Photo by: Nick Langley
Central Coast artist NEAV (aka Niamh Watson) releases her 6-track debut EP ‘Elegy’ today.
NEAV collaborated with a talented group of musicians and producers to bring her musical vision to life. She worked with Mario Späte (Washington, Montaigne); Jess Dess (King Princess, Brockhampton); Rod McCormack (Paul Kelly, Gina Jeffreys); David Turley (Millie Turner); and Tristan Barton (Greta Stanley). Two songs from her debut EP won the contemporary/pop category of the national Australian Songwriters Association Awards. The songs were ‘Silence Song’ in 2020 and ‘Tragic Drama’ in 2021.
“ELEGY has been in the works since the beginning of 2020. Silence Song was the breakthrough track for me as it was the moment when I discovered who “NEAV” was sonically. I had written and released songs in the past but this one felt different. Little did I know it would act as the catalyst for my debut EP.”
Inspired by fellow Australian artists such as Vera Blue and G-Flip, NEAV uses her voice as a true instrument whilst showcasing her innate ability to produce songs that are instantly memorable. When writing her debut EP, NEAV took cues from one of her idols St Vincent.
“One thing that stood out to me that I will always take into account when I am writing my own music is the importance of tension and release as a listener. This rule that she (St Vincent) sticks to really resonates with me because I think that the element of surprise and enjoyment in music is what makes a good piece of music.” NEAV
NEAV’s sophisticated approach to songwriting, and her rhythmic phrasing when singing illustrates her powerful intelligence that belies her youthful experiences. She writes from a place of heartfelt ideas with honesty and vulnerability. NEAV admits that she was extremely shy and didn’t say much throughout primary school, and no one knew she could sing or play guitar. She managed to hide that up until the very last day of primary school when she performed in the school talent show and ended up winning.
NEAV’s 6 track debut EP was recorded and mastered at The Nest in Surry Hills with Tristan Barton (Greta Stanley). It features previously released singles: ‘Talking To The Devil’, ‘Built The Same’, ‘Silence Song’ and the current single ‘Say Goodbye’, plus 2 new songs.
“Working before, during and after lockdown periods with a group of super talented songwriters, producers and sound engineers has been a hectic yet beautiful experience. The rest of the EP came together afterwards, with each song that was created I challenged myself to be more vulnerable and push the boundaries of who “NEAV” is as an artist. We spent a long time deciding what songs made it onto the EP and made sure that they all fit the concept we went with regarding the title. Because of this, the finished project is something that I can truly say I am proud of and can’t wait for it to be out in the world.” NEAV
Neav EP artwork by Nick Langley
18 year old NEAV is signed to Sydney indie label Double Drummer (Greta Stanley, Dominic Breen, Cousin Tony’s Brand New Firebird) and ORiGIN Music Publishing (Gotye, Megan Washington, Lior). NEAV’s burgeoning reputation as a live performer has seen her open for and share a stage with artists such as Greta Stanley, Bec Sandridge, The Moving Stills, Dan Sultan, Imogen Clark, Cousin Tony’s Brand New Firebird, Little Quirks, Elaskia and Molly Millington in well known venues across Sydney, Newcastle and the Central Coast.
With the release of her debut EP, NEAV is proving she’s one of Australia’s most enthralling and brightest new artists.
PRAISE FOR NEAV
Say Goodbye: “NEAV’s clearly got the voice and the songs keep getting stronger with each release too!”
Declan Byrne, triple j
Say Goodbye: “It’s still super early for NEAV but already you can hear a clarity and purpose. It’s emotionally charged throughout.”
Dave Ruby Howe, triple j Unearthed
Say Goodbye: “Hands down the strongest (and my favourite) release of yours yet. Consider my heart wrenched!”
Abby Butler, triple j
“Big vocal from you here NEAV amidst some subtly clever production.”
Tommy Faith, triple j Unearthed
“The future is extremely bright for NEAV”
Rolling Stone Australia
“It’s a rollercoaster of musicality, one which her vocals do justice to all the way through”
Life Without Andy
Debut EP ‘Elegy’ is out now via Double Drummer.