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Break Fifty List the Top 10 Songs which Inspired the Sound Design for ‘ESBAWITD’

Nucore greats Break Fifty outline for us their Top 10 songs which inspired the sound of ‘Every Scream Became A Whisper In the Dark.’



Break Fifty, photo by Murry Deaves
Break Fifty, photo by Murry Deaves

The rise of Break Fifty is a testament to the age-old saying that hard work really does pay off. The Nucore band has been at it since 2017, a slow and steady progression towards their debut EP. Every Scream Became A Whisper In the Dark was self-released on December 7th. So much has led up to this record, but it has finally arrived, and it delivers insofar as providing a proper introduction to a wildly talented act. Lead singer Angus Robertson views these songs as proof of the restorative qualities of music and how it helps us in expressing and making sense of complex emotions.

This is never more apparent than in Break Fifty’s recent single “Second Skin.” The song examines the revelation of authenticity through shedding skins. It focuses on exposing realities and baring the cold, hard truth. That personal touch is evident throughout Every Scream Became A Whisper In the Dark. It examines the personal journey of the band members and how they navigated through childhood trauma. Such heavy topics demand a heavy sound, which there’s no shortage of on this EP.

Joining us today is Break Fifty, who offer us a list of the Top 10 songs which helped shape the sound and structure of this impressive debut release.

1. Boards of Canada – “Gyroscope”

“The main inspiration from ‘Gyroscope’ was the vocal sound designs within. A lot of this was taken for ‘Dreamland,’ having sections repeating the words ‘dreamland’ and rewinding like scratching vinyl. After hearing the song from the movie Sinister, it stuck with me for a long time as such an eerie composition that gave such a sense of unease.”

2. Aphex Twin – “#2”

“This track was heavily inspiring for the EP just because of the intense sense of anxiety you feel when listening to it. The way it sometimes distorts really gives an unsettling feeling. A lot of Aphex Twin’s works inspired us mainly due to his use of Foley within his production. We wanted to have the same feeling we got from listening to this track on the EP.”

3. Drumcorps – “On a Mission”

“There isn’t much need to say about ‘Drumcorps’ except the music is a whirlwind of drum and bass and metal. It was a big influence towards our interlude track ‘Jitter.’ The crazy switch ups were something we really took a liking to. Whilst we take a lot of influences from drum and bass and jungle beats throughout the EP, the sheer chaos of Drumcorps was something that really grabbed our attention.”

Break Fifty ‘Every Scream Became A Whisper in the Dark’ EP album article

Break Fifty ‘Every Scream Became A Whisper in the Dark’ EP album article

4. Hans Zimmer – “2049”

“About two minutes into this track is one of the most beautiful pieces of synth I have ever heard. It was such a creative way of using synth in such a bold and large way that we felt a lot of tracks such as ‘I Still See You’ would be complimented in the same manner.”

5. Aphex Twin – “Alberto Balsam”

“The whole song barring the synth is all foley, which we really took inspiration for when creating a lot of the overall sound design, things from everyday life that we processed and made a lot more sinister. Aphex Twin uses a chair dragging across the floor to get that ‘trumpet’ sound throughout the track which ultimately inspired the drone effects in the start of ‘Jitter’ and to use as much foley in the EP as possible.”

6. Slipknot – “515”

“Growing up, I think a lot of people were blown away when they heard this for the first time. As the majority of the band are Slipknot fans from a young age, we had to incorporate some of our favourite styles from the band into our music. This was very present throughout the EP, especially in tracks like ‘A Familiar Face.’ We also wanted to pay homage to this in the intro, creating a similar wall of sound throughout the track.”

7. Penderecki – “Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima”

“It creates unsettling vibes through its dissonance and lack of any kind of rhythm. It’s overwhelming at points which we did through sections like ‘B50,’ ‘Dreamland,’ and the overall vibe of the EP.”

8. Radiohead – “Everything in Its Right Place”

“There is a lot of vocal sound design throughout ESBAWITD, the way the vocals are layered with effects in this track really gave us the idea of using the deep vocal effect throughout the EP. We had a few sections where the normal vocal would be accompanied by the lower vocal sound design and some sections where it was the lead role in that section of the song. It quickly became a staple part in our sound design throughout the EP.”

9. Silent Hill 2 – The Soundtrack

“The analogue horror vibe of the whole soundtrack was a huge influence for us. As horror fanatics we were subconsciously drawn to the Silent Hill soundtrack in a lot of this sound design process but it really impacted a lot of ‘Absence,’ especially towards the end of the track. The overall tone of the soundtrack, especially, ‘A World of Madness’ just really gripped us and led to the overall sound we produced.”

10. Dunkirk – The Soundtrack

“Throughout the whole film, Hans Zimmer used Shepard tones to really create a sense of anxiety for the viewers. This was something we were researching heavily before adding a Shepard tone into ‘A Familiar Face.’ It was something which was present throughout the whole song as we wanted to keep the tension high throughout, and with added distortion it gave it an ugly tone.”

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