Feature: The Ingredients of Low Grade Buzz with Huntly

Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Photo by Phebe Schmidt

Melbourne trio Huntly, featuring Elspeth Scrine, Andrew McEwan and Charlie Teitelbaum, give it their all on their highly anticipated debut album Low Grade Buzz, released last month. The album is an exploration through reflections of identity and the world as Huntly sees it. The tracks on Low Grade Buzz have been designed to make you both dance and cry (sometimes simultaneously). Elspeth from the trio takes us through the ingredients of the album.

Around the time we started writing for this album, we began to move our live shows away from a focus on down-tempo electronica to dance-oriented beats. At the beginning of 2018 we played at Cool Room supporting Laurel Halo, which gave us a chance to experiment with a number of techno and drum & bass influenced tracks we had been working on. Having the audience move to the music we were playing on stage definitely influenced our approach to production on LGB, and has always been central to our manifesto; “doof you can cry to”. 

Photo: Cool Room

El’s Eurotrip
I packed my bags and swapped a hellish Melbourne winter for a couple of months in the European summer. I presented at a couple of academic conferences, went on long walks, lay around my second mum and dad’s home in London, and stayed out late. I connected with special people, I was reminded that I would love again and that Melbourne isn’t the centre of the universe. I spent a couple of weeks in Berlin with my best friends and set about forgetting that I was doing a PhD. We wrote ridiculous and emotional songs on the Airbnb’s piano, rode around the city, and lay in the park. I wrote Low Grade Buzz sitting on the floor of the balcony, the morning I returned from a long night out (pictured above). One day I bought a cheap little Yamaha keyboard in an op shop in Brighton and carried it under my arm for the whole day, which ended in a singalong of En Vogue’s ‘Don’t Let Go’ on the beach (pictured above). I carried the Yamaha with me everywhere and at some point came up with the chords for Low Grade Buzz - I knew then that it would be my favourite song on the album :’)

Esther’s commanding, dulcet tone
In 2017 I (Elspeth) discovered this podcast and was obsessed; I can’t get enough of good podcasts, they are truly my rock and I have got through some hard times with them by my side. Esther Perel is a psychotherapist and author who is fluent in nine languages, and in this podcast you listen to her couples’ therapy sessions. I would listen to multiple episodes a day as I cycled to and from uni or work, thinking about life, love, autonomy, trauma, healing and more. 

Ballantyne St Studio
Most of this album was produced in the bungalow studio at Andy’s house. The floor is unevenly laid bricks, the roof is tin, but its windows look out to a beautiful big backyard and it acted as a space where we could lose ourselves in the creation of this music. The very end of the album fades to a field recording taken from inside the studio; the sound of someone mowing their lawn next door (a “low grade buzz” of sorts), wind chimes, a train horn as it passes nearby.

Each Other 

Catch Huntly on tour at these dates:
May 4th - Golden Age Cinema, Sydney 
May 9th - Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
More information is available here

Listen to Low Grade Buzz by Huntly below: