by Andrew Doty
Wormwood is a dream-inducing IDM duo from London, Ontario. They released their debut album in 2013 before signing with Austin-based label punctum records in preparation for their upcoming Microdot EP. Vocalist Christina Willatt and I swapped a few emails to talk about her lyric-writing process and Wormwood's compositional approach.
Andrew Doty: How did Wormwood form? How did you meet Andrew [Wenaus]?
Christina Willatt: Andrew and I met in high school and started experimenting with home recording, electronics, and songwriting. None of these experiments were intended for public release, but over time, as these experiments started to sound good, we decided to release Sunfloating, an album of material we had worked on from 2009–2013 (though "Utopia" was 2007). Originally, we wanted to combine our love of instrumental electronic music and musique concrète textures with poetry/lyrics. We were and are always fascinated with the idea of playing with song form. Typically, we approach each song in its own terms, so some may have a freer or through-composed nature ("Sunfloating"), while others resemble more conventional pop song forms ("Jawbone"). Most of the poems are written before we start working on the music. Then I sculpt them to fit our formal plans and the feel of a song as it begins to take shape. I tend to write a lot of poetry in fragments and short forms, so often one song will be an amalgam of pre-existing texts. "Leaves Like Lemons," for example, was made from two poems. The longer makes up the verses, while the shorter is the chorus. In "Jawbone," the text is comprised of fragments from three poems, combined with a list of words, all of which relate to the word "carry;" this process was inspired by British writer Jeff Noon's Metamorphiction (a writing technique that remixes text). Usually I am trying to create a unified whole out of fragments.