Wednesday
Dec142011

Winter People

 

Do not look for me in the summer heat

Do not look for me in the autumn leaves. 

Loosely captured images and words, a certain rhythm. Listening to the lyrics of Wishingbone there’s the sense that the person behind these words is a writer. So I found after speaking to the lead singer of Winter People, Dylan Baskind.

‘I’ve been pursuing a literary passion for some years. I’ve been writing novels for about four or five years though I’ve never managed to get something that I felt had reached the level that I was happy with.’

Letting go of your writing is as difficult as projecting what you imagined in the first place. Winter People’s forthcoming debut is evidence that Baskind has achieved both within another medium altogether – sound. 

 ‘For me the song begins on paper, as couplets and sections and from the language the imagery and mood arises. A poem can remain halfway between the concrete and something that’s immediately communicable, especially with the music behind it – you can still have the emotion unspecified and unconscious.’

That leads me to the question, what is Wishingbone about? Though it’s never as simple as that, particularly when most writing rests on a series of images and feelings.

‘It’s the moment in a travelling journey where you’re in a desolate, empty plain and you come across a wishingbone picked clean by the wind, buried in the sand. It’s the point in the journey where you question the worth of setting out in the first place.’

Wishingbone is a song as wistful as it’s title. It slides within the space between sadness and happiness. Though there is in a way an uplifting element, something Baskind puts down to his love of classical music and the dramatic sounds of Beethoven and Chopin.

‘I’m very conservative in my taste, highly rule orientated and geometric.’

Though this translates through Winter People’s music in an entirely different way – through the careful layering of harmonies, acoustic melodies and then together with the glockenspiel, the building tension of all these sounds.

Most of all, the balance between raw and polished. Something they were able to achieve with the help of Peter Katis who also mixed the likes of Jonsi’s latest Go Do.

‘He is my idol [Peter Katis] The whole time I have been involved in audio he would always be my reference, he is the god of hi-fi/low-fi, of polished authenticity – there’s something he does that is high quality but also has the essence of a bedroom studio.’

Baskind comes back to the idea of writing – the same expression, a different channel. 

‘It’s like writing that doesn’t feel forced but is well constructed, flowing but carefully put together and you don’t notice when you’re reading. It’s the same thing with music, definitely a balance.’

Winter People have just finished up their tour with Busby Marou, supporting the two Rocky boys as they played shows across Australia,

‘It was really fun, lots of hijinks – but nothing that I could tell you on the record!’  

If you’re in town today head in Kings Cross Hotel for their free lunchtime gig at FBI Social or otherwise, turn on the radio! Looking forward to hearing more from these guys, keep your eye out for their debut album to be released early next year. 

 

 

Thursday
Nov172011

Royston Vasie

 

 

We were lucky to have a little chat with the Melbourne four piece Royston Vasie about their latest single That's My Girl and their forthcoming debut album due early next year. I wrote this to their manager Dave a few days ago, "think you have a pretty talented band on your hands. Can't wait to see where they go in the future." 


These days there are so many brands of rock out there whether it’s the vaguely named low fi, indie, and alternative. What attracts you guys to the good, old version? If we can call it that…The band has always been about writing songs that we love. One thing that plays into our favour when writing songs is the fact that all four band members have a different yet broad taste in music. This means that we never really know what ‘brand’ of rock our songs are going to turn out to be. Our new stuff has certainly taken on a garage rock sound which doesn’t come as much of a surprise given our love of music from that era.

 

That’s My Girl has to be one of our favourite songs at the moment and we can’t help but be a little curious for the rest of the record – do we find out if he ever gets her backUnfortunately the girl turned out to be a grown man in disguise. His name is Jim and he’s become a close friend of the band. Jim, if you’re reading this, we hope you’re well.

 

Does the entire album share the same raw energy of That's My Girl or are there moments when things are toned down a notch? That’s My Girl is definitely all about the raw energy and it is unquestionably one of our favourite songs to play. The album will without doubt bring more of this intensity but be prepared for the wall of sound that has recently been added to the Royston Vasie repertoire.

 

It must have been pretty satisfying to finish recording your debut LP, what was the best part? It’s been a few years in the making so we’re hanging to release this bunch of tunes. There’s nothing more satisfying than coming up with new material that we all feel passionate about. Fortunately that’s been a common occurrence throughout the album’s writing process. Recording the album with ol’ pals Finn and Craig at Hothouse in Melbourne was awesome fun. They’re the kings of youtube! Their selection of guitars is alright too…

 

Are you guys excited for the upcoming tour with Papa vs. Pretty) and the Vasco Era? Anything in particular planned you might want to let us in on? We’re totally pumped! Our shows are pretty unpredictable so anything could happen in the next couple of weeks… We’re just looking forward to being involved with two great bands as they’re doing some amazing things for Aussie music.

 

Just for fun, if you could take to the stage with any artists (alive or dead) who would they be? To take the stage at Waynestock, Aurora! Not just a place, but a state of mind.

 

That's My Girl by Royston Vasie


We'll keep you up to date on when Royston Vasie's debut drops and if you feel like checking them out with the Vasco Era and Papa vs Pretty before then (yeah you do) the dates are here. 

Thursday
Nov032011

Cameras

Cameras is Fraser Harvey, Eleanor Dunlop, Ben Mason.

There’s no doubt that Cameras are one of the most talented bands to emerge from Sydney, let alone Australia, in the past few years. Their highly anticipated debut album In Your Room was released last week and lived up to its promises, take a listen to Defeatist or Polarize and you’ll see what I mean. Cameras have arrived back in Australia after a successful string of American shows for their In Your Room tour and were happy to answer some questions that were on our mind.  



It’s a simple question but one that’s worth asking – what is it about making music that gets you every time? Making music is an escape, and everybody like a good escape in some form or another. The process of creating can be very rewarding.

 

Defeatist is one of the most moving displays of climax and sits alongside others on the record of the same nature, how do you go about creating tension within a song? Is it ever difficult? Creating tension in a song is not something we find difficult to do. We naturally head that way because that is what is attractive to our ears, and it just makes sense to us. For me it’s probably the most necessary thing I want from music, both creatively and as a listener. Anything else tends to just be twee crap that meanders too much.


We loved the film clip for Defeatist, what was the thinking behind the concept? This was all Jens Hertzum, and his ideas. The storyline was devised in his mind while he listened to our songs Defeatist and Polarise, as they were the double A sides being released in the US. There is a different version of this video cut to Polarise floating about somewhere…


What’s it like being a ‘manimal’?  At first we thought this had something to do with the tendency of indie film clips to feature men with animal masks until we realized it was an American record label… Manimal are an amazing label. They’ve done some amazing bands and artists who we love like Warpaint and Bat For Lashes, and is run by one of the best people I’ve met, Paul Beahan. He really is a dude. It’s a nice feeling to have that level of belief by someone in what you are doing.


What was the best thing about your recent tour in America? Which city do you guys think has the better scene, NYC or LA? The best thing? This is tough. America is an amazing country. There is an enthusiasm and positive outlook from people over there that exceeds anywhere else I’ve been. That and a little place called The Apple Pan. In terms of scene, I guess we spent more time in NYC so we were able to grasp that a bit better, and as a city I think it was a place we all loved right from the first minute. LA was not without it’s charms though, we met a lot of great people there, and that is where Manimal is based.

 

Just for fun, if you could take to the stage with any artists (alive or dead) who would they happen to be? James Brown and Tom Waits. At the same time.


 

Snap In Your Room from any reliable music store/ Itunes.

Thursday
Oct202011

Georgia Fair

Georgia Fair is Jordan Wilson and Ben Riley

the bell catches up with Jordan Wilson of Georgia Fair to talk about their debut album All Through Winter being released tomorrow, Friday the twenty first of October. 

The lanterns outline two figures set against the darkness picking a delicate melody across the strings that continues in time until the harmony comes to a crescendo, there’s the hover of a cymbal and it ends.

Silence.

There was a moment’s delay and then the crowd began to clap. Softly at first, too afraid the noise would shake them from their mesmerized daze into reality.

This is how it was listening to Georgia Fair play on their ‘Marianne, hold me now’ tour with Daniel Lee Kendall. A few jokes here and there and the push and pull of emotions when you move from the charms of an old favourite like Something Easy to the haunting melodies of tracks like Marianne. 

 

Georgia Fair’s first EP was released late 2009, with the second to follow a year later and now their debut album All Through Winter to be released this Friday the twenty second of October.

Though it feels as if Georgia Fair has been around for years and even if they’ve only just been released their songs take on a place as classics from the very beginning.

‘Sometimes it feels like I’m really new at this but then I think about it and we’ve been playing our way around for a good few years now and since we were really young.’

Jordan is down to earth about the band’s success, their recent tour with the Panics and the chance to work with Bill Reynolds of Band of Horses.

‘You don’t really expect these things, but now that we’ve done it its such an honour and you don’t take stuff for granted, we want to play with as many people as possible.’


All Through Winter was recorded in Asheville, Texas. Home to snow capped mountains and Bill Reynolds, the bassist of arguably one of the best bands in America Band Of Horses.

Brown leather jacket, thick black rims and that typical texan facial hair, watching an interview of Reynolds at the Grammys he’s the kind of guy who’s down to earth, grateful for the music and what he does.

Something Georgia Fair saw firsthand,

‘He’s a really laid back dude, really funny you wouldn’t know he toured the world constantly. He’s such an interesting guy too – he has so many stories, he used to hang out with Willie Nelson, we’re always learning from him.’

After having played with Band of Horses for nearly a decade and having produced records for the likes of folk songstress Lissie to fellow band member Tyler Ramsey, Reynolds is no doubt experienced.

‘We had a few producers in the mix and we were lucky enough that he had the time, we had a few phone calls and then we were on a flight to America. We loved his band so much and the records he’s produced, we sent him a few of our demos and I guess that’s also why he agreed to work with us, he liked our demos a lot.’

 

And as far as a setting to record their debut album, Asheville sounded beautiful.

‘We went for a lot of walks in Asheville, in the mountains, we were living in a pretty beautiful spot, a little cottage close to the mountains so there were sights all around us.’

Though this might be mistaken as the inspiration behind the album title. All Through Winter makes more of an allusion to the writing process during the lead up to their stay in America.

‘It encapsulates a lot of things, that’s [All Through Winter] a lyric from one of the songs called Time and the songs a bit dark. As we were writing this record it felt like we were going through a bit of a grind – it’s a bit of a metaphor I guess, a record for the times we’ve been going through to get this record out.’

 

This is a feeling reflected in the ‘alter ego’ portraits of their album cover and translates through to nostalgia of the record, characteristic of Georgia Fair’s music.

‘That’s one of those things I never really seem to be able to get away from, it’s not that I want to but I write a lot about nostalgia because I get these images in my head of times that have been, or times that have may have been… I like to embrace it, there’s a beauty in it.’

Most apparent in the track Time that appears further into the record, a subtle song that seemed to come together flawlessly,

‘They’re all special in their different way though one of my favourite moments is the song Time because we stripped it right back, and there’s really beautiful atmospherics on there that ben put on with his guitar. It was really one of those special moments in the studio where we were all working on it together and it ended up being a really great track.’

Georgia Fair’s debut album All Through Winter is an extension of their well-formed melodies and breathtaking harmonies, which at last showcases their songs in one extended sitting. 


 

All Through Winter is released tomorrow across Itunes and music stores Australia wide.