Three years is a long time in music, but Patience helps when you’re formulating your new sound.
The new moniker of Roxanne Clifford, Patience has been experimenting with sculpted synth-pop since the official demise of her former band, Veronica Falls, back in 2016.
Early tasters included sold-out singles The Pressure and White of an Eye, which exposed Roxanne’s sleeker sonic position and her growing love for both digital and analogue kit.
Fast forward to 2019 and Dizzy Spells, her first solo LP, arrives laden with electro kitsch and emotional sway.
Cooked up in her new hometown of LA, and drawing in kindred spirits Todd Edwards (Daft Punk), Lewis Cook (Free Love/Happy Meals) and engineer Misha Hering (Virginia Wing), it channels Roxanne’s transatlantic displacement and the excitement of new beginnings.
Here, we get the skinny on its making, life as a soloist and what drew her to the analogue soundworld…
What first inspired your new project, Patience?
Patience started as a way for me to playfully explore a different outlet for my songwriting. I had spent a long time playing in guitar bands and there was a certain formula to how I had learned to construct and execute a song, I felt like challenging that, incorporating new sounds and techniques. I placed no expectations on the project at all and that felt very freeing. The initial inspirations musically mainly came from a bunch of overly emotional female italo disco songs that I loved, avant pop like Anna Domino, Berntholer, AC Marias and Laurie Anderson.
How did it feel to work on your own for the first time?
There are pros and cons to being a solo artist. I for one love input from other people and I thrive off the collective power of a band dynamic. In Veronica Falls, I would often bring the basis of the song to the band but the final product would be something new and a complete sum of its parts, it feels magical to have others help you transform what is initially your own vision into a shared one. So I miss that but it was also important for me to explore what I could do completely on my own terms, with no pressure and to have fun with it.
How have your experiences in Veronica Falls influenced your solo work?
The biggest influence was probably that I felt no desire to quickly embark on forming a new band full of humans after Veronica Falls disbanded, that’s not because I was traumatised by the experience but finding that special combination of people to form a band (that I want to be in) doesn’t come along very often, it takes a huge amount of synchronicity to make something special and I don’t underestimate how lucky that is to find. That being said, it can also be very emotionally taxing on a personal level, so taking a breather and going it alone felt like a good move for me.
What drew you to experiment with analogue synths?
It just felt like a natural step. I love so much music that was made with synthesizers and drum machines but I had never explored that direction myself. I felt excited to access this world of new sounds and possibilities, everything to learn and nothing to prove.
Can you tell us about the thinking behind Dizzy Spells?
Dizzy Spells came together in a disparate and somewhat disjointed manner, I see it as more of a ‘the story so far’ for Patience. It’s a portrait of me figuring things out as I go along, finishing one song at a time like a diary of sorts. Most of the songs were made in different places at different times and I needed a title that summed up these separate events acting as a whole.
How and when did it all come together?
It came together gradually in the last couple of years. I recorded some of the songs in Glasgow with my friend Lewis Cook of Free Love, some with Todd Edwards in LA and various other people plus on my own at home.
It’s coming out via Night School Records – how did that come about?
Michael who runs Night School is an old friend of mine. I would send him my demos when I first started working on the project and he’s been very supportive. Night School has a great roster that I’m proud to be part of.
What do you make of the independent music scene in the UK at the moment – are there any particular artists or labels you’re particularly excited about?
I’m very excited about what my friends Virginia Wing and Free Love are doing right now in their live shows and recordings, both of their most recent albums are brilliantly pop yet boundary pushing. Also love what I’ve heard of the new Keel Her recordings so far and blown away by the punk band Childs Pose.
What’s next for you?
I’m writing new songs, I plan to collaborate more on this one and incorporate more live musical elements, which I can also utilise in my live show. Hoping to release my next record pretty swiftly.
Dizzy Spells by Patience is out now via Night School Records
Upcoming live shows
13 June – Poetry Club, Glasgow
18 June – Moth Club, London