Hi! What are you up to today?
I’m at home in Melbourne after arriving back from America yesterday. It was great! I played my first ever overseas show. We played two shows in London, then headed to New York for the CMJ Music Marathon, and then we had gig in LA on the way home. I definitely also ate my ay through the country; when I was in New York, I made sure to have a bagel every morning, and I had really amazing dumplings in Chinatown too.
Tell me a bit about Harvest of Gold and the songwriting and production process this time around. What were you trying to achieve with this one?
It’s definitely quite a different sound than my EPs. The EPs were more acoustic and folky, but I’ve always wanted a more electronic sound, although the songs that I released via the EPs didn’t lend themselves to that sound. This time around, with the material we took into studio, we were able to bring that aesthetic to the sound, which was really good. There’s a lot more synth-based tracks and electronica. We did make sure to keep progressing with my sound and not alienate fans. What we finished up with is something I’m really proud of.
What was it like working with Oh Mercy’s Alexander Gow and Sparkadia’s Alex Burnett?
I’ve known Alex Gow a couple of years – I toured with Oh Mercy a while ago and we’d been wanting to collaborate on projects together ever since. With Alex Burnett, when we had a song that we knew needed quite a low baritone part, his name came up and when we sent him the track, he liked it! We were very lucky that he receded it and put his own Sparkadia stamp on it. When I was in London three weeks ago, he came up and said, ‘hi, I’m Alex’. We hadn’t really met before them – just chatted over emails.
Tell me a bit about Vanish and the inspiration behind that track.
It’s about [sexual assault and murder victim] Jill Meagher and the experience she went through. It’s very rare to write a song about such a public event but it was something that quite affected me. A couple months after happened, I found myself writing about it. It’s something I still think about and quite a confronting thing – the biggest part of it I felt was how we all saw CCTV footage; that image has been burned into my memory for some reason.
You also recently attended McLaren Vale’s Gorgeous Festival. What were some of the festival highlights?
It’s an incredible festival – The Preatures played, and so did Missy Higgins. It’s a fantastic set-up: you’ve got the best wine possible (I’m a big a big Shiraz drinker). I found the most incredible Malbec wine there too.
You actually started out studying psychology at university. Do you think that period has informed your songwriting or musical style at all?
I think it was a good thing that when I finished high school and thought I would study psychology, I soon realised how much I missed music. Also, first year psychology is not very enjoyable, which was a good thing because it made me realise how much I loved music.
What inspires your songwriting the most?
Lyrically, a big theme I write about is love, and one thing I’ll often write about is relationships and love. 98% of the time, I’ll be writing about friends’ relationships – I find it easier to write about friends. If it’s my own relationship, I find it hard – I need to take step back. That’s something I recently realised.
What’s coming up for you next?
We just got three shows locked in for next month, and then I play Falls Festival and Southbound. There’ll be another tour next year too, where I’m hoping we’ll have time to visit regional cities.
What is one of the most challenging part of being a musician for you?
I think it’s sad, but probably the financial challenges. It’s a very difficult thing to do and if I didn’t have the support of my family, I definitely wouldn’t still be doing this.