Hailing from Melbourne, Tess Guthrie has developed her own unique blend of folk and alt/rock, and today she unveils ‘Queenstown’ – the first track under the new moniker GUTHRIE.
‘Queenstown’ had a dream team bringing it to life. The emotive track was produced by Sophie Payten (Gordi) with mixing from Alexander O’Gorman (Angie McMahon) and Isaac Barter mastering.
GUTHRIE commenting on working with Sophie Payten (Gordi) says “Making this track with Sophie was certainly one of the things keeping me sane during lockdown, and I think something about that isolation period also allowed me to reimagine what I wanted the project to be like. So I’m absolutely stoked to be able to share it with people now.”
‘Queenstown’ explores the ideas of escapism, acting on impulse, reality vs fantasy, and above all – the importance of being fulfilled.
“In the pre-covid times, I was driving to uni one day and feeling pretty trapped. A thought hit me really hard – ‘what’s really keeping me here?’. It felt important and I wanted to see how far that rabbit hole went. A few hours later I was on pretty much the first international flight I could get – to New Zealand.
It was utterly beautiful and helped me question some assumptions about my priorities and the importance of being happy. Of course when I got back my life was the same as I’d left it, and it would take much more work to integrate that sense of freedom into my everyday life.
So for me the song is kind of bitter-sweet and escapist. I think it maps nicely onto the story of a relationship that you wish was working, but it’s not. And deep down you know that the relationship would only work out in a fantasy world, which is nice to visit but you can’t stay there. You have to fly back home and deal with your reality, but doing the work and building a life you don’t have to escape from is totally worth it”
GUTHRIE’S music is a pure reflection of her diverse experiences and sonic influences. She spent 2019 touring the East Coast of Australia bewitching audiences with her mesmerizing vocals after releasing Triple j Unearthed favourites ‘WUTO’ and ‘Fairy Lights’.
Like all musicians in 2020, GUTHRIE’S touring plans were put on hold and she reassessed her music, and identity changing her name from Tess Guthrie to GUTHRIE.
“Particularly during lockdown I found myself becoming more keen on production and combining electronic elements with the folk/alt-rock sound that I’ve always loved. It felt more natural to explore these new sounds and new ways of writing and playing with the band under a new project name. That’s why I went with GUTHRIE, because it’s still my name and feels like me, but it also allows me to build a world for the music to live in which is different to just me as a person. I think we’ll be able to express more as a band if the sounds have that freedom to live in their own world.”
PRAISE FOR GUTHRIE
Re QUEENSTOWN: “It’s a tender and intimate ballad-like track in-line with much of her past work, but this time around, it flourishes with the added layering of electronica, which in a way deepens the dense, almost-suffocating sound that the song moves amongst; the rich layers all dancing amongst each other in a way that feels light and listenable, but suggests something deeper lurking underneath the surface.”
“Compelling, deeper vocals. It keeps you drawn. For fans of Angie McMahon and Didirri for sure. Gorgeous.”
Claire Mooney, Triple J Unearthed
“Starts off on that skinny love tip, morphs into a spitting campfire” [re: WUTO]
Max Quinn, Triple J
“An artist who has been requested so much on the text line… I think she’s made this really beautiful blend between that kind of other-worldly pure voice and also just having that really brash grungy sound to her music too”
Nkechi Anele introducing ‘WUTO’ Live on Triple J
“Melbourne based Tess Guthrie’s first single “WUTO” (Were You the One?) is a killer blend of honest lyrics, raw emotion, and stunning vocals.”
The AU Review
‘Queenstown’ is released on 10th February