Olivia Gavranich (vocals, lyrics, arrangement)
Ella Wisniewski (sax)
Billie Holiday, King Krule
Unearthed artists we like
NGAIIRE (nyree) , Cub Sport , Mama Kin , San Cisco , Nearly Oratorio , The Townhouses , Moustache , Big Old Bears , Kyson , Potato Potato , Sid Pattni , Yujen , The Kite String Tangle , Kailo , Ainslie Wills
St. South is the project of Fremantle singer/songwriter, Olivia Gavranich. The name 'St. South' is a nod to her childhood, having been raised in the small country town of Denmark, 5 hours South of Perth. It was here that Olivia received her informal musical education, immersed in the tunes of an eclectic mix of artists: from Elvis Costello to Dianna Ross, Johnny Cash to Billie Holiday, Nina Simone to the Waifs. This broad range of musical influences is reflected in her genre-bending approach to songwriting. Olivia's distinctive vocals weave throughout layers of tightly-produced electronic beats, to create a sound that is at once original and instantly recognizable.
In August 2012, St. South entered the Bon Iver Stems Project, and went on to win her category with her song, 'We Washed Texas'. The track is a re-mix combination of three Bon Iver songs, along with completely new and original vocals that she wrote, recorded, mixed and mastered in her Fremantle home. St. South had her remix officially released on Bon Iver's exclusive Stems Project album, by record label 'Jagjaguar'.
"Taking a quick gander on St. South’s Soundcloud page is going to be anything but quick, because once her vocals hit your ears, your deep and enthralling entrance into the abyss of her beauty will not end." - Hilly Dilly (Vancouver, CA)
"Not content with sticking to one style, Olivia draws on electronic influences too, using trickling programmed beats and softly churning synths to cement her brand of woozy, forward-thinking folk." - The Line of Best Fit (UK)
"The song “Slacks” has a certain swagger and confidence to it. Her lyrics are powerful and self-assured, and the beat just kind of rolls along without a care. It’s definitely a tune you’ll have on repeat for a while." - Vinyl Me Please (Chicago, IL)
"This track is a cornucopia of awesomeness. The cutting lyrics illustrate a declaration of one’s independence from the destructive holds of a relationship gone wrong as Gavranich’s delicately layered vocals sweep across electronic soundscapes." - Hopeless Thunder (NYC)
St. South is the electrofolk project of young Perth-based singer/songwriter Olivia Gavranich. Lose yourself in the warmth and layers of her delicate, soothing tunes.
Tell us about your music - how did you develop your sound?
The electronic world is still very, very new to me! Up until quite recently I’d been focusing on writing acoustic folky stuff, which I guess is now more of a side project. After producing ‘We Washed Texas’ for the Bon Iver Stems Project, I developed this newfound appreciation for dry beats and clicks. I couldn’t get enough of it, and I slowly started turning my acoustic songs into something more ‘glitchy’ and electronic. Everything came together really quickly after that; I’ve collaborated online with some great friends from all corners of the world, and together we’re working on my first EP.
What’s a St. South live show like?
Believe it or not I’m yet to play a live show! It’s really important to me that when I start gigging, I’m completely happy with my material and live set-up. Once my EP is complete, I’ll start wrapping my head around putting together a live show, with an electronic band and a full set list of original tracks. I think I’d get lonely up there with just my laptop!
Tell us about growing up in Denmark, WA. What are your strongest memories of that time?
Denmark has to be one of the best places to be a kid: my brother and I would spend our spare time going feral on the ‘back tracks’ of the bush, we’d take our bikes out for the day, build cubbies, and come back looking like little grubs. Music was definitely a huge part of my childhood. I remember dancing around the kitchen bench to The Pogues with my dad, and singing along to an old Tracy Chapman cassette with my Mum on the way to school. My earliest memory of seeing live music is packing a picnic and heading to Albany with my family to see the Waifs and Paul Kelly - all us kids would take off our shoes and run wild. No-one does live music like Denmark hippies.
What are some of the biggest influences on your music and why?
My biggest influences were the music my parents raised me on, because no matter where I am I’ll always feel a sense of nostalgia when I hear it, and I guess that’s one of those associations that builds your creative ‘personality’ the most. Nina Simone, Elvis Costello, The Waifs, Leonard Cohen: it’s an eclectic mix but they all inspire me for different reasons. As for my more current influences, I’m loving acts like Daughter, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Tiny Ruins, Frank Ocean, and Mama Kin, and am constantly finding new obsessions here on Unearthed. And it probably goes without saying that Justin Vernon can falsetto my socks off any day.
What’s coming up for you in 2013?
I’m working really hard to finish off my EP, which involves a couple of collaborations that I’m super excited about. But I guess my main goal is just to learn as much as I can. Rather than setting deadlines for myself, I think its important that I just take my time and enjoy the process!
Australian music is…?
…Koala-tea, not quantity.View Profile Hide Interview
26 Jun 2013
Wow, what a voic...
Wow, what a voice! The tone, the control and the delivery are all spot on. The production is great too, lo-fi but it totally works with the mood of the song. With a little more songwriting development, this lady will be quite a talent.