Meet Pickle Darling, the NZ bedroom pop producer heading to SXSW

From the quiet containment of their bedroom to performing on the Ones to Watch stage, Pickle Darling is a project full of highs. The playful spirit of song writer Lukas Mayo is captured in a whirlwind project that brings moments of true vulnerability and rawness to the listener. Ash Wallace chatted to the indie up and comer about the inspiration behind the infamous Pickle Darling.

Music for Lukas Mayo began as a solitary experience, listening in the quiet of home to their latest musical obsession. Guitar was their first instrument of choice, dabbling in writing song ideas here and there, learning on the go and exploring what the instrument was capable of. At the time Lukas didn’t have an artistic outlet but was committed to documenting the process of their musical learnings. They released a Beatles Cover EP on Bandcamp to get the ball rolling- “I didn’t want to wait until I was good, I just wanted to get in there. Whatever you’re embarrassed of is probably what’s interesting to the listener”

This intense vulnerability was the first step into the ethos of Pickle Darling today. Saying goodbye to all sense of embarrassment and self-consciousness, Pickle Darling’s music emphasises the imperfect and the human. “I wrote my first EP in my bedroom, living at home with my parents. I was still working out how to do all this stuff- throwing ideas around, singing and leaving mistakes in because its human”. Their first album ‘Bigness’ followed in its footsteps, continuously capturing not only the songs themselves, but the process of writing songs and what goes into a recording.  “I am a fan of showing your work. I like to see the scaffolding still around a song, and how its pieced together”.

Since then, Pickle Darling has released their sophomore album ‘Cosmonaut’, loosely concepted around a long-distance relationship. They employ clever imagery around vast distances, space, loneliness, and the cosmos. The sound of the album has come from necessity rather than a specific sonic choice; all the sounds are what you can make and record quietly without disrupting flatmates. “The sound is really what I can ramshackle together- mostly small, fun instruments like the glockenspiel, shakers, acoustic guitar, ukulele”.  It’s no wonder that Pickle Darling has become an inspiration to many young aspiring artists who see limitless creativity in a minimal home setup.

Fans of artist like Sufjan Stevens, The Beatles, Radiohead, and The Postal Service can all find a home in the Pickle Darling audience. Truly an infectious artist with a bright future ahead.