Welcome to the first edition of Lead Off, a weekly feature and interview introducing our favourite new bands.

Arrange (real name Malcolm Lacey) creates music that moves between soothing and soaring, mixing electronic soundscapes and waves of sound with minimalist piano and guitar compositions, but it’s the tender lyrics of the music which separates arrange from so many other electronic soundscape or chill-wave artists. Malcolm Lacey has released a handful of EPs in a little over a year and 2012 is looking to be just as busy with an EP that sounds similar to an early M83 already under his belt, and a new mini-LP on the horizon.

Tell me a bit about how you got started making music, and what you were exposed to growing up.

I started making music when I was 15/16 years. It was very ridiculous music. This sort of electronic-screamo music with a couple friends which was ultimately me just making beats and singing/screaming really loudly into the microphone. Hahah it was just horrible.

Growing up I was exposed to a lot of Country music from my father. A lot of George Strait, Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, and Willie Nelson. On the other side of the spectrum I listened to a lot of 90's/early 2000's R&B/Hip-Hop with my older sister. So I've grown an affinity for both. The R&B/Hip-Hop a bit more than the Country for sure.

I've read that arrange started off as a way to soundtrack a film you were writing, do you still go into writing your new tracks with the same intentions as before or have things changed?

Many times I'll start and finish a song and I'll think that I'll never be able to do it again, that I somehow get lucky and manage to write something. Then I sit down at my piano and do it again. It's a really nice feeling as much as it is anxiety inducing. I very much still write as a sort of therapy. I don't find myself talking very much about myself to other people as I do writing about it in my music.


Would you ever be interested in doing a film soundtrack for somebody else?

I'd love the idea of making a soundtrack for a film. Visual stimulus is one of my favorite ways to write music. The song "When We Saw" on New Memory was written while having some footage playing on my television of my partner (Patrick) and I moving cross country. I find it easier most times, even though I don't do it often, to record along to visuals.

The production of your work has really come a long way since your first release (Two) is that because of any change of recording setup, have you started working with other people?

My work all the way up to Plantation was done right in my bedroom and most of the time on my bed with a Macbook Pro. Since the release of Plantation, I've invest a lot of time and effort into saving up money to build up my home studio. As far as equipment and being able to compose, I feel like I've come quite a ways. I've been working a lot with my buddy Sam Ray who makes music as Ricky Eat Acid on tracks that'll form a 3-4 track EP that should come out later this year. I'm so very excited about that. He's such an amazing and versatile artist. As far as my music as arrange, it's all me. On my next full length I'd like to employ musicians to come in and play parts live that I wouldn't be able to do myself, but other than that everything is just me and my various instruments.

Oh, I forgot to mention. "Caves" on New Memory was actually the first time that I had another musician sing vocals along to my track. Melissa Sweat who records music as Lady Lazarus was kind enough to lend her fantastic voice on the chorus of the track. So that was really nice.

How is you’re live set up working right now, are you touring solo or as a band?

I play my first show March 3rd here in Portland, OR. It's a solo setup for sure. It's very minimal, just me, my APC40, laptop, and guitar. I'd like to get a band, but I'll be going solo until I can find people for the job.

What can we expect from your new EP (New Memory) coming out this year?

This'll actually be my second release of the year. Five Years With The Sun comes out on the 14th of this month [February] via JUKBOXR. I'm very excited, but the material on New Memory is my favorite that I've written all the way down to the lyrics, music, and vocals. I've really started to be comfortable with my voice. I hope it shows. I definitely put myself out there the most I ever had on a release. I just hope people like it.

And finally what’s your favourite EP of all time?

It's really hard to say what my favorite EP of all time was, but right now I'd say Autechre's EP7.