Feature: The Anatomy of 'Candy Heart' with Dress Code

Sunday, February 16, 2020
Photo by Thomas Schaefer

This week, Adelaide-based band Dress Code unleashed their brand new single 'Candy Heart', which follows in the footsteps of their impressive previous releases 'Youth Culture' and before that 'Caffeine'. In a city that's home to many incredible emerging artists, Dress Code showcase why they're ones-to-watch. They'll also be launching the single on February 21st at Crown & Anchor in their hometown of Adelaide. Ollie from the band recently took some time-out to dissect the story behind 'Candy Heart' for us below. 

We wrote 'Candy Heart'... About finding love and all the intricacies that surround it. So uplifting and confusing at the same time. At the core of it, it's just a song about letting yourself be happy despite all the things that may get in the way of that. Paying attention to the simple things in life and let them help you through everything else.

The story behind 'Candy Heart' is... The idea for the song came around July 2019. Jayden (guitar) played me a guitar riff he was working on at the time, the next day I sent him a very rough voice memo recording of me playing what would become the chorus of 'Candy Heart'. Listening back to what I sent him, the chorus never changed past that point — the vision for the song was very clear from day 1.

My favourite lyric is... “If I could I would be dreaming, afraid of the unlived life,” This may seem like a pretty simple line on the surface, but there’s a bit going on behind the scenes. “the unlived life”, it's a reference to a book by Natalie Babbitt called Tuck Everlasting. In the book, an older figure advises the protagonist to not be afraid of dying, but the unlived life. This really affected me at the time, it's important to not let fear stop you from living your life to the fullest. The first part, “if I could I would be dreaming” is actually a line from a song I wrote when I was 17, so it almost feels like present-day me is having a conversation with past me, warning him that escapism doesn’t always work out.

It was made... This track went through a pretty extensive demo process in our home studio before we went to track it with Jarred Nettle at the House of SAP in Adelaide. After that, it was mixed by Adrian Breakspear and mastered by Ben Feggans at Studio 301.

Our main inspiration was... I think you can probably tell from this release that we were listening to a lot more electronic-driven music while we were writing this. I Know Leopard's album Love Is A Landmine was on repeat at the time, English projects The Japanese House and Honne also had high rotation at the time.

It sounds best when... The first time I heard the mix I was driving in a car with my 3 best friends (the rest of Dress Code) and that was a pretty good moment, so probably that. Get in your car with someone you love and turn it up.

Listen to 'Candy Heart' by DRESS CODE below:

Follow Dress Code:

Learn more about Dress Code in our feature interview with them last year here.