Harper Bloom

Featured Artist

2020

5

Jul

Harper Bloom

Melbourne, VIC

Get to know this week's triple j Unearthed Feature Artist, Harper Bloom!

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

When I was 5 or 6 my Dad bought me a guitar and took me to this independent teacher who encouraged me to learn Bob Dylan songs! Ever since around that age, I started writing songs, they didn’t really make sense back then, but I had that obsession with trying to fit sequences of words together and tell a story. I listened to, and played a lot of, the Alessi Brothers and The Beatles growing up too. A lot of their songs influenced me to write upbeat acoustic melodies. I have always resonated with artists that have arranged words and music in a way that is powerful in conveying a certain feeling or message, so I try and do the same!

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

For me, I would say it’s definitely the way I process the world around me. If something strikes a nerve with me, it will trigger me to write and tinker around on my guitar. It could be an overheard conversation, something I have seen that has affected me or people discussing their life and relationships.  Just watching how the world works and the irony of it all. Sometimes I catch random trains or buses just so I can watch different characters or see a different landscape to write about. I always carry a little notebook on me.

What can punters expect from a Harper Bloom live show?

Well after a couple of years of playing solo acoustically, I formed my full band at the start of this year with three really talented musicians! They really help bring the songs to life. It’s quite energetic and upbeat. I like to see people up and dancing and singing along. There are a couple of slower and reflective songs too. I also like to tell little stories about what inspired the songs, but in the end it’s just awesome to watch people enjoy your music and make it their own.

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

It’s this great quote by Anne Hood. It’s to give it the “rocking chair test”. Imagine that you’re 90 years old sitting on a porch and rocking on your chair as you reflect on your life. Will you regret doing it or not doing it, pick the decision you can live with and have no regrets in your choice. This quote always helps me when I’m on the edge of making a choice. It encourages you to just go for it, and I guess you can apply that to music pursuits and just general life.

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

I really love 'Southern Sun' by Boy and Bear! It has this really hopeful sound to it and makes me feel like I’m entering a new chapter every time I hear it.

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

Julia Jacklin’s ‘Don’t Know How to Keep Loving You”. I weep every time, it’s like The Notebook in a song. Then according to recent times, my girlfriend will be in a random room crying to the beauty of Angie McMahon and Leif Vollebekk’s “If You Call” (in a good way though).

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

It would have to be 'Dumb Things' by Paul Kelly. This reminds me of Saturday nights on Rottnest Island, what a beauty!!! 

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

The last local gig I went to was one I was supporting haha. It was right before Covid-19 restrictions hit in late March. It was Fletcher Gull’s EP Launch and Trace Decay played too. Both Fletcher and Trace Decay are really talented performers with big and vibrant indie anthems. They both have really tight bands and were incredible to see live.

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

I think there are different elements from all types of musos in Melbourne that have inspired me. I have learnt equally important traits from buskers at 2 am on Bourke Street as I have from established artists selling out the Corner Hotel night after night! Melbourne seems to live and breathe music and art, so I think that inspires you to be the best artist you can be. Also, I am a big fan of Courtney Barnett, G-Flip and Vance Joy. These are three amazing Melbourne artists that I think really developed their unique sound and showcase their individuality with extremely captivating live shows.

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VACATIONS

Featured Artist

2020

23

Jun

VACATIONS

Newcastle, NSW

Get to know this week's triple j Unearthed Feature Artist, VACATIONS!

Read Interview

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

We didn't have the budget for a recording studio, or a producer/engineer, starting out. I recorded a lot of our earlier work because it was the only accessible option for us, Nate and I would also handle mixing duties and occasionally mastering too! I honestly didn't any idea what I was doing, I would have been like 19 at the time and was only just learning how to record with a microphone and a laptop. It was fun though! It was trial and error, I learnt a lot from that experience. Despite the "lo-fi" quality of those songs, it resonated with a lot of people all over the world and gained us a loyal fanbase. You can honestly do so much with so little these days. That DIY ethic and mindset shaped our sound, and would set us up for when we'd go into the studio with Oscar Dawson a few years later. 

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

Being alive, day-to-day events. I mean, everything is so sporadic and unexpected. I wouldn't say there's a single source of inspiration, everything happens as it comes and that goes for my songwriting. If I could accurately pin it down then it'd feel cold and calculated to me.

What can punters expect from a VACATIONS live show?

We're definitely a lot rowdier and high energy on stage vs. the studio. It's fun! 

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

If you're cooking scrambled eggs, cook them at the lowest heat and slowly scramble as you go. You don't need milk (why do you put milk in eggs gross), or salt (that messes em' up!). Just a little butter/oil and some eggs and you're golden. Got that tip from a special someone.

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

'Warned You' by Good Morning.

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

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

'Control Your Body' by Pnau. 

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

It's been so long that I honestly can't remember.

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

Teddie! I've been working with her recently on songwriting and production and she just put out her debut track 'Call Me' that goes OFF(!) Play it at your next party! Craterface are also one of my favourite local acts, their creativity and work ethic is inspiring. They are always pushing themselves to new heights.

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