Greenwave Beth today their debut US tour which includes support slots with The Chills across Seattle, Portland and Austin, showcases at SXSW 2019 and a stint inNew York.
One-half of well-loved Sydney band, Flowertruck, Greenwave Beth is the Sydney-based electro-pop duo of Charles Rushforth and Will Blackburn. Their music captures what frontman Charles calls “a dance of agony”: that space where we move to the rhythm of our own anxieties and desires.
The bulk of ‘People in Agony’ was written in the attic of a teacher’s college-turned-share house Rushforth once resided in on King Street, Newtown. “We broke into [the attic] one day and set up a practice space without the landlord’s knowledge. It had a really low roof, so I had to crawl around on my knees to set the gear up. I was the only one home a lot of the time, so by day I’d read, and by night I’d go up to the attic and write.” Rushforth says.
Combining the restrictive and industrial sounds of midi-sequenced drum and bass with free form songwriting, People in Agony is a coming-of-age story that’s anxious and electrifying at the same time.
“Everyone who survives the turbulence of adolescence and makes it into the orbit of working society is nonetheless tethered to their dreams and hopes that keep them alive as they continue to revolve around the sun,” Rushforth tells Oyster Magazinein issue #115 (The Survival Issue), “These fuels can act as a ballast and drag us screaming to burn up in the upper atmosphere or propel us at an escape velocity of our own choosing. Despite this, people, as they either fret at the controls or disregard them at their own peril, are doomed with a finite reserve of energy with which to control their own trajectory. These crafts, after all, were designed by children and whatever control is left after balancing the day-to-day is often spent in deliberation of what tank next to jettison. Our lives go on, and yet the emotions and fears that make them unique are thrust away.”
The four-track release features hypnotic drum and bass sequencing alongside Rushforth’s explosive vocals. On opener “Country,” surging synths give way to a frantic cry: “I can’t sleep through clenched teeth / not a boy anymore.” Moments later, on “Against Me,” Rushforth croons over pulsing beats, “Love’s a fight and we’ve spent our life on the ropes.” These restless deliberations on youth, love, and identity fill People in Agony with darkness, but also with the hope that we might learn to find some pleasure in these complicated states.
Following praise from Oyster Magazine, triple j’s Declan Byrne and Brooklyn promoter/publication AdHoc, their just announced spot on the 2019 round of artists atSXSW, and support slots with The Chills, Greenwave Beth show no signs of slowing down.
People in Agony is out now via Dinosaur City Records. Listen to it here.
Read Charles’ interview with Oyster Magazine online here.
2. Against Me
3. Love and Property
4. Make Up
Praise for Greenwave Beth
“Flowertruck fans beware, the band’s core creative unit – Charles Rushforth and Will Blackburn – have (largely) abandoned their drums and guitars in favour of an MPC 1000 and a MicroKorg and boom, we’re out of Triffids-esque pop-rock and into banging electro.” – 4ZZZ
“With Greenwave Beth, [Rushforth] ditches [Flowertruck’s] post-punky riffs and jingle bells for synthhard melodies, drum machines and freely brooding vocals that bring a bit of dark emotion to an otherwise pop (though, weird and unformulaic) sensibility.” – Oyster Magazine
“Charles Rushforth has one of the most distinctive voices in Sydney music: a mixture of David Byrne’s full-throated appeal and a blunt, enunciated ocker charm.” – LNWY
“Dancey drum machine loops and ear-worm synth hooks run underneath manic, shouty vocals. Kind of like if David Byrne, was in Suicide instead of Alan Vega.” – Purple Sneakers
“Rushforth’s trademark Australiana-tinged vocals soak through the track, backed up by sharp electronic synths, poppy percussion and a hook that’ll get stuck in your head for days.” – The Music
“[Greenwave Beth] recalls the sharp monochrome of New York no wave, pop music with weight and density.” –FBi Radio
“Dark and desperate with an undeniable surge to it.” – Declan Byrne, triple J
“[Greenwave Beth makes] highly emotional music that ranges from manic electronic skirmishes to slow spiritual ballads that question the place and possibility of the romantic in a digital age.” – Mucho Bravado