binki Walks Us Through His Energizing EP “Motor Function”
The songwriter’s debut is out now via Fader Label.
On his debut EP Motor Function, Pennsylvania-born and New York-based musician binki drew inspiration from his everyday life in quarantine—ordinary qualms exacerbated by the pandemic and the conflicts and injustices that the universal crisis emphasized. “My lyrics are typically inspired by my day-to-day experiences,” he shares. “They come out like vomit. [Being in quarantine] I was in this position where I had a massive desire to make stuff, but the obstacles were just too big.” But binki’s songs aren’t outright observations of this fractured world—instead it’s their post-punk urgency that speaks to the restlessness and darkness we’ve all internalized this past year.
The four tracks on Motor Function are a spectrum of thrills. There’s the pummeling bass on “Revolve.” Its predecessor “Landline” gives us a bit of grime and glamour, like the eerie buzz of a neon “vacancy” sign; it’s a bit spooky, but also inviting or rather hypnotic. Aside from the motorik beats and anxious motion of Motor Function, binki’s vocals are commanding without being overbearing. When he sings, his delivery is rich, which is then balanced out by the harshness of his spoken-word parts. The overall intensity of Motor Function is an electric balm in a year with much need for catharsis.
Listen to Motor Function below, and read on to see how the tracks came together.
1. “Clay Pigeon”
Me and [producer] Chasen made this one remotely. It was one of those times I just instantly connected with the production. Initially I had written a completely different chorus. Sonically the song feels very aerial to me, and there’s a bunch of references to flight. The old chorus was no different, but it just wasn’t hitting right. Eventually I arrived at what became the final version and everyone just liked it better.
This was another one me and Chasen made remotely, however it took me quite long time to write to. I really liked how it sounded, but it just took me several months to find my way in. There’s a certain manic energy to the production and I wanted to match it with my lyrics in a way that felt significant.
“Revolve” was written and recorded in one day. I’ve made songs that fast before, but they don’t ever get released. Me and Nate [Donmoyer] had just met and we started making this song with a break beat. Eventually we found our way to this track he had made the night before. The production just instantly hits you over the head, so I was off to the races. I think the chorus was the last bit I wrote and I was a bit confused on where to go with it. I had this singular line written out and I was on the mic just trying stuff. Nate was like, “Oh that’s cool, keep going with that.” It worked out!
4. “Invisible Fence”
I met Al and Alex in their studio in Greenpoint. I was a big fan of their past work with Roy Blair. They showed me a few ideas and this one just stood out to me. I wrote the chorus line thinking it was the start of a verse, but then I showed them and Al was like “That sounds like a chorus.” So we built out the layers and it came out sick. The first verse came that day as well, but as I remember the second verse was finished a few weeks later. It was a bit of a Frankenstein amalgam of a couple old verses but in the end it just fit so perfect.