Now Playing: Kakkmaddafakka – ‘The Rest'

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Our favourite Norweigan band Kakkmaddafakka recently unveiled their track ‘The Rest’, which is set to appear on their fifth album Diplomacy, due for release this week on March 22.

‘The Rest’ is an anthemic tune by the band from Bergen, and it will give you chills instantly. Axel Vindene from the band said, “The Rest’ explores the dynamic between two people in a romantic relationship and the transitions that happen over a long period of time; from the honeymoon period to the comfort that inevitably develops and the constant push and pull between intimacy and distance”. The meditative words of 'The Rest' are only amplified by the moving arrangements of the song and enthralling drum work.

From what they’ve shown with ‘The Rest’ and previous singles ‘Naked Blue’ and ‘Runaway Girl’, Diplomacy is set to be a treat.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

Now Playing: Arlo Parks – ‘Romantic Garbage'

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

It’s always a good day when you stumble across new music by Arlo Parks, and this time she has delivered once again with ‘Romantic Garbage’. The new single is leading up to the release of her EP Super Sad Generation, which will be unleashed on April 5.

The delicate track began as a poem — on the track, Arlo Parks said, “This is an old song I wrote and produced in my bedroom when I was 16 and completely overwhelmed by an intense crush. It's about being both terrified of the vulnerability that comes with romantic love and so completely infatuated you start writing sappy, stupid poetry and want to be around them all the time”. Arlo Park’s exquisite songwriting is mixed with serene beats and the mix is unforgettable.

Do yourself a favour and hit play on ‘Romantic Garbage’ and get lost in the magic that is Arlo Parks (and then do it again when the EP drops).

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)


Video Premiere: primetime. – 'our own.'

Today, we’re stoked to bring you the video for primetime.’s huge debut single ‘our own.’. Featuring band members of RAT!hammock, Fan Girl, Porpoise Spit, Sophisticated Dingo, primetime. are the supergroup we all need.

Their debut single is a dynamic introduction of what primetime. have planned and where they're taking their sound. Along with a song that you're going to play on repeat for hours, they've also shared insane visuals that take the track to another level. The video was created by Le Adventures Of Eugene Fitzgerald and takes you on a whimsical journey through visuals that are out of this world.

This is only the beginning for primetime. who are set to release their debut EP crimetime. in the coming weeks and will be playing a launch show for the EP at The Old Bar on April 4.

Check out the video for 'our own.' below:

Interview: A Candid Chat with Eliza Shaddad at SXSW

Not only is Eliza Shaddad an amazing musician, but she's also a remarkable storyteller.  Late last year, Eliza shared her moving debut album Future, and we were blown away by the project. We had the opportunity to catch up with her in Texas during SXSW before her set to chat about the album, songwriting and remaining patient when working on music. 

How has SXSW been for you so far?

Manic, but fun. I got in last night and I was quite stressed about things like immigration and stuff. Just because my Father is Sudanese and I had loads of trouble getting a visa on the way here. But it was fine and I sailed through and they were really friendly and nice (laughs), and then I met up with ISLAND, who are on the same label and are playing here, I saw Chagall play who is really techy, everything is live-triggered, it was amazing, it’s been amazing! 

Sounds awesome. So, I read somewhere that you have a background in philosophy? Is that true?

Yeah, so I did five years of study and have a MPhil in Philosophy. 

Wow, that’s pretty impressive!! 

Thanks (laughs). 

And has that background had any effect on the way you write?

I think so. If more than anything, it impacts my worldview and I’m always trying to contextualise stuff and I can see both sides to most arguments. It means when something happens, I have a real crisis, like ‘but how do I deal with it’ or ‘do I see it like this?’, because it’s also perfectly valid to see it in all these different lights according to your philosophy. It probably helps because I need to get stuff out for songwriting.

When you’re in that crisis mode, you probably wish you could shut it off too (laughs). 

Oh yeah, definitely. 

So many of your songs are quite personal, is it a natural thing for you to be open or can it be difficult?

It’s really natural for me to write. Sometimes it can be difficult playing it to people, but playing it live, I never find it strange being that emotional. Playing people recorded tracks like permanently etching it on something that they can listen to all the time is a bit weird sometimes and often before releasing a song, I have a moment of panic, where I’m like, ‘okayyy, I didn’t really think about letting the whole world know about this thing’. 

Do you enjoy working alone? 

I like working alone and working on the demos at home, but a lot of it is an open process once I get into the studio. My producer Chris Bond and his brother Bear are great musicians so they’re always contributing stuff. Live, I play with amazing bandmates, and they’re always throwing things into the mix. I never feel that alone, but ultimately I am solo artist and it all rests on my shoulders (laughs). 

Last year, you released your debut album Future, what was it like working on it?

It was a real rollercoaster. I was so happy with the music and how it was progressing but I had loads of delays. And in the end, it took two years to actually finish it. Most of that was sitting around and waiting to get back into the studio or for calendars to align and stupid frustrating stuff. So by the time it was ready to go, I was full of relief (laughs), so much relief. 

How do you handle all that waiting? 

You go mad basically (laughs), I just went mad and worked on new music so the album changed quite a lot because in the space of two years I wrote new songs. But generally, I just went mad with frustration. 

Have you thought about coming to Australia to play?

I would love to! I have been to Australia twice now, and each time I thought about organising something. I was visiting for a family wedding and then something else. I want to play shows but I also just really want to go around Australia and see it and chill out and enjoy it.

I’ve heard your stuff on triple j a few times! 

I know, how crazy! I spent ages trying to figure out who the hell was playing and requesting it (laughs). I have some family, who are actually in a band called Palms, who are amazing!

And as soon as the SXSW craziness ends, what do you have planned?

After this, I am back in the studio working on the next record, immediately.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)
Photos by Kristy Smolcic (Folio)

You can listen to Future by Eliza Shaddad below:

Now Playing: Dantevilles – ‘Bloomin’ Flowers'

Manchester-based band Dantevilles are back at it again with ‘Bloomin’ Flowers’, which is their energetic follow-up to their debut self-titled EP last year. The track was produced with frequent collaborator Joseph Cross, who is the bassist of Courteeners.

Infusing elements of vintage rock and roll, the track was written late at night and was then placed on the backburner after they thought it needed a bit more work. The wait paid off for the band, with ‘Bloomin’ Flowers’ turning out to be an infectious slice of enticing rhythms and captivating drum patterns.

You can listen to ‘Bloomin’ Flowers’ by Dantevilles below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)


Upcoming live dates:
March 21 – Lending Room, Leeds
May 25 – Your City Festival 2019, Stoke
More information is available here

Interview: Hanging Out Poolside with Pip Blom at SXSW

Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Photo by Kristy Smolcic

Pip Blom are quickly becoming one of the most talked about bands of 2019. With the release of their debut album Boat coming up soon on May 31 (via Heavenly Recordings), we had the chance to catch up with Pip (vocals/guitars) her brother Tender (vocals/guitars), Darek Mercks (bass) and Gini Cameron (Drums) poolside in Austin during SXSW. 

So, have you been enjoying Texas? What have you all been up to so far?

Pip: It’s been really nice. We arrived two nights ago. Yesterday we had our first full day, and yeah, it’s been lovely and very American.  
Tender: Yes, very American.
Pip: Three of us have never been to America before, and Gini was very young when she first went to America. We’ve had a pizza slice, and we had a burger for breakfast.
Gini: We’re staying in a really nice house with lovely hosts whilst we’re sitting around the swimming pool right now, not swimming (laughs). This is really fancy for us, it’s been nice. 

Did you get to catch any music last night?

Tender: We got to see Sports Team.
Pip: They are our friends from the UK.
Tender: We wanted to see Black Midi, the Oh Sees were playing, Squid, but unfortunately we only had time to see Sports Team.
Pip: Oh, we actually went to Wallmart as well, which is a very American thing. 
Gini: It was really good we could do that because we had a car yesterday. So from today, we can actually go out and see bands, and everyone we want to see is playing other days as well so we have time. 

Now, after spending more time in the UK, how would you say the music scene is different than back home in The Netherlands? 

Darek: In the UK more people go to see bands, especially alternative bands. It’s big, the area is much bigger too. In every city, there is a different scene and the indie scene is very alive. 
Gini: And people go out every day of the week, which doesn’t really happen as much back home. 
Darek: Or go see bands.
Gini: Unless Beyonce is playing (laughs), but you wouldn’t usually go see a band on a Tuesday night that you don’t know yet, so I like that.

Photo - Kristy Smolcic
And how has it helped you all as a band being based in the UK?

Pip: I think being in the UK, it feels like one of the leading countries in Europe in terms of indie and alternative music. If you’re doing alright over there, then other countries will notice you a bit quicker. If you’re really big in The Netherlands, no-one will really notice outside of The Netherlands. I’m not talking about us but generally speaking, if you get big in the UK it reaches more people.
Darek: It’s a bigger wave.
Pip: It’s a big difference. We’re already starting to notice how it's affecting us as well. 
Tender: We wouldn’t be at SXSW otherwise.
Pip: Yeah.
Gini: I find it pretty strange that now Holland is catching up a little bit through England. We’re from Holland obviously, but if we weren’t playing in England we wouldn’t be playing half the things we do, which is strange. 

Have you had the chance to play a lot of live shows around the UK?

Pip: Oh yes, we’ve played a lot (laughs), and a range of different size venues. We got to support The Breeders, which was really big venues, but we also did Independent Venue Week and those were like 200 capacity venues.
Darek: We’ve done some festivals as well.
Pip: We’re doing at least 90 shows a year, so it’s plenty of shows (laughs). 
Darek: We want more though (laughs). 
Pip: Yes we do!

Photo - Kristy Smolcic 
And your debut album Boat is coming out soon, how excited are you that it’s finally being released?

Tender: It’s exciting to finally see what people think of it. 
Darek: We like it (laughs).
Pip: I still find it terrifying. I’m trying to say to myself ‘we like it’, and I don’t think we could of done any better at this point of time making that album. But then still, maybe everyone hates it.
Gini: As long as we like it, it’s what matters.
Pip: We’ve never released an album before, so it’s new and different.
Darek: It’s scary.
Tender: The second album is the one we should be worried about. 

You have to get through album number one first before stressing about number two (laughs).

Pip: Yeah, exactly (laughs)!

I’m sure no one is going to hate it!

Pip: Well…
Darek: There’s always going to be someone who hates something.
Tender: Haters are gonna hate (laughs).
Darek: Exactly (laughs).

Photo - Kristy Smolcic 

Where did you make the album?

Tender: In Ramsgate.
Pip: Which is in the UK. We went to a studio there, it’s called Big Jelly Studios.
Gini: I loved that studio! 
Darek: Lovely studio and lovely people. Shout out to Al. 
Pip: And Mike (laughs).
Tender: Shout out to Dave (laughs).
Pip: We recorded it mainly with Dave because he’s our producer and then Al was our engineer and it was an amazing team and we got to stay at the studio.
Tender: We had beds set up, and it was really nice. We also had a kitchen, it was our little home for a few weeks. 
Pip: We completely fell in love with Ramsgate as well, walking around every day, it was sunny.
Tender: We were sweating.
Gini: It was sunnier than Austin (laughs).
Pip: It was so nice. 

Sounds very lovely! And what’s coming up for you all when SXSW ends?

Pip: So many things.
Tender: We’re having a month off soon.
Gini: We’re going to England first, right?
Pip: Yes, that’s true, we’re going to play three shows, or maybe two, we’re playing Annie Mac’s festival.
Tender: Oh yeah, with Squid and Amyl & The Sniffers.
Pip: We’re also doing a tour at the beginning of May for 10 days, and then at the end of May and beginning of June we’re doing another tour, we’re also playing Reading and Leeds, Mad Cool Festival in Spain, and NOS Alive Festival in Portugal, so we’re doing a few cool things around Europe. A lot of things are still up in the air. Places like SXSW can be so important with booking those shows, so we need to step up our game in the next few days and play some killer shows.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)
Photos by Kristy Smolcic

You can check out their music video for their recent single 'Daddy Issues' below:

If you're in the UK and Europe, click here to find out where Pip Blom are performing live soon.

Now Watching: WOOZE – ‘I'll Have What She's Having'

Monday, March 18, 2019
Photo by Bex Day

British/Korean duo WOOZE continue their string of enthralling music videos with their latest clip for ‘I’ll Have What She’s Having’, which is set to appear on their highly anticipated EP what’s on your mind, due for release on May 3rd via Young Poet Records.

The cinematic music video was filmed in an Incheon 'colatek’, which is a daylight disco for older Koreans, with many having affairs. On the video, the duo said, “The fact that on the surface this is a video about cheating couples on a double date is in many ways irrelevant as the ending of the video will highlight. As the narrative progresses time unravels, identities split and the contours of reality, and what constitutes reality, blur”. The clip was directed by Korean director Nuri Jeong.

WOOZE never fails to impress and once again they prove why they should be on everyone’s radar.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

Interview: Meet Soft Streak, your new fave dreamy duo from LA

Photo - Kristy Smolcic 

It's no secret that we're huge fans of LA-based experimental electronic duo Soft Streak. Our first taste of their sound was with ‘Orogeny’, and we were instantly in awe of what they could do. We met up with Tori and Colton last week to talk about being in LA, new music and the challenges they face.

Are you both originally from LA?

Tori: No
Colton: Neither of us are. I’m from the Bay Area in Northern California and Tori is from Connecticut.
Tori: Yeah, I’m from Connecticut on the East Coast.

How did you both meet?

Tori: We met in our sophomore year of college.
Colton: In 2012.
Tori: So it’s been a while (laughs). We didn’t start making music together right away, but I guess being friends helped before making music.

And how has moving to LA influenced the way you approach music and your sound?

Tori: It has influenced us a lot. I guess we both had different music tastes when we met and part of us becoming friends was sharing music together and sort of figuring out what we liked.
Colton: We really grew up as musicians in LA so it has really influenced us as there’s tonnes of music around and friends who do film and art and that type of stuff.
Tori: Yeah, I think we definitely found our sound together. When we first started making music together, it sounded very different then what it is now. I think just the city has a lot to offer in terms of creativity.
Colton: And a lot of different genres too.
Tori: And music that you can see all the time and every night. So that has been great.

Photo - Kristy Smolcic

Recently you shared your EP Late Bloomer, how long did it take to put that together?

Colton: It was probably over the span of over a year. We were kind of just compiling different songs together.
Tori: We had a different iteration of this project before and we figured out that it didn’t sound like us, so we took some time to figure out what we sounded like and where we wanted to go, but yeah, I would say it took around a year.

I found as I was listening to the EP that it was tightly curated and the flow between tracks was incredible. 

Tori: Thanks.

How much consideration do you put it into the sequence of the tracks and how it flows as a whole?

Tori: I didn’t go into the process thinking about a theme that I wanted to write about necessarily, but it happened organically. I was thinking about things in my life that came out into the music. In terms of flow, we think about that a lot. Just like listening to other people’s projects in order and wanting it to be a cohesive piece of work, I think that’s important to us.

Did you encounter any challenges when putting it together?

Tori: I think because we had the other iteration of the project, which was under another name, we really just wanted to take our time with it and to make sure that what we were putting out was going to be the best representation of us. I think that can be very hard if you’re close to the project and you’re listening to it a lot and then decide what to change.
Colton: Like Tori was saying, we took our time on the project because we were trying to figure out what sound we wanted to do. So even though it was a year, we weren’t literally working on the songs for the entire year. We would do a song, sit on it and think about it and see if it was what we wanted to sound like.
Tori: There was literally a lot of discards.
Colton: (Laughs) Tonnes of discards. We probably did over 30 songs, and then only picked a few.

Photo - Kristy Smolcic

And some of the songs that were discarded, will you ever release them or will you keep them locked away? 

Tori: That's a good question (laughs), I don't know.
Colton: Yeah, some of those will never see the light of day (laughs). Sometimes we'll go back through them. It's happened a few times where we've started something, threw it away and then found it again and reworked it.
Tori: Or have even taken a section of it and added it to something else.
Colton: I think even with ‘Orogeny’, we almost threw that song out.
Tori: We couldn’t figure out what direction it was going to take.
Colton: It wasn’t really working and then we then revisited it and then I added a few things into the production.

I’m so glad you ended up not cutting it!! (laughs) I love that one so much. Have you thought about your next release?

Tori: We have a music video coming out in April. It’s for a new song, we’re going to play it this week. We’re super excited, it’s already been shot, it’s being colored now.
Colton: It’s going to be our first visual, so we’re very excited about it.
Tori: We have some other songs recorded or rough demos, and then we will probably follow up with a single. But I’m leaning towards putting out a bigger project after this.
Colton: I think we’re going to do singles until we gain a little more traction. I feel like with Late Bloomer, it seemed harder for us get more press for a whole project rather than singles.
Tori: In terms of Spotify and streaming services, I think the nature of having playlists instead of other ways of discovering music people gravitate towards singles and putting them on a playlist is easy and you get to hear a bunch of different things. But I’m more interested in an album.
Colton: Artistically, we really want to do it.
Tori: Yeah, a more cohesive album.

So, as soon as SXSW wraps up, are you going to go back and work on new music?

Tori: On the way back, we’re going to playing in El Paso and then we have a show in LA, we’ll have to stay awake for it (laughs).
Colton: And we have a few shows being booked in LA after that.
Tori: We sort of took a break when we were making the EP and wrapping that up, we didn’t play shows in a while, so I can’t wait to play a bunch of shows in LA.
Colton: We’re going to try play as many shows as possible.
Tori: But hopefully play shows and work on the music at the same time.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)
Photos by Kristy Smolcic (Folio)

You can listen to Late Bloomer by Soft Streak below:

Feature: The Anatomy of ‘Stop and Stare' with GLOO

Littlehampton trio GLOO recently unveiled their dynamic single 'Stop and Stare'. Tom Harfield, who is the vocalist and guitarist in the group took some time out to give us the backstory behind the track. Check it out below!

I wrote 'Stop and Stare'... in about an hour after work one day in a bedsit flat. Fuelled by a shit day, it really made me want to write a song so one day I wouldn't have to go to " work "

The story behind 'Stop and Stare'... is that I was sick of the feeling of being watched all the time with social media and just a feeling of like I couldn’t have privacy in real life too. It’s a song about not having control of yourself or your own time and not being happy with that

My favourite lyric is... the chorus line ‘somebody’s watching me’ over and over. Exactly what my head was saying in 3, technically 4 words haha

It was made... in South Terrace in Littlehampton on a cold, wet evening. Whisky on tap.

My main inspiration was... the shitness of work that day but as always there’s musical inspiration which I took from a lot of stooges simplicity and grit. The inspiration for me is anything that can lead to escapism, sometimes it comes in books, sometimes from people.

It sounds best when... you're really fucked off or getting really fucked up.

Listen to 'Stop and Stare' by GLOO below:

Feature: The Anatomy of ‘Say It' with Thandi Phoenix

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Recently, the ever-so-talented Thandi Phoenix combined her musical superpowers with UK powerhouse Sigma on 'Say It'. She took some time-out to break-down the story behind her dazzling new single for us below.

The story behind 'Say It' is... finding yourself at a point in a relationship where your desire for honesty and intimacy has reached bursting point. There's a profound power in being vulnerable and open with someone about your feelings and this song is calling out for just that

My favourite lyric is... “Say it that you want me now. Say it that you need me now. Confess to me”

It was made... in a room with a colour wheel remote so I was switching up the colours and feels often - felt like a nightclub in the studio haha

My main inspiration was... big 90s house tunes with rhythmic driven pianos and anthemic hooks

It sounds best when... you turn it all the way up

You can listen to 'Say It' by Thandi Phoenix below:

Live Review: SXSW 2019 16.03.19 – ft. Bathe, The Amazons, Goodbye Honolulu & Soft Streak

Photo by Kristy Smolcic

Yesterday was our last day in Texas for SXSW, and we were determined to finish off the festival by squeezing in a day packed with the best tunes from around town. Before we left Austin, check out what we got up to throughout the day.

Goodbye Honolulu at Hotel Vegas:
Our favourite Canadians brought their buoyant energy to Burger Records’ Burgermania showcase and they made sure everyone in the room was having a good time. Despite it being an intimate space, they sent fans into a frenzy, with moshing and crowd-surfing erupting amongst the crowd. Their live shows are a fun experience for anyone lucky enough to catch them live. 

Bathe at Swan Dive Patio 
I still remember the first time we stumbled across Bathe — we were three hours deep through our daily scroll sessions on Hype Machine and couldn’t believe how good ‘Sure Shot’ was. Last night, we were lucky enough to finally catch them live. The duo left everyone mesmerized with their enthralling and memorable showcase. We’re excited to see where Devin and Corey take Bathe next. 

Soft Streak at CU29 
This fab duo from Los Angeles brought the grooves to CU29 and their set was a magical experience from beginning to end. They gave the crowd a delightful taste of their latest EP Late Bloomer, as well as a cover of Gwen Stefani’s ‘Cool’. Soft Streak never leave us disappointed and we’re certain these talented humans have something special planned for 2019. 

The Amazons at the British Music Embassy 
With three hours until we were supposed to be at the airport, we skipped sleep and made our way to the British Music Embassy to see the always firey legends The Amazons close out the British Music Embassy. Oozing confidence, the band rocked their way through their new single ‘Mother’, which was their opener, as well ‘In My Mind’, ‘Little Something’ and ‘Junk Food Forever’. They ended their set with Matt leaving his guitar with someone in the crowd before the band briskly departed the stage in true rock 'n' roll style (P.S. we made our flight and it was worth every second).

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)
Photos by Kristy Smolcic (Folio)

Interview: The Amazons on their plans for world domination in 2019

Photo - Kristy Smolcic

Currently gearing up for the release of their highly anticipated sophomore album, The Amazons, who are one of the UK's most prominent rock bands right now, have been working hard. Whilst in Austin for SXSW, we caught up with three-quarters of The Amazons to dive into 'Mother', their new album and why they should visit Australia ASAP.

What have you guys been up to in Texas?

Matt: It’s been wicked, it’s been really fun. We were just at the Texas Music Museum out of town, around an hour away and that was really cool. We got a real sense of, not only the artists that you would know about like Janus Joplin or Buddy Holly but also the German immigrants and their influence on classical music, and then went into Western Swing, a bit of Ragtime, and the gospel stuff.
Joe: This guy, bless him, that was running it, I don’t think much people visit it because he was telling us everything Texas related and music related.
Matt: It was wicked.
Joe: Yeah, it was so good.
Matt: Now we feel like we’ve had a taste of what Austin is all about and we’re excited to play at Lucille's (Australia House) tonight.
Joe: We’re two gigs in on our SXSW journey now and we feel warmed up.

You’ve played a bit overseas now, right?

Matt: Yeah, we have.

I actually saw you guys around a year ago in Tokyo, and it was a really interesting experience. What’s it like for you when you're playing in front of people who aren’t native English speakers? 

Matt: I think it’s really interesting to see how the music transcends cultures and languages. I couldn’t speak Japanese, but they certainly understood rock and roll, they definitely understood a drum solo (laughs). To be fair, they might not be fluent in English, but they were singing the words back to us in English. It was just fun, it’s the best bit about it. We’ve toured the hell out of England and it’s amazing, and it has a different kind of enjoyment, but going abroad and trying new things, meeting new people and going on new adventures is the best thing about it all, I think. We were saying earlier, yesterday actually, it’s amazing where something as simple as music can take us whilst sitting around a quiet suburb in Austin.
Joe: Yeah, just looking out onto the road as cars were driving past, just going “this is crazy”.
Matt: We’ve gone from playing in Seoul, Korea to here, it’s crazy man.
Joe: It’s good.
Matt: It’s sick. I love it.
Joe: It’s like a huge gap year (laughs).
Matt: Yeah (laughs).
Joe: It’s a lifelong gap year, basically.
Matt: It’s like a summer vacation forever

Photo - Kristy Smolcic

Getting to take what you love to places as far as Japan or Korea is a pretty cool thing to do.

Matt: It’s like people’s annual holiday, but you do it all in one year. The music takes us through a different way of travelling.
Chris: I kinda like it as well because it’s not so much that you’re choosing where to go somewhere, the music is choosing where you go.
Matt: 100 per cent.
Chris: There’s something quite fairytale-esque about that, I think.
Matt: When turning up to a country, or like here, it’s not all about relaxing or chilling out like a normal holiday like tourists, there’s a purpose for being here, and that we're supposed to be here because people want to hear the music, and like Chris said, they choose where you go, we don’t choose where to go. Because there are places where we would love to go.
Joe: Like Australia.
Matt: But they haven’t chosen us yet.

I was about to ask that, you obviously want to come to Australia, right??

Matt: Of course.
Joe: God yeah.
Chris: Yeah.
Matt: We hear so much about Melbourne in particular from our producer Catherine, who we worked with on the last album and the new one, Catherine Marks, she’s based in London, but she’s a really proud Aussie. So we want to come over.
Joe: Can we put on record that she’s a bogan?
Matt: (Laughs) yeah, she’s a massive bogan. She would love that. We listen to so much music from Australia, Tame Impala is a big one.
Joe: And AC/DC.
Matt: There’s so much music that comes out of Australia, and so much good rock and roll, like Wolfmother was great.
Joe: Yeah Wolfmother were sick.
Matt: JET too, Courtney Barnett as well.

Photo - Kristy Smolcic

Yeah, we’ve got a lot of good ones! 

And you literally just dropped the video for ‘Mother’, it’s a great one by the way. How did it come together? 

Matt: Thanks. Well, we always wanted to explore animated videos and we’ve always been inspired by the likes of Tame Impala. We felt like this song was the one that gave us more licence to go to different places and do different things creatively and it was the only thing that could match the sonics of the record. It was quite the journey and a really big learning curve and I think ultimately, we ended up with something really cool.
Joe: Stephen Agnew has done a great job with putting it together with all our hissy fits with changing tiny bits (laughs). It wasn’t like a normal video where you just change or cut a shot of someone, because it’s all hand-drawn and animation and changing one bit takes so long to do if we wanted to change it.
Matt: We literally had an animator and a good artist involved.
Joe: It feels like we didn’t do anything like that on the last album or the last campaign as well. And coming back with ‘Mother’ and doing something as different as an animated video felt like the right thing to do.
Matt: It definitely felt like the right thing. This time around, more than the first record, we have been exploring artwork, different artists and creative directions a lot more. Even on tour posters, there are so many dimensions and depth that you achieve using other people’s eyes and their interpretations of music so I think that’s something that we will explore a bit more.

Are you still working on the second album?

Matt: It’s all done.

So it's all finished? That’s exciting. 

Matt: Yeah, all finished, it's all ready to go. It’s been mastered, it's in the boxes
Joe: The artwork is complete, which didn’t we sign that off yesterday?
Matt: Yeah that’s all done too, signed that all off. We’re very excited. We’re just going through the lyrics to make sure there are no typos in them, all the fun stuff. I think we’re going to drop it a lot sooner than people think.

How long did it take to put together?

Matt: So the writing for the first couple of songs was at the end of 2017, right at the end, November 2017.
Joe: ‘Mother’ was the first.
Matt: Yeah, ‘Mother’ was the first, it was one of the first tunes. It took a long time to finish, these things generally do, in terms of the lyrics and the melody and trying to work out how it fits together. I think a lot of the lyrics were written at the same time because you can’t work out what to say until the very end (laughs). So that was a year’s worth of writing and it was the end of 2017 and we were in the studio in November and we were done by Christmas. Compared to the first album, it was such a quick turnaround and that was a really interesting experience for us. You get the opportunity to consider themes and cohesiveness that you wouldn’t have before, so it’s all done at the same time. It’s lyrically, essentially, my 2018, and my experiences with that. On a really personal level but also on a broader sense. I wouldn’t say it was overly negative, it was just a confusing time and there was a lot of turbulence I guess, and a lot of uncertainty. I think that’s reflected in the lyrics, not sonically, I think we’re very certain that we like the music, and we’re very certain that it’s rock and roll, and we really believe in the songs. It was an interesting time to be writing lyrics personally, because if you’re talking about relationships and how a lot of it is conducted on your phone, and then when you dive deeper into the phone thing we’re looking at broader aspects and stuff naturally, whether it’s the right thing or how much social media affects the way we conduct our relationships.

Photo - Kristy Smolcic

Sounds like the next album is going to be another hit! 

Matt: I hope so.

So when you guys wrap up here in Austin, what’s coming up? Do you put much consideration into music after album two is released?

Joe: We’ve got BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend in May.
Matt: Another single is going to come out in the next month and a bit.
Joe: More music, more playing.
Matt: We’re going to be playing a lot of festivals, Reading and Leeds, so more UK stuff, and go to Europe, and do a tour at the end of the year.
Joe: Then it’s Christmas again.
Matt: Whoa, then it’s Christmas (laughs). We’ll carry on writing, really. It was a different process for the last one. The first album felt like an end of a chapter and the end of an era, but I think this one more than ever, the second album feels like the start of something for me. It feels like the start of a journey. I felt like there was a wall that we had to push through, and now with the second album, as individuals and as a band, it’s been more of a creative journey exploring new music and exploring different sounds and then feeding that into us as musicians. There were a lot of songs that we didn’t have time to finish, so before there’s another album, I feel like there will be more music. The thing about releasing music in 2019 with all the streaming services that control how we listen to music I think that should dominate the way we release music, and I don’t see this band waiting another two years to put out an album
Joe: Being archaic in album cycles is waiting two years.
Matt: We’ve got stuff to go after the album, so I don’t see the point in waiting around.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)
Photos by Kristy Smolcic 

(Live photos were from The Amazon's set at SXSW during their showcase at the British Music Embassy on March 16)

Live Review: SXSW 2019 14.03.19 – ft. Novelist, The Blinders, Eliza Shaddad, Golden Vessel, Husky Loops & Willie J Healey

Friday, March 15, 2019
Photo by Kristy Smolcic 

Night four in Austin saw us squeeze in six showcases, which is the most we’ve done in one night during our entire time at SXSW — and it was our favourite night yet. We take you through our highlights from another massive night in Texas.

Husky Loops at 720 Club 
We kicked off our night at Husky Loops’ riveting set at 720 Club. The packed out space turned into a wonderland of intricate beats and fine musicianship from the UK-based three-piece. Husky Loops' shows are an enticing experience for anyone who is lucky enough to see them live in action.

Eliza Shaddad at The Townsend 
After following Eliza’s music for a little while now, we were thrilled to finally see what she does best in a live setting, and it was impressive. Accompanied on-stage by two members from ISLAND, Eliza presented a moving display of raw vocals and storytelling and we were covered in goosebumps until the moment she departed the stage.

Willie J Healey at David’s Historic Sanctuary
SXSW 2019 has seen us hang out at the British Music Embassy most of the time, but after hearing around town that Church venues were a great place to catch showcases, we thought we would give it a go. We headed over to catch Willie J Healey for a second time this week, and it was just a special as the set he played at the British Music Embassy on Monday. It’s safe to say that we’re all going to be seeing much more of him as time goes by. Some highlights from his set included ‘666 Kill’ and ‘Lovelawn’.

Golden Vessel at Scratchhouse Backyard 
After being left mesmerised by Eliza Shaddad and Willie J Healey, the dreamy vibes continued through to Golden Vessel’s set at Scratchhouse Backyard. The support for Golden Vessel on the night was massive, winning the hearts of everyone who was there. The enchanting set included splendid releases, ‘BIGBRIGHT’, ‘Hesitate’ and ‘DIZZY’. Spotted mid-set was a group of dudes tracking down Golden Vessel’s Soundcloud, with them murmuring to each other, “this guy is about to be huge!".

Novelist at the British Music Embassy 
After dominating the Fader Fort, Novelist has become one of the most talked about rappers at SXSW and we had to see why. His buoyant set had the room frantic and everyone could feel his energy. Though we haven't had the chance to catch much rap this year, Novelist's set satisfied all our cravings.

The Blinders at the British Music Embassy 
Our last showcase for the night was The Blinders, who put on a memorable show. The Manchester-based three-piece were utterly ferocious from beginning to end. From the moment they pounced onto the stage, they had the entire room hypnotised in every way possible. Though their set was a highlight as a whole, some memorable moments included the fiery ‘L’Etat C’est Moi’ and always entrancing ‘Brave New World’. Walking out of the British Music Embassy, they were the talk of the night and without a doubt, one of our favourite sets from SXSW 2019.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)
Photos by Kristy Smolcic