Laurel Laxxes

Review

Review by Claire Mooney Claire Mooney

23 Jul 2018

Triple J
40

Wren features gorgeously on this. I love the beats. It makes me feel like I'm on a tropical island about to dance my heart away. It's upbeat, uplifting and refreshing.

Wren features gorgeously on this. I love the beats. It makes me feel like I'm on a tropical island about to dance my heart away. It's upbeat, uplifting and refreshing.

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    Reija Lee

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    Reija Lee

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    Perth, WA

    Perth artist Reija Lee is this week's triple j Unearthed Feature Artist. She blew us away with her sparkling, 80's synth pop inspired debut single, 'Love Nobody' and we can't wait to hear more.

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    Tell us about your music. How did you develop your sound?

    Developing my sound wasn't a conscious effort. It honestly just blurted out of me. I had spent years making club music while having this soft spot in my heart for rock/pop bands and being inspired by artists like M83 and Bertie Blackman, part of me really just missed the live music world. So, when I started writing for this project (albeit still on a computer with software instruments), I was using a lot of real instrument sounds, looking for a more organic sound and everything always had a touch of 80s vibe to it - that's just what I love. When I decided I was making pop music I was like "I can use Linn drums! I can use cheesy sounding synths! Omg it’s pop music! I can do whatever I want!!!" So, there's been a real freedom in writing pop music for me.

    What’s your greatest source of inspiration for making music?

    This is always such a hard question for me because I feel like it changes all the time. Sometimes I'm just super inspired by really well written pop songs that are out at the moment. Like right now I can't get over Eilish Gilligan, and I'm constantly analysing G-Flip's 'Killing My Time' because it's got this weird structure, but literally every section of top line in the song is a killer hook... But sometimes I'll sit in my studio and just listen to Pink Floyd's 'The Wall' from start to finish, or John Hopkins' 'Singularity', or even my brother (ShockOne)'s first album 'Universus', because they are albums that are so all-encompassing that they take you on a journey and make you feel so intensely, and I love that. 

    What can punters expect from a Reija Lee live show?

    Well, as I mentioned, I began this project with the thought of live instruments in my head. So, I'm currently in the process of building a band around these songs. There will be live instruments but also still an electronic element like sample triggering, etc. Also, I saw M83 live in London years ago, and at the end of Midnight City this guy came out of nowhere and played that insane sax solo and everyone just lost their s***. That will definitely happen in a Reija Lee show. Hahahaha…

    What’s the best advice you’ve been given and who was it from?

    My brother once told me to never have a Plan B. If you have a Plan B, you'll just end of settling for it. If you don't, your only option is to succeed in music. Scary advice, but it's served me well to this day. 

     What Australian track would you play to cheer up someone who was crying?

    Willow Beats - Special! (Fun fact - my brother named his daughter Willow and this is her song <3 cute!).

    What Australian track would you play to someone to make them cry?

    Nick Cave - Into My Arms. When I was a little kid I would often listen to this song when I wanted to cry. That, and Jeff Buckley. Sensitive little soul.

    You’re the DJ at a party. The dance floor is pumping. What Australian track do you put on next?

     Obviously ShockOne - Bleed Black. 

    What was the last local gig you went to? How was it?

    I actually performed at the State of The Art Festival with Shock One recently. It was on WA Day and showcased acts from all over WA. It was awesome to see so many people from Perth and surrounds getting together and really showing what an amazing music community we have here. I was a proud Perthian that day.

    Tell us about the bands or people in the Perth music community that inspire you.

    Stella Donnelly! I love her lyrics, her lovable persona, her sense of humour, her message, everything. WOMPP (Women of Music Production Perth) - I am a quiet follower of this organisation as I love watching female producers killing it, and they also do cool showcases and talks and workshops and I just think they are FANTASTIC. The whole DnB / Dance music community in Perth. It's one I've been involved in for a while so I can't help but mention how amazing I think it is. Drum n Bass is still really quite underground in Australia and it's hard times right now for dance music everywhere as a lot of our clubs have closed down... but the community still manages to fight on. Despite being the most isolated city in the world, we still have the biggest New Years Eve event in the country with Origin. It's easy to think that Perth is a sleepy old city where nothing happens, but there's still a lot going on here if you pay attention.

    What are your plans for 2018?

    More music!!! I have a second single that’s almost finished that I'm super excited about, aaaand I have also just finished the video for Love Nobody which I CAN'T WAIT to share with everyone. Other than that, more writing for an album, and working on an amazing live show with a sax solo!

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