Pickle Darling (aka Ōtautahi lo-fi artist and producer Lukas Mayo) is celebrating the release of their third album Laundromat this week.
Lukas (they/them) plays a thoughtful selection of songs in our Christchurch studio with a guitar, a drum machine and a "slightly sore throat".
A self-taught singer, Lukas has been writing songs since adolescence and says their soft tone was partially borne out of necessity.
"Partly because I'm recording in flats and stuff and people are asleep I kind of have conditioned myself to sing right up to the mic."
They like the immediacy and freedom of recording songs at home and immediately crafting them on his laptop.
"Because you're your own producer and engineer and performer at the same time the moment you muck up it's like oh, press space bar, done. There's no middleman you've got to communicate anything to. I can do a thousand takes and not feel like I'm wasting anyone's time."
Drawn to the process of making music rather than performing, Lukas takes inspiration from The Postal Service, Sparklehourse, Iris DeMent and Wilco.
They're not putting too much pressure on themselves to achieve specific goals but enjoying the support and encouragement of US label Father/Daughter Records.
"For music to be a daily practice I have to focus on what it is that I enjoy about it,” Lukas writes in Laundromat's album notes.