“I feel like I’m finally comfortable in my own skin—warts and all,” Nicole Turley confesses. “There's a grace and ease to self-acceptance that's really nice.”
This state of balance in being had a crucial effect upon the 34 year old musician’s process in making Deities in Decline, her newest EP as Swahili Blonde. Founded as Turley’s solo project in 2009, Swahili Blonde has always involved a varied and multi-talented collective of musical contributors across its releases—including guitarist John Frusciante, Duran Duran bassist John Taylor, Slits guitarist Viv Albertine, Devo drummer Alan Myers, as well as Los Angeles scene staples Brad Caulkins (Fool’s Gold), Laena Geronimo (Feels, The Like, Raw Geronimo), and Dante White Aliano (Dante vs. Zombies). This particular release, Turley sees as being her first true solo venture. Although she produces and engineers all Swahili Blonde albums in her Los Angeles studio, this marks the first time she has performed everything herself, alongside the string stylings of Laena Geronimo.
Across the EP’s four tracks, Turley examines the concept of unrealistically idolizing the people in our lives we love most. “Whether they love us or hurt us, they become our gods,” she explains. “We build these beautiful temples for them, but because of the delusional energy, it must all come crashing down. For our own good.” On lead track “With Love and a Bullet,” Turley begins to tear down the pedestal, challenging the audience, as well as herself: “Why is it so hard?” she asks interrogatively, over electronic beats, dubby bass lines, and the luscious loops of Geronimo’s violin. “Why is it never enough?” Experimental pop with an emotional home, Deities in Decline is Turley seizing power through self-realization. “The tarot Tower card was a big inspiration. It's a decline of delusional power and the harm it causes us and the ones we love,” she notes. The EP also delves into familial themes on “Discover Aurora,” a song of hope Turley wrote for her goddaughter, in-which she inspires Aurora to “find her tribe of people, be fearless, and have the courage to be herself.”
Deities in Decline will be released July 21, 2015 on Turley’s own label Neurotic Yell Records. A follow up Swahili Blonde LP is expected late 2015.