Track Review: Dark Fair - 'Listen Up' + Interview with Ramona Moore

Monday, February 23, 2015

“Listen Up” is a brand new track by Melbourne duo Dark Fair, made up of Ramona Moore (Lead Guitar/Vocals) and drummer Ellie Dunn (aka Snowy). It was recorded at Birdland Studio in Prahran with renowned producer Lindsay Gravina.

Light and distant riffs coated in reverb from the outset, this track builds beautifully into a hard driven rock anthem. Powerful lyrics highlight a first verse that proves to be an excellent precursor to the strength of the chorus. It has an extremely relatable theme, which gives the song an empowering feel whilst retaining the subtlety that allows listeners to develop their own interpretation. The distorted guitar and energetic vocals heard in the chorus provide a fantastic contrast to the softer and more lyrical verses. Recurring riffs from both guitar and vocals alike create a unified sound throughout, one that feels familiar and memorable from the first listen. After working through a couple of well crafted verses and off the back of another huge chorus, they drop seamlessly into a punctuating bridge that is pure rock and roll at its finest. Overall, this song is heavy in all the right places, and ticks all the boxes for an instant hit.

I was fortunate enough to be able to have a chat with Ramona Moore about her band’s latest track.

Jack: Hi Ramona, loved the track 'Listen Up'. What would you say was the main inspiration that lead to writing it?    

Ramona: If I was to be absolutely honest it was about starting a new relationship after one ended. It's about fear of losing your identity and your voice in relationships. Losing yourself in someone is not healthy. That's probably what the lyrics about but yet the guitar riff just seems to keep the song pretty optimistic. Balancing out the messages I guess.   

J: How was it working with someone like Linsday Gravina? Was the experience vastly different from working with Neil Thomason on your 2014 EP “You Shouldn’t Be Mine”?    

R: Everyone has their own unique qualities as musician or producer. Both producers equally helped us realise the vision of all songs. I think what was different was the approach we took with the new single compared to how we tackled the songs off the last EP. We didn't have a lot of time in the studio with Lindsay. It was tight. He's incredible the way he is very structured but also very creative. I didn't have the time like I had with Neil to experiment on different instruments.    

Lindsay really guided us in this managed way. There was no wasting any time.   

We also didn't really have Listen Up completely figured out. We went to him and said we have a couple of songs in mind and played him some demos. We all agreed that Listen Up was the stronger song. We wanted Linsday to help us shape the song. It was dynamically a complete mess in my opinion.   

He also sat us down and said what did we want the song to be. Did we want it to reflect us? We said yes. So, we agreed no bass line. Lindsay actually got me onto the POG guitar pedal which thickens out the track. You think it's a bass but it isn't, people!  When we recorded the last EP both Ellie and I had pretty strong ideas for the songs. We had been playing them live for quite some time. That just wasn't the case with Listen Up. 

J: If you were to describe what the song meant to you, what would you say?    

R: I think the song is me telling me to learn from my mistakes but to also try and relax a little. I didn't really choose to write the song. I don't sit back and go I'm going to write about my relationships. So, I guess I've just come up with an interpretation as well. The song also reminds me of the creation process with Ellie. All our songs have a feeling or signature that is us. It carries through regardless of the song's subject matter. When we like what we create we get this fused smile between us. It just feels great.   

J: Having played with so many amazing artists around the country, what’s it like coming back to Melbourne to launch this new single?  

R: We've played with a range of artists over the last two years. We love touring and wish we could do it more often. We regularly play in Melbourne and I love it.   Single launches are special to us because it's a party. It's a celebration. I'm actually looking forward to dancing and having a few drinks with my friends after. 

Dark Fair will launch “Listen Up” at The Old Bar on February 28th, supported by Ouch My Face and Claws & Organs. 

Written by Jack Ford