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Daphne Lawless
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play hi-fi  Anastasia's Clone
play hi-fi  Weekend Witch
Daphne Lawless aka VOSTOK LAKE writes homebaked, weightless electro-folk for the 21st century. Currently working on her third full-length album, Small Group Psychosis.

Why this name?
"Vostok Lake" is a mysterious body of water, under four miles of ice, under a Russian base in the Antarctic. The name evokes a sense of not-quite-human uncanniness, a reference to the "coldness" of electronic technology, and perhaps a bit of Cold War nostalgia.
Do you play live?
I love playing live. I get to do it less often that I'd like.
How, do you think, does the internet (or mp3) change the music industry?
It has made Weightless Music possible.
Would you sign a record contract with a major label?
Major label record contracts are, for the most part, slavery and theft.
Band History:
Daphne's music can be described as gothic-progressive electro-pop - highly accessible yet complex and interesting. Both her deep and melodious vocals and her keyboard technique are quite distinctive. She admits to being influenced by Kate Bush, Split Enz, the Sisters of Mercy, Depeche Mode, Leonard Cohen and several obscure 1970's progressive-rock groups. However, she has crafted a unique style all of her own that defies easy comparison.

From the age of 7, Daphne has been composing and singing her own songs, soon followed by piano lessons. After seven years of classical tuition, she acquired her first synthesizer. In 1992, she started her first band, the short-lived Extraneous Hats. Two more bands took her through the mid nineties, with variable success and stability.

Daphne's final band to date was Bonsai Jungle, a three-piece "progressive folk" outfit with Jude Hutton (percussion, vocals) and Evan McCarthy (guitar). They played several highly successful gigs, with a repertoire including various traditional British and New Zealand folk numbers, "classic" covers and Daphne's original compositions. The group eventually broke up due to that age-old bugbear, "musical differences", but Daphne considers it to be the most satisfying group that she's ever performed in.

Following this, Daphne decided to strike out on her own. After a year of vocal training, she began working on her first album, "facing image", and started performing live as a solo artist. This eventually brought her to the attention of Random Static, a new multimedia publishing company looking for a suitably remarkable artist to start off their range. Daphne signed on to Random Static in September 2001. She released her second album, Undinal Songs, in March 2002 to positive, if slightly confused, reviews (see below).

Daphne's music took a back seat for a couple of years, while she completed her PhD in English Literature at Victoria University of Wellington. After moving to Auckland in 2006, Daphne released Anastasia, a compilation of new and re-recorded tracks showcasing the ongoing story of the "Weekend Witch" and her friends.

Daphne currently works under the name Vostok Lake, and has begun performing regularly, testing songs for the first Vostok Lake album, Small Group Psychosis.

Your influences?
I love classic 1980's electro-pop and goth rock, 1970's prog-rock, folk music of all ages and the quirkier kind of singer-songwriter. As for my own stuff, think: Tori Amos meets Gary Numan.
Equipment used:
Ensoniq MR-61 and Korg DS-8 retro synths; phaser and distortion pedals; Ubuntu Studio; anything else which can't run away in time.