new side of EFÉ – one that comes after over a year of learning to not hold back, and lean into what it is you’ve been dreaming of. It feels like the start of something new.
“I’ve been trying to figure out the sound and what is next in terms of music that I release – what’s the visual representation of what I want to put out?” EFÉ explains over Zoom. “I think the hardest part of making music is always finishing the actual song. I think I’m learning that you have to go and get what it is that you want.”
When it came to jumpstarting this new era of EFÉ, it turns out what she wanted was something bigger – something rockier, something more intense and brooding and in line with the music she loved. Her last release, the ‘VITAMIN – C’ EP, was a sparkling step into a technicolour bright universe – all breezy, lush vocals and hazy soundscapes that made it feel like a dreamworld.
‘Truth☆Truth’ is cast in a different hue entirely. Its muted beginning quickly makes it evident that it will not stay quite so restrained, giving itself over to guitars that create a release that leaves you grinning. It’s a route EFÉ has wanted to take for a while.
“I hinted at the rock direction that I wanted to go even with ‘Loving Girl’,” she recalls. “I have a lot of rock influences, but I was scared to go full-on with that. ‘Truth☆Truth’ is me being able to actually really go for it. It’s heavier, the guitars are grittier, it’s cooler. What I loved about it was the excitement I felt every time I listened to it; even in its demo stages, I was still like, ‘Woah, I feel like this could hit’.”
Hit it does – ‘Truth☆Truth’ continues to bring cathartic release, a statement of not settling for people who won’t change their ways and won’t choose honesty. It’s a new injection of life into EFÉ’s sound, born largely from the realisation that she could create the things she really loves, too. Following that glee and passion is transformative for the track.
“It’s heavier, the guitars are grittier, it’s cooler”EFÉ
“I found this artist named Tommy february6, a Japanese artist who was also in a band called the brilliant green. the brilliant green is way rockier than her alter ego. I realised I could just do this – I could make the guitars crazier if I want, I could make this what I actually want to be. It gave me the courage to do it. I was listening to Hole. I think it’s just something I genuinely love in music. It was a big push to just do it. I don’t know why I’m scared about it, but it was a matter of, you have to do it. With everything, I’ll know how to package it so it looks cool, and I’m happy with it. If I’m happy with it, that’s all that matters.”
With a keen part to play in the creative world she makes, EFÉ has become a master of building a specific aesthetic and world for her music to exist in. Her music videos have always been interesting, but as she continues to prioritise creative control and bring that genius into all aspects of her music, she is able to make an inimitable experience. Each individual track becomes its own entity and concept in her hands. The result with ‘Truth☆Truth’ is formidable, and this approach has become EFÉ’s focus moving forward.
“I want to do cool singles and build a world around it”EFÉ
“I’m in a stage where I just want to do singles,” says EFÉ. “I kept doing EPs, but I want to have fun. I want to do cool singles and build a world around it. I have a music video for this song, I have photos – I want to focus on the song and make it as cool and huge as possible. I really want to build worlds around the singles and build excitement around them. I think singles allow the freedom for it to feel fun, and you don’t have to be completely cohesive. For me, I always want a project to feel cohesive, so with this, I can venture out and do different things that still feel like me at the end of the day.”
‘Truth☆Truth’ has that verifiable EFÉ stamp amongst the visuals, even as her sound seems to take giant steps into new territory. The video initially sees her perched in a garden, fairy-like and fantastical, before it flits between cheerleaders, her and her band, the girls getting ready. It refuses to be tied to a singular aesthetic yet still manages to be connected and equally magical throughout.
“I had a lot of inspirations for the video and a lot of ideas,” she explains, pulling up her Letterboxd account and citing Kamikaze Girls, Linda Linda Linda and Swing Girls as finding their way into the look of the video in some ways. “It was myself and a director named Aisha, we co-directed. I think the whole fairy garden aesthetic has been tied to me as EFÉ. I saw the No Doubt video for ‘Don’t Speak’ – they were in a garden, shimmering, and it was so cool. I wanted to implement those little cool things that they did in the garden scene into my music video. I just loved it.”
Specificity and niches are key to understanding the creative force of EFÉ – each moment in her music and visuals are pulled from such moments in art that have prompted something in her. Even amidst the fear that has made her somewhat reluctant before, EFÉ is safe in the knowledge now that pursuing her own loves and passions and creating something that truly serves to make her proud is fundamental for her. “No one will know me as well as myself,” she concludes.
Determined to carve her own path, ‘Truth☆Truth’ sees EFÉ bravely set out on this new trail – with the pure possibilities of what she can do, it is set to veer and wind unpredictably. Inevitably, though, it will end with something truly, truly great. ■
EFÉ’s single ‘Truth☆Truth’ is out now. Follow Dork’s Hype Spotify playlist here.