With inspirations like FKA Twigs, Charli XCX and Beach House, Nat — alias Flux Psyche — creates ethereal, eerie music that transports you to another world. Their work falls into the genres of dream pop, trip hop and goth rock, and induces a feeling of surreal melancholy.
Flux Psyche's debut EP Drifting covers a variety of subjects: from suicidality and the complex feelings around it on Fade, to gender dysphoria on See Me, and love on Ocean. Impressively, the EP addresses these heavy subjects while sounding stunningly magical.
In this conversation with Nat, we speak of writing about death, dying at a young age, and Les Miserables.
Push up Daisies: What has your relationship with death always been like, and how do you view it now?
Nat: I think I used to have a pretty generic view of death. I was just scared of dying and people around me dying if I thought about it. Now that I’ve been suicidal and in the midst of extreme civil unrest I find myself thinking about it more. How will I die? Will it be on my own terms? Do I really want to die or do I just want pain to stop? Will I die young in the revolution like one of those martyrs from Les Miserables? This is on my mind often now.
Push up Daisies: Are you spiritual or religious? How do you think your ideals affect your perception of death?
Nat: I’m not religious anymore, but I was brought up to be Christian. When I was young and in church they would talk about an eternity in heaven or hell. Even then, I didn’t want to exist anywhere for eternity, I thought it sounded like a curse. It gave me extreme existential dread as a child; I did not want to die and move on to eternity.
Push up Daisies: As a creative, how does the thought or fear of death inspire you? Does it ever drive you to create more?
Nat: I’ve made two songs about suicide at this point, both from a sort of detached perspective so I do think it’s an inspiring topic for me. The first song, Death’s Lullaby, is from the perspective of death themself, who is attempting to talk a suicidal person off the ledge because it’s not their time. The one from my EP, Fade is about my own struggles with suicidal ideation. It follows me talking to myself about the struggles I’ve been going through and comforting myself about the fact that I will die one day, in an attempt to talk myself off the ledge —“you will be riding right into the white bliss”. I’m confused and back and forth on whether or not I even want to die and so the song reflects that. After that line I say “so cold” to indicate the cons of what the afterlife could be like, blissful at first and then just cold.
Push up Daisies: How would you like to be remembered?
Nat: I’d like to be remembered as someone good, who had high moral and ethical standards and took care of people indiscriminately. If I’m also remembered as someone great for some accomplishment I made that’s just a plus.
Push up Daisies: What are you most proud of in your life?
Nat: I’m most proud of my growth towards becoming a compassionate person.
Push up Daisies: How does the thought of death affect your everyday life?
Nat: Sometimes when I’m using a knife in the kitchen I’m drawn to it. I think it’s because it represents death to me. I don’t really want to do anything, but I’m drawn to it anyway, because I’m curious and also scared.
Push up Daisies: In what ways can it be healthy to contemplate death?
Nat: It’s certainly healthy to prepare for death instead of ignoring the realities.
Push up Daisies: Have you ever seen a film revolving around death that left its mark on you?
Nat: I know Les Miserables is about revolution but as a revolutionary text it does contain a lot of death. That one cut deep.
Push up Daisies: Is there something that you would be willing to die for? What would this be?
Nat: The people I love. The people that need me. And justice.
Push up Daisies: What are your ideal and worst ways to die?
Nat: I kind of want to die in bed with my partner at an old age of brain bleed after having a good dream, or perhaps I will choose to be euthanized when I’m old and terminally ill. Going peacefully and on my own terms sounds nice.
The worst way to die would be from developing dementia at a young age, or dying young for some other reason, maybe like the kids in Les Miserables when they have to fight for the revolution. I don’t want to die anymore most of the time. I want to live a full life.