yo
Seathru
UH
New

Artist

Seathru

Indie, Pop, Punk, Rock (! #indie #alternative #pop #surf #garage #punk)

Illawarra, NSW

St. South

Featured Artist

2013

24

Jun

St. South

( )

Perth, WA

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.

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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.

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Royal & The Southern Echo
New

Artist

Royal & The Southern Echo

Indie, Pop, Rock (Pop, Indie, dream Pop)

Brisbane, QLD

Gordi

Featured Artist

2015

2

Mar

Gordi

( )

Central West, NSW

This week's feature artist is Sophie Payten, better known as Gordi. Growing up on her Canowindra family farm 'Alfalfa' and sprouting (rare Alfalfa gag) up on Unearthed, the now Sydney based artist has integrated elements of electronica into her more folky roots with her stunning voice still taking centre stage.

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Tell us about your music. How did you develop your sound?
 
I've been writing music for the best part of 10 years and it's developed through the music I listen to. From Missy Higgins and Megan Washington to Josh Pyke, The Tallest Man on Earth, Bon Iver and more recently Asgeir and #1 Dads. The kind of music I like has evolved from purely folk to incorporate more electronic elements and a real focus on vocal production.
 
What's your greatest source of inspiration for making music?
 
My personal life. I think as an artist you really have to expose the most hidden parts of yourself in order to write something that connects with people. Otherwise I look to things like poetry and films, particularly when I'm preoccupied with boring and mundane things. Like today I had to install my new dishwasher. Things like that don't seem to resonate as well with most people.
 
What can punters expect from a Gordi live show?
 
Good times and great classic hits. Or at the very least some pretty inoffensive electro-folk music. Depending on the show I either play with full band or a duo set. We try to emulate that "folktronica" vibe on stage by using acoustic instruments with synths and trigger pads. I think trigger pads are the key to surviving on a musicians budget these days, plus they're quite cool. Maybe eventually even my vocals will be on a trigger pad so I'll literally just stand on stage and press buttons. How's that for stage presence.
 
What's the best advice you've been given and who was it from?
 
With regards to music, the best advice I've been given was from Gregg Donovan from Wonderlick. I saw him speak at a conference and he said as an artist you should put your energy into the things you can control rather than worry about how everything will fall into place.
 
With regards to life, my Grandma's advice is that 'everything passes', and most importantly, 'it's not all beer and skittles'.
 
What Australian track would you play to cheer up someone who was crying?
 
 
What Australian track would you play to someone to make them cry?
 
 
You're the DJ at a party. The dance floor is pumping. What Australian track do you put on next? 
 
Holdin' On - Flume. (Though to be honest I could easily have written 'Khe Sahn' for these last 3 questions)
 
What was the last local gig you went to? How was it?
 
I saw Megan Washington at the Metro a week ago. Honestly it was one of the best live shows I've ever seen. She's one of the best entertainers going round and such a consistent performer.
 
Tell us about the bands or people in the Sydney music community that inspire you.
 
I'm a big fan of Little May, Montaigne and Le Pie. They're 3 really great up and coming female artists out of Sydney and I think really reflect the surge in talented young female artists in Australia at the moment. I'm excited to see what's ahead in 2015 for each of them.
 
What are your plans for 2015?
 
A lot of touring! I'm about to start a tour supporting Winterbourne down the East Coast and some other exciting shows along the way, like the Spectrum Now Festival in the Domain and another show with Timberwolf. I've also finished recording 3 new tracks that I'll be dropping when the time is right, maybe with an EP mid-year. I've got a bunch of headline shows coming up too.

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Azim Zain and His Lovely Bones
New

Artist

Azim Zain and His Lovely Bones

Indie, Punk, Rock (Emo, folk, Indie, ...)

Canberra, ACT

Samsaruh
New

Artist

Samsaruh

Indie, Rock (#Alternative #rock)

Melbourne, VIC

Dune

Artist

Dune

Pop, Indie (Female artist, Björk, robyn, ...)

Melbourne, VIC

Gretta Ray

Featured Artist

2016

26

Sep

Gretta Ray

Melbourne, VIC

Unearthed High champ Gretta Ray is back with 'Unwind' - a stunning new song she recorded here at triple j.

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You've just released your new single 'Unwind'. Tell us a little about the genesis of that song and what it was like to be writing/recording again after the success of ‘Drive'?
Writing Unwind after the success of Drive was a fascinating challenge for me as a songwriter, due to the fact that Drive was one of those songs where all the elements kind of fell into place right from the beginning of the writing process; the piece came together in a rather organic way. For me, that rarely happens when writing music, and I had to consistently remind myself of that when writing Unwind, as it did not unfold as naturally as Drive did. That being said, once I had the bones of Unwind, I became excited about how different it sounded from anything that I’d ever written before, and once I arrived in Sydney to record it, I was so pleased that I had pushed myself to have a brand new song finished in time for that particular project. Concept-wise, the lyrics of Unwind intend to portray one’s thought process when going through a break up. More specifically, the moment when one comes to understand the extent of what they have lost, when they start to feel the weight of what the relationship became. I feel as though the lyric that best conveys that is “I am sure that there is more to this than I care to admit”. Hopefully this rings true with some listeners. This is a song for those that “feel it all”.
 
You recorded it at the triple j studios in Sydney. What was that recording process like compared to how you usually lay your tracks down?
The recording process at triple J was such an incredible opportunity; I got to work with some very special musicians and am so grateful for all of their time. The main difference between recording in Sydney and how I usually record was definitely the time constraints. We completed the production for this new song in the space of a day and half, which was a huge achievement for the whole team, considering that my usual producers and I spent a good few weeks on Drive. But despite it being a speedy process, it was as equally as fun and satisfying when we completed our work.
 
What's your greatest source of inspiration for making music?
I spend a lot of time examining the way that I and others move through the world. I am constantly observing human interactions and human behaviour on the whole, and find that most of my ideas are born when I am taking note of one’s body language or the way that they are conversing with another. For example, there is a lyric in Drive that talks about someone having the ability to make one’s “tired eyes widen and cheeks turn rouge”. I like to focus on minuscule details such as these, details that have the potential to mean so much if they are explored in depth. So overall, I would say that choosing to watch and listen to those in around me has always been what has inspired me to write.
 
What's your go-to snack when making music?
If I’m writing? Hmmm.. okay, this isn’t interesting or original at all, but vegemite toast is definitely my go to. I consume so much bread on a day to day basic, it’s out of control. When I’m recording and making music in a studio environment however, I am hungry the entire time, so props to triple j for bringing me pastries and pizza when I was working in Sydney. Saved my life. 
 
What's your vision for the ultimate Gretta Ray live show?
Oh man, I’m not sure. I sure do think about it a lot, but I am yet to put a band together, as I have always played my shows acoustically; just me and my guitar.
Although, touring as a part of Japanese Wallpaper’s band was an eye opening experience in regards to what it takes to put on a good live show. I loved watching our support act, E^ST perform each night. She radiates so much energy on stage and is jumping and dancing almost the entire time, keeping the audience in the palm of her hand. I found that incredibly inspiring, so when it came to singing lead in Japanese Wallpaper’s set, I attempted to channel a similar energy. When school ends and I can start thinking about putting together a show of my own, I’d definitely like there to be moments where I can put the guitar down and move around on stage.
 
What's the best advice you've been given and who was it from?
I am very lucky in the sense that I seem to have wise, supportive people around me all the time, so I am constantly being offered amazing advice. My family has always taught me to be thankful for everything that comes my way and to be considerate of others. Although that’s very broad, I would say that’s the best advice that anyone can be given.
 
What Australian track would you play to cheer up someone who was crying?
I Love Pop Music by Ben Lee. Maybe just Ben Lee in general. Ben Lee forever.
 
What Australian track would you play to someone to make them cry?
Consolation Prize by Montaigne. I cried on the plane to that song the first time that I listened to it.
OR Stranger In My Room by Kat Edwards. Hauntingly exquisite. 
 
You're the DJ at a party. The dance floor is pumping. What Australian track do you put on next?
Get Down by Jess Kent. Banger and a half. I will never get over how good that song is. 
 
What are your plans for the rest of 2016 and into 2017?
I am going to finish High School! HOORAY! Then straight after that, I’m flying to Nashville for 2 weeks alongside my mum to hang out with my producer, meet people, eat a lot of food and start work on what I hope to be a full length record. 2017 will consist of playing shows, writing a lot of songs and hopefully travelling back to the states if I can earn the money to do so.

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Middle Kids
New

Artist

Middle Kids

Indie, Pop, Rock (middlekids)

Sydney, NSW

Alex Lahey

Featured Artist

2016

14

Mar

Alex Lahey

Melbourne, VIC

Melbourne's Alex Lahey is your triple j Unearthed Feature Artist this week. Already named as one of triple j Unearthed's artists to watch in 2016, her incoming debut EP (recorded with Oscar from Holy Holy) has us all sorts of excited.

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

I've been playing music my entire life and really started taking it seriously when I picked up the saxophone at 12 years old. I played in big bands all through high school and went to uni to study a jazz degree. I was always writing songs through high school as a means of teaching myself how to play guitar, and found when I got to uni that my ear was more attuned to appreciating a great song rather than a gnarly bebop lick - I was listening to way more Carole King than Charlie Parker. So, I dropped out of my degree and to focus more on writing songs. Oscar Dawson who plays in Holy Holy has helped me bring my songs to life with his incredible production skills. Funnily enough, he also didn't finish the exact same degree as me. And here we are.

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

My lyrics tend to come from interactions I have with other people. I'm big on communication - I like to talk things out - so a lot of the words in my songs happen to be directly taken from conversations I've had. Musically, I get inspired by melody and groove. There's nothing better than hearing a song where there's a sweet chord change or melodic idea that makes you go "what the hell was that? I need to know!"

What can punters expect from your live show?

Coopers Sparkling, Bruce Springsteen-style count ins, fuzz pedals and a drummer who cries whenever he watches 'School of Rock'.

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

My friend's dad tells me "fortune favours the prepared mind", which I'm pretty sure is a Louis Pasteur quote. Basically, I interpret that to mean even if you're feeling you're not producing the best output at a particular time, you're preparing yourself and your skills to create something you're really proud of down the track. Another friend of mine has a similar piece of advice, which is to "sift through the shit", but I don't really like the visual that suggests... Let's stick with the Pasteur one.

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

'Our Place' by Verge Collection

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

'Can We Work It Out' by Gordi

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

'She's So Fine' by The Easybeats

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

I don't know if this counts, but I went to see Alvvays while I was in Sydney the other weekend and they were incredible. I referred to their music a lot while recording my EP. I know Alvvays aren't a local band, but Major Leagues opened and they were just as good. Great songs, great chops, great night.

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

I'm really lucky to be part of a community that inspires me so much. My friends Eilish Gilligan and Greer Clemens both play in a brilliant band called Frida and have their own solo projects. I froth on the feedback I get from them when I show them new songs or mixes. Kate Duncan is the creative producer of The Push Inc and works to give young people opportunities to learn about playing/putting on gigs, being in the studio and releasing music - she's an amazing person who has been looking out for me since I was a bub. My best friend Ollie Whitehead plays sax in Animaux with me and has a sweet new project on the go, which will be excellent. Every time I go into the studio with Oscar, I come out a better musician and writer. Also, shout out to my manager, Leigh. Hey Leigh!

What are your plans for 2016?

Write more songs, play more guitar, play more shows, release my debut EP, tour lots, do more recording, drink all the beers. Not necessarily in that order.

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