Photo Credit: Amaya Lang
Where are you currently based?
On Gadigal land of the Eora nation aka Sydney.
How did you first start playing music?
When I was little I copied everything my older sister Jeanie did. She brought a guitar home one day when I was 10 and I adopted it. I was painfully shy back then so I started writing songs as a way to communicate.
What’s been happening recently and how has your Covid experience been so far?
As weird and depressing as a lot of things have been politically/globally/
In terms of music though, I have missed playing shows and watching live music a lot. Having an imposed break has made me really appreciate it. Now when I go see live music you can hear a pin drop because everyone is so focused on the music. The audience is soaking up every note. I haven’t played a live show since I left Australia in September 2019 which is weird after playing every week or so for years. Can’t wait to get back on stage.
You were overseas in 2019 and then came back to Australia due to Covid, please tell us about what you got up to:
I had wanted to live in Europe forever and got a three year working visa for the UK in 2019. So I released my second album Hysteria! in September 2019 and a week or so later I left. I spent three months in London, three months in Paris and three months in Athens walking 20 kilometres a day exploring the streets, parks, music, galleries. I taught myself a music recording program called Logic and wrote songs every day and demoed them in Logic. I was basically by myself working on my craft with jobs on the side to fund adventures.
Then in Athens, I was working for an NGO supporting LGBTIQ refugees and the situation politically got pretty scary – there were anti-refugee riots and people started burning refugee camps in Lesvos. They had to shut the shelter I worked at due to threats so I lost my job. The next day I got an emergency text from the Greek government saying a lockdown was going to happen because of COVID and no-one could leave their house without a permit. Trump announced he was closing the US borders. My family called and said Morrison was about to do the same. I had to make a very quick decision. I didn’t even have time to tell my landlord I had to leave and threw all my shit in a bag, went to the airport and got the first plane back to Sydney I could. It was the right decision – it would have been hard to stay living alone in the current climate. And now seeing all these stranded Australians still trying to get home 14 months later.
Your new single ‘Waiting For Time’ will be out on Feb 16, what influenced the sound and songwriting?
I wrote this song walking around London with a heart that fell full and empty at the same time. When I left Australia I had just fallen in a terribly timed romance. I decided to leave anyway with the hope and a promise they would join me eventually. This song is about feeling in limbo, wondering when and if I’d see them again. Talking to them on the other side of the planet at odd times of day and night due to the time difference.
In terms of the sound, I penned the term Stargaze for this new collection of songs I’m releasing this year. Think shoegaze but instead of looking down you look up at the stars, trying to absorb and reflect the sound of their beauty, darkness, silent noise, infinite space, twinkling hope in the distance. I’m always using the stars for inspiration.
How did you go about writing Waiting For Time?
I wrote it in winter in London when I was feeling pretty lonely but also experiencing a weird long-distance love bubble. I didn’t have a guitar at the time so I wrote it on bass with lyrics and melody and stitched the rest together in a kind of patchwork from random recording sessions in Paris, Athens and Sydney.
Where and when did you record/produce/master and who did you work with?
When I got back to Australia during the first wave of COVID, I did a (socially distanced) session at Harvest Recordings in Marrickville to get the bones of the song down. Kat Ayala laid down some beautiful lush guitars for it. And Sarah Fenn-Lavington smashed out drums. I co-produced the song with Ben Moore (Harvest Recordings), who also added his guitars and synths. We kept layering things on, rearranging, adding things and taking them away. It was the first time I’d worked on a song in this way and the first time I’d worked closely with a producer. It felt so good to collaborate creatively like this in a safe place – my living room mainly. We did vocals in my bathroom and Ben mixed it too. I got Casey Rice in Melbourne to master. I’m really proud of where it ended up sonically.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
RVG, Vagabon, Arlo Parks, Spiritualized, Sol Seppy, Brian Eno, Grouper.
What do you like to do away from music?
Spending time in nature mainly. Solo swims at the beach, exploring rock pools, I love going on ferry rides in Sydney and taking my dog for walks near water. Also I love my friends and laughing as much as possible with them.
What’s planned for the remainder of 2020 going into 2021?
I’m working on and releasing a bunch of new songs this year and going to work with a director for a special music video or two. Mostly I’m excited about rehearsing a new set with a new band and getting back on stage on on tour as soon as possible/