The Golden Record, named after a playable collection of Earth related sounds and samples stored on the Voyager spacecrafts, is the debut album by Canadian vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Little Scream. An incredible and atmospheric work, the recording was co-produced by Richard Reed Parry [Arcade Fire, Bell Orchestre], the album also features Aaron Dessner [The National], Sarah Neufeld [Arcade Fire] and a slew of Montreal talent. The 405 caught up with her to talk SXSW, corporate logos on the moon and inspirations for music and art... How was sxsw? Of the 5 gigs you played, which was the best? We actually did 6 gigs. It was mostly sweaty and exhausting. Day 2 I started loosing my voice, so I had to live vicariously through the SX stories of my band mates. There were 7 of us on stage there, and we had only played 2 shows all together before coming to the festival. So we had this great kind of raw, live energy. By the last showcase, everyone was really on. So even though my voice was shot by then it was probably our best show. That was our Quebec showcase at The Spill. Your debut album is a mix of sparklingly vocals, haunting arrangements and subtle samples. What process did you go through when you were deciding on how to shape and form the overall look and feel of the recording? I wanted each song to feel like a contained universe. So we approached every song that way, like its own little world. Because of Richard’s schedule the recording process got spread out over a long period of time, almost a year and a half. The nice thing about that was that it meant we got to take a lot of time to listen carefully and think about arrangements and atmospheres for each song. I feel like that kind of careful meditation comes through in the recording. Did you look at other bodies of work based around similar concepts, like Holst’s The Planets, Brian Eno’s Apollo or David Bowie’s Space Oddity for inspiration? Let me say first that The Golden Record, my Golden Record, isn’t a concept album. It was a title that came after all the songs had come together. So I wasn’t thinking about works like Space Oddity in the writing process. It’s more the romantic gesture of the Voyager record that made me give my record its title. I’m a sucker for tragedy. And as far as I’m concerned, the Voyager record might be one of the most poignant and beautiful and futile gestures of communication we humans may ever create. In the scope of my personal life, this record will likely have a similar significance. If you could choose five sounds, songs or quotes to put on the next Golden Record that goes into space, what would they be? Well you know they already beamed Across the Universe out into deep space, so that’s taken care of. Neil Young’s 'Helpless', Elizabeth Cotton’s 'Freight Train',anything off of Paul Simon’s Graceland. The beginning sparkly bit of The Velvet Undertround’s 'Pale Blue Eyes', and the Ventures 'Sleep Walk', because whenever I hear that song I imagine the world has exploded and the only relic to survive of the hopeful and blissful ignorance of our time is a single cocktail umbrella floating into space. Are you into things like stargazing, astrology, astronomy, the physics of space, NASA technology etc…? Yes. It is sad for me to think that our small forays into space might be largely part of the past, that space exploration may have already had its golden age. The way things are going, I fear people will only go to the moon from here on out either to mine it, or to use it for advertising. I’m gonna be so pissed when the face of the moon is eventually covered with a corporate logo of some kind. You know that day is on the horizon. If you travelled into space yourself and were only allowed to take three personal possessions for the duration of your journey, what would you take? I think things like iPhones make this question less poetic to answer. From a practical perspective I would bring some sort of mobile device that would hold as much music and media as possible so I wouldn’t have to make as many difficult decisions. After that I would bring a book, more for its objectal value than for its content (all the books I would want to read would be on the mobile device, of course). This book would likely be this beautiful old copy of The Collected Works of Oscar Wilde I’ve carried with me for years. Into its pages I would stash 4 or 5 black and white photos and some old letters (this would be cheating. Don’t tell!). And lastly, I would take a beautiful old wooden box. There would be nothing in it. But I would tell people something really special was inside of it. Whoever was travelling with me could spend hours conjecturing about it and attributing significance to it. And in time, it could become just like the tabernacle. You play banjo, guitar, piano and violin. What is your favourite instrument and is there another you’d like to learn? My favourite is piano, but I’m the least proficient at it. Growing up I always wanted to learn cello and harp, but I didn’t have access to those instruments. At this point, I’ll settle for learning the instruments I know better. To that end, I just got an app with a guitar tab library and I’m hoping to teach myself some new voicings so I don’t rely so heavily on bar chords all the time. Though I’ll always love a solid bar chord. As well as being talented musician, you produce pretty amazing paintings. Where do you find influence of your music and visual art and is there crossover between the two? My songs and paintings have similar themes. They are often narrative, even if that narrative is of a dream landscape. It all comes out of the same pool of influence. I always listen to music when I paint, and I often have visual references for how I want a song to feel. When we were recording the album, I sometimes sent images to Richard to help describe what I envisioned the atmosphere of a song to be. I’m not sure if it was particularly helpful, but he humoured me nonetheless. What can audiences expect at the London Barbican show on April 11th? Answers to some pressing questions about the nature of reality, solutions to difficult math equations, and some good times. Is this your first visit to the UK, and what are you looking forward to most about visiting us? It will be my second visit to the UK, I was there in November for the first time. There’s so much to see there it’s overwhelming! I’m sad to say I won’t have enough time to really visit much in the city. But if I get out for a bit, I’ll hope to visit the Tate Modern and one of those churches where you can do brass rubbings. What is next for Little Scream? I don’t know. I’ll consult my astrologer and get back to you.