Cork label Hausu Records are a label doing their own thing for a few years now, with a wide array of artists (including Automatic Blue, Actualacid, and Ghostking is Dead) occupying largely R&B and electronic music but often with an interesting angle.
The Splitscreen game, is a racing one as the URL suggests, and you can race your vehicle to the soft Frank Ocean polychromatic tones of Arthur Valentine’s new song ‘Track 3’.
The game is inspired by 90s arcade classics like Daytona USA, that is also the artwork and has a 22-track soundtrack and everything. The video game was built by Neil O’Sullivan-Greene, who has developed 3D artwork for previous Hausu releases, and the plan is for it to be used as an interactive backdrop for forthcoming live shows.
Arthur Valentine says:
For years I felt like I was living these two contrasting lives: one half of my time was spent writing and recording music, the other half was spent completing a law degree I never really wanted. I was spending an awful lot of time on the road – I would write lyrics on the bus or play demos driving in my car and just sing different melodies over the beats. These themes of duality and transience started to rear their heads in the music. When it came to recording and producing the tracks, Drew, Jack and I wanted to make production and songwriting choices that mirrored these themes – beat switches, changes in time signatures, contrasting elements running alongside each other throughout the tracks.
From here that I came up with the “Splitscreen” concept – using the image of a multiplayer, split-screen racing game to represent these contrasts. I approached Neil O’Sullivan Greene after seeing the 3D environments he was building for Matt’s Ghostking Is Dead artwork. I explained to him what I had in mind for the art direction, and we ended up actually creating a playable racing game to accompany the EP.
Track 3 is about the beginning of a relationship and all the nerves, uncertainty and fake confidence that comes along with it – it’s there in the hook’s back and forth lyrics. That period where you’re both trying to figure out what the other’s mindset is, whether or not they intend on playing for keeps.
I wrote most of it on the 4 bus route home while living in Dublin, singing the lyrics and melody into my phone while disturbed commuters gave me funny looks. I ended up moving back to Cork a few weeks later, moving into the gaff with Jack and Drew just before pandemic hit. The rest of the song was written and recorded in the first few weeks of lockdown – along with the rest of the EP.
— Arthur Valentine