Quiet achiever Spectoral has today announced his new single Movin' On, an ominous dedication to a lovesick friend, out October 12. Movin' On is the very first taste of the upcoming new EP An Incorruptible Dream from Spectoral, the stage name of producer singer-songwriter Andrew Bitto. Also dropping on October 12, An Incorruptible Dream is an understated, considered and truly unique collection of songs from the newcomer.
Movin' On feels evocative of some big names – Flume, Peking Duck, even Kanye West's melancholy production style comes to mind – but there is something still so one-of-a-kind about it, something so uniquely Spectoral, that makes it such a special listen. Instrumentation features co-production from Martiln (one half of Twofold Vision) and sees synths glide effortlessly alongside each other, ducking perfectly behind carefully placed percussion, while Spectoral's distinctive vocal leads the way with intensely relatable lyrics. Reflecting on the inspiration behind the track, Andrew says, "I actually wrote this one about a good friend of mine. We'd catch up and she'd always tell me news about this guy she was in love with. Things never really worked in her favour with him because he was already taken - it was this kinda Love Actually moment for her I guess, just in reverse. So anyway, we'd chat about it, and she just found it so hard to give up the dream of one day him being hers. So this song's about that. It's about accepting the loss and letting it go."
Movin' On appropriately precedes the highly anticipated EP An Incorruptible Dream. Working alongside Tim Watt and Tim McArtney of Hercules Studio in Sydney (Flume, Touch Sensitive, George Maple), fellow producer Alius aka Sebastian Ivanov (Blake Rose, Arizona Jones) and musician Robin Waters (Ella Hooper, The Boat People), An Incorruptible Dream fuses pop, R'n'B and electronic influences flawlessly, all amongst a sparkling bed of confessional, well-crafted lyrics. Andrew explains the themes behind the EP, saying, "The name An Incorruptible Dream is a line from The Great Gatsby actually. It's this idea of always trying to reach for the unattainable, whether it's a person, or a state of mind, or a level of perfection or success. Unfortunately for Gatsby it blinded him and led to his downfall. The EP explores this theme that is definitely in my life in different ways. I planned this EP back in January, but actually a couple of the songs here I've been sitting on for literally years."
So it's no secret that this EP has been a long time coming, especially for Spectoral's dedicated fanbase – and Andrew is thrilled to finally be ready to unleash these never-before-heard tracks onto the world, enthusing, "I'm so pumped! It's like seeing a little bonsai tree that you've been caring for finally sprout flowers…I feel like I've really nestled into my sound over the past year, thanks to the experience of working with so many awesome engineers and co-producers all over this project. It's been the most eye-opening and fun experience."
An Incorruptible Dream is out October 12.
Stream single: MOVIN' ON
Pre-order: AN INCORRUPTIBLE DREAM
Question: How would you describe your music?
Andrew Bitto: I call it "future soul". I take bits of hip-hop, bits of electronic pop, but I approach it as a singer-songwriter. My vocals tend to be quite soulful and sultry. So it sometimes ends up sounding a bit R&B, but other times it's a more this experimental crossover into indie electronic. My friends just say I sound "distinctly Spectoral".
Question: Can you tell us about the inspiration behind Movin' On?
Andrew Bitto: I actually wrote this about a good friend of mine. We'd catch up and she'd always tell me news about this guy she was in love with. Things never really worked in her favour with him though because he was already taken. It was this kinda 'Love Actually' moment for her I guess, just in reverse. So anyway, we'd chat about it, and she just found it so hard to give up the dream of one day him being hers. So this song's about that. It's about "taking an L" ie: accepting defeat, and letting it go.
Question: What can we expect from your upcoming EP An Incorruptible Dream?
Andrew Bitto: If you're into indie R&B, or you're a fan of acts like Post Malone, Frank Ocean, Flume or Sampha, well, so am I. Not saying my EP sounds like them, but I'm massive fans of them all... so inevitably I guess some of their stuff influences the direction I go in. My EP is six tracks all about reaching for something you don't have. Maybe it's a person. Maybe it's a career. Maybe it's a deep feeling inside of you. Maybe you just want to escape to somewhere else right now. The EP is about the struggles and lessons in reaching for who, what or where you want to be.
Question: How does it feel to be compared to Flume?
Andrew Bitto: First of all, it's a massive compliment! Harley is a boundary-pusher, and I love his more experimental vibes. He dropped these two companion EPs last year that I think contained all the songs that were a bit too "out there" for Skin? I don't know. But I completely love them, I think he absolutely crushed it with those EP. I'm not trying to sound like Flume though, I'm more into carving my own sound... what I call "future soul".
Question: Do you prefer performing live or recording?
Andrew Bitto: I prefer recording. I can take as long as I want to get a track right because I'm a perfectionist, and I absolutely love getting into the zone and striking gold in my headphones.
Question: What is the story behind the name, Spectoral?
Andrew Bitto: When I was little, I was on the internet and wanted to pick a name that sounded enigmatic and mysterious. I went with "Spectre" and used to draw little hooded ghost symbols for it. The name stuck and sort of evolved over time into Spectoral. I say it like "Spek-TOR-rall" but most people say "Spec-Trall" ... it's really up to you!
Question: What motivates you most when writing music?
Andrew Bitto: The reason for the song has to come from a genuine, personal place. I can't just sit down and say "ok imma make a banger" and have no idea why or what it's going to be about. It'll completely bomb if I have to do that. So yeah, I have to be real when I write. There's no faking it in my music.
Question: Which music/artists are you currently listening to?
Andrew Bitto: Right now, I'm loving Banoffee, Brockhampton, Matt Corby, Woodes and Lennon Stella. It changes every month...
Question: What or who was your inspiration to go into the music industry?
Andrew Bitto: I guess I always wanted to write songs people can connect with. I've had this desire to write songs that are so good, so deeply touching, that someday, some random people on the other side of the world message me and tell me how one of my songs really touched their lives, or defined a timeless experience for them. The idea that I could create something that means as much to someone other than myself, is something I don't know if I'll ever achieve... but it's a big reason why I publicly release what I create. Otherwise it'd all stay on my hard drive and only ever be listened to by me.
Question: If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?
Andrew Bitto: I'd love to collab with FKA Twigs - her vocals and experimental aesthetic just wows me. Or Kanye... we know what he sounds like with a bit of Bon Iver falsetto book-ending his tracks... it'd be rad to contribute some vocal hooks to one of his projects. What a dream that'd be! If you're an A&R scout, DM me. Let's make this happen. Ha!
Interview by Brooke Hunter