AT SUNSET ANNOUNCE NATIONAL KISS ME HEADLINE TOUR FOR MARCH

AT SUNSET ANNOUNCE NATIONAL KISS ME TOUR FOR MARCH

 

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AT SUNSET

Having just finished up a run of shows around the country supporting international heartthrobs R5 and The Vamps, Australia’s hottest new pop rock trio, At Sunset have today announced their own national headline tour to promote their new single, Kiss Me. Set to kick off at Fowlers Live in their hometown of Adelaide on March 12, the tour will then hit Melbourne’s Rubix Warehouse on March 13, Sydney’s The Lair on March 19 and will finish up at Brisbane’s Old Museum on March 20.

 

Having already picked up a stack of national radio additions across Australia, new single Kiss Me showcases the band’s impressive knack for writing incredibly catchy, guitar-driven pop rock smashes. Lead singer Harrison explains, “Kiss Me is about falling quickly and easily in love with someone to the point that all you want to do is spend every minute of every day having fun with them!

 

With well over one million fans on facebook, 250,000 plus followers on twitter and having amassed over five million views on youtube, there’s no wonder everyone is talking about this anthemic pop-rockin’ trio from Adelaide.

 

Currently on tour in the Philippines, At Sunset are excited to return home to jump straight back on the road to play for fans. “It feels amazing to finally be doing our own headline tour. We’ve been writing and rehearsing for a while now, so we are so ready to get out and perform all of our new tracks to the fans… everyone can expect loud guitars, thumping bass, catchy tunes and a few jokes…. Andrew thinks he’s funny,” laughs Harrison.

 

2015 was a big year for the band, having been announced as Nova Australia’s Fresh New Discovery, which scored them mentoring by Ed Sheeran, as well as label support to release their debut single.  Later in the year, thanks to the incredible support from their fans in the voting-based competition, they were recognised as the first ever winners of MTV Brand New Australia. And with their new single and national headline tour dates just around the corner, 2016 is set to be an even bigger year!

At Sunset are brothers, Harrison and Andrew Kantarias, and their good friend, Tom Jay Williams.

Kiss Me is available now.

 

AT SUNSET NATIONAL KISS ME TOUR DATES – PRESENTED BY MTV MUSIC

 

SAT 12 MARCH | FOWLERS LIVE, ADELAIDE SA | ALL AGES

Tickets available from www.atsunsetmusic.com

 

SUN 13 MARCH | RUBIX WAREHOUSE, MELBOURNE VIC | ALL AGES

Tickets available from www.atsunsetmusic.com

 

SAT 19TH MARCH | THE LAIR, SYDNEY NSW | ALL AGES

Tickets available from www.atsunsetmusic.com

 

SUN 20TH MARCH | OLD MUSEUM, BRISBANE QLD | ALL AGES

Tickets available from www.atsunsetmusic.com

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HINDS – ‘Leave Me Alone’ Review

Words: Maddie Grammatopoulos

Image: Courtesy of Inertia Music
HINDS_BY_AARON_SERRANO_2

Four free spirits, one outlook — our shit, our rules. HINDS are a fun and indie garage rock band that whip together edgy and raw tunes that represent their vibrant personalities in a really original way. 

I was really stoked to listen to these girls; their sound is so progressive and individual. They are full of life and spirit, which is poured into their music. Music is a thousand times better when it’s created through pure passion and energy, and its very obvious this is the case here. 

Made up of Ana Perrote, Carlotta Cosials, Ade Martin and Amber Grimbergen, their grungy and indie vibes, unconventional guitar work and unique voices make for a real good time. 

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Originally known as DEERS, the gals from Madrid had to do a cheeky name change recently after a bit of controversy in regard to copyright. I like the name Hinds better anyway, and it means female deer’ so they are still sticking to their roots. 

I wouldnt give HINDS the classification of girl band, as they are so much more than that. Sisters at heart, or even soul mates — you can tell how much they care for each other and it shows in the recording studio and on stage.   

Ive been watching a few of their interviews and videos and I love love love their style and life outlook. Oversized tees and vintage galore, which I appreciate a lot. They always seem to have either a guitar or drink in hand and simply live life doing whatever makes them happy — something we should all be doing. 

Im jealous of the life they have and genuinely just want to be best friends with them. I reckon a lot of people would agree with me on that one if they watched the video of their summer (check it out below). Im pretty average (and by average I mean shocking) at singing, but seriously considering giving an instrument a crack and moving to Spain. I wear a bit of vintage clothes and rarely brush my hair too, maybe if I whack on a bit of red lippy they wouldnt even realise Im not supposed to be there. 

They are just so true to themselves and artistic, its so inspiring in the sense that it makes me want to get a group of gal pals, play some funky tunes, and explore the world and all it has to offer. Their album ‘Leave Me Alone’ will be released early next year, and features some real road trip tunes for sure, so if you are planning a summer drive somewhere you should give it a spin.

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I dont know if anyone has watched Woody Allens film Vicki Cristina Barcelona’ (if you havent, get around it), but the girls have the same sexy and endearing spanish accent as Penelope Cruz and I think I have a bit of a girl crush. And by think I mean I definitely do. Quick side note, may or may not have named my bunny Penelope, so I guess you could say I am a bit biased when it comes to a Spanish accent. 

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Anyway, back on topic, the girls actually popped in Australia earlier this year, so Im heaps bummed out I hadnt heard of them at the time. Although the way they are going in the indie scene, I reckon they will be back before we know it. 

I really recommend giving them a decent listening to. At first listen I was thought yeah they are pretty random and fun, I dont mind them, but once I put a bit of research into who they actually are and listened to them properly, I was singing ‘Garden’ in the shower before I knew it. 

Their new album Leave Me Alone’ will be release on the 8th of January 2016, so grab a beer and give them a play.

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HINDS- a summer with us
https://youtu.be/r8JtuuTHI70

Interview: Josh Pyke

Josh Pyke b+w horiz

Words: Cat Kusmuk-Dodd
Image: Courtesy of On The Map PR

 

Despite our conversation being over the phone, I could sense the relaxed nature of Josh Pyke. He emits a warmth and passion that is both inspiring and refreshing particular to someone who is aiming to get into the creative industry.

Josh’s latest album ‘But For All These Shrinking Hearts’ is a perfect example as to why he is one of Australia’s favourite story tellers. What was interesting to hear during our chat was Josh’s tales of how he got into the industry, his experiences with touring, how he’s changed over the last couple of years as an artist and his honesty and advice to people wanting to get into the creative arts.

Here’s a snippet of our conversation:

Hi Josh, thank you for talking to Concrete Journal this morning, how are you going?

Yeah, I’m good thanks!

Your new tour starts in January next year,  you must be really excited, especially to work with a band again?

Yeah I am. Its been almost two years since we’ve done an actual tour of the band shows, but we have been playing a couple of festivals and we’ve got Woodford and Falls over summer to kind of get ready. But yeah, its been while, so I’m really looking forward to it.

So for people that don’t know, what is the story behind the album art for ‘But For All These Shrinking Hearts’?

For the art, I was looking for a new tattoo idea and I was thinking of getting a perpetual motion machine. Like a cool kind of old school graphic antique engineering diagram. But then I was researching and I found out that nobody has actually been able to successfully make a perpetual motion machine, and that sort of took the wind out of my sails in terms of wanting it as a tattoo. Through the course of looking at that, I found this story of this guy called Charles Redheffer who basically made a fake one. A sceptic didn’t believe it and uncovered that there was an old man behind a wall cranking a wheel to make the machine go. I saw that image in my head and it seemed like a perfect visual metaphor for what I was kind of feeling disillusioned with in the world.

Speaking of tattoos, do you have many that are related to songs that you have done or maybe that are very important to you in regards to the creative arts?

I’ve got a few [tattoos] but the only ones that are related to music are, one that I got when I was in a punk band for years. I always said, “I’m gonna get a tattoo of our symbol.” Our band was called ‘An Empty Flight’, the symbol was of three silhouettes of these birds flying. I said I’d get that tattoo if we ever got a record deal and then that band broke up and I got a record deal as a solo artist; but because I wanted to be a man of my word, I still got that tattoo. The only other one I’ve got related to music, is a black bird on my back which myself, Tim Rogers, Phil Jamieson and Chris Cheney got together at the end of The Beatles White Album [tour]. The other ones are just personal ones.

You mentioned the White Album Tour. Out of all The Beatles albums you could have covered, what made you cover The White Album?

It wasn’t really my idea. We had a producer that came to us individually with the idea and whisked that album in mind. I had never done anything like that before and I was pretty nervous about doing it cause I don’t really consider myself like a “performer performer”, you know what I mean? I just consider myself good at singing and playing my own songs. It was a huge challenge and it turned out to be this really super successful thing and then we did it again five years later and it was even more successful, which was quite bizarre to me because I didn’t think that people would want to come and see it. [laughs]

Back to your music, it has actually been two years between the releases of your last album, ‘The Beginning and the End of Everything’ and your new album, “But For All These Shrinking Hearts’. How much have you changed as a person and an artist?

In those two years?

Yeah.

I think as a person you can’t really measure, I can’t personally measure how I’ve changed as a person. Two years is not that long, you know I had another child in those two years and that always changes things. But as a musician, I think I’ve become a lot more confident in my creative choices when I’m writing and also recording. I think I started to put less pressure on myself in terms of micro managing every element of a song. It took me quite a long time to get anywhere as a musician and a solo artist. I’d already been [apart] of this punk rock band for like six, seven years and because I had been in this group for so long, I really wanted to stand by, to live and die by every decision I made.

I just feel now that I’m at a point where I actually feel a lot more open to collaboration and relegating a bit of control to other people. For instance, with the string arrangements from this recent album, usually I would try and pick out a melody on the keyboard and give that as a reference to the arranger. This time I was like, just do anything you want because it was Ross Irwin, the horn player from Cat Empire, and he’s an unbelievable arranger and I trust him and basically said, “Make it a bit like Sufjan Stevens and Nick Drake, so go for it.”

So things like that I definitely wouldn’t have done and that’s a big change. [It has] only really been recently and it started around the time I did the SSO (Sydney Symphony Orchestra) stuff, I had to do the same thing for that because I can’t read or write music.

You collaborated with some amazing musicians for The White Album tour and even Basement Birds. You also collaborated with Markus from Jinja Safari on your song, ‘Songlines’. Do you have an ultimate dream collaborator?

I get asked a lot and it’s hard to think about it, I still struggle with the answer. The only person I have ever been passionate about consistently saying is probably James Mercer from The Shins. I love The Shins and I just love his lyricism… you know you listen to The Shins and it sounds kinda pop-y and fun but the lyrics are amazing so yeah,  I reckon I’d love to do something with him.

Your lyrics have always been quite poetic. Have you been inspired by any particular authors or pieces of literature?

I think early on I was particularly into Australian writers. I really love Tim Winton and I still do love his writing. There’s something about his writing where he uses kind of everyday language, but he’s saying poignant and poetic stuff. I really got into Steinbeck and ‘East Of Eden’ was a big one for me. But in terms of actual authors, I’m probably more influenced by lyricists and I think people like Glenn Richards from Augie March has always been an amazing lyricist who I really admire; but at the end of the day, I try not to be too influenced by anybody. You want to try and forge your own path as well.

You performed at the Sydney Opera House earlier this year. Can you tell us what that experience was like for you?

It was amazing. I mean, I’ve performed there quite a few times before but in the context of doing the SSO thing, it was a massive baptism of fire. We did two nights there so it was a pretty big deal. You only get two rehearsals with them so the first rehearsal, we didn’t even get through all of the songs and the second rehearsal was literally an hour before we opened the doors for the first show, so that was [laughs] incredibly nerve racking. It was one of those times in your life, everyone has them, where you’re just like, “Ok, this is proper sink or swim. You have to actually rise to the occasion here or this is going to be terrible.” I felt very proud to actually get through it and I kind of felt like it was a testament to having ten years of performance under my belt. It was a career highlight for, not only having access to such amazing musicians and playing in front of huge crowds, but I really had to push myself more than I ever have.

Do you remember buying your first guitar?

I do actually. I’m looking at it now, it’s like a crappy Indonesian acoustic guitar. The brand is Magnum and I bought it when I was like fifteen or sixteen. I call it my “home guitar” and I just have it in the house as opposed to all my fancy guitars that I have in the studio. This guitar can be knocked over by children and sat on and surfed on which is what they do at times. [laughs]

On your song ‘Hollering Hearts’, your eldest son Archer sings on the track. What did it mean to you to be able to share your passion for music with your son?

It means a lot. I like sharing with my family but it’s also something that I feel like I can never really fully share what music means to me with anybody. It’s like describing your personality to someone, it’s just too complicated and it changes all the time depending on who you’re with and what you are doing. I have a studio at home in my backyard and I spend my days down there. Then in the afternoon, I go pick up my kids from school and sometimes we will go down and hang out in the studio and play the drums and piano and stuff like that. They are all coming down to Falls Festival in Tassie this year and Archer was at the SSO concert because he was old enough to actually stay up that late [laughs]. So yeah, I love having them involved but I also don’t want to make them think that it’s something so crazily unusual and special that they place it higher than other professions. I personally don’t think that being a musician [is] any more important than being a lawyer or a doctor or a school teacher or something like that. So we try to find a good balance of keeping them involved but also not romanticising [it], cause it’s super tough.

You actually play drums on your song ‘Book Of Revelations’. What was that like for you?

It was cool. I always play drums on the demos because it’s just me at home but inevitably we will get an actual drumer. Usually what I do is build the drum parts up. I can play drums but I’m quite bad. I’m very limited in my chops and my patterns and stuff but I can keep time. Usually I will build the drum tracks up by adding a kick drum and then adding a snare but I’ll set the tracks as opposed to all on the same take. But ‘Book Of Revelations’ was just me playing drums live to the track and it was mad fun. It’s kind of got this slacker rock vibe to it. Since I’ve had the studio, I’ve got the drums set up all of the time so I can record them at the click of a button. So I’ve been playing a lot more drums and I’m improving very slightly everyday which is fun [laughs].

Do you have a favourite song on your album ‘But For All These Shrinking Hearts’?

You know its always really tough, I think it changes. Funnily enough, I was listening to a Spotify playlist the other day called, ‘Folk’ or ‘Easy Folk’, something like that. ‘Someone to Rust With’ came on the playlist, which I didn’t realise was going to be on there. For the first sort of twenty seconds I didn’t catch on that it was me and I was listening to it and I was like, “Oh that sounds kinda nice.” [laughs] Then I was like, “Hang on a second, that’s me!” Then I listened to the song, cause I don’t really listen to my music. I don’t think I’ve listened to my album since I’ve made it. So yeah, maybe that’s my favourite at the moment.

Can you describe your album, ‘But For All These Shrinking Hearts’ in two words?

Amazingly good! [laughs]

Concrete Journal, Issue Zero, is all about starting from the ground up. Do you have any advice for people starting in the creative industry?

I’ve probably got a book full of advice, but you know the biggest thing is? It’s really really tough and it’s really undervalued. Creativity in general is kind of the background to everybody’s life and if you ask somebody what they think of music or what they think of art they’ll say, “I love it! I love music, I love art. I’m passionate about music, I’m passionate about art.” If you ask them, “When was the last time you bough a record or went to an independent gallery opening?” They would be like, “I’ve never done that.” I think there’s a real big divide between how much [people] think they value art and creativity as opposed to how much they actually participate in that culture.

That’s something I’ve really struggled with because in my day to day life, my friends and peers aren’t actually in the creative arts. What I’ve found incredibly helpful is just finding a community of like-minded artists and musicians, whatever pursuit you are doing in terms of creativity. You don’t have to hang out with them all the time but whenever you’re feeling blue or whenever you’re feeling like nobody understands the struggle of being a creative person, you go seek them out and just talk it out.

At the end of the day, nobody is going to create an opportunity for you. You can’t just sit around in your room and make a couple of YouTube videos and expect to be discovered. You’ve actually gotta relentlessly pursue what you’re trying to do, create opportunities, say yes to everything for years and years until you can start to say no.

I’ve got some speed questions that I’m going to ask you, majority of them are just a couple of words that you have to choose from. So I’ve got:

Books or Movies?

At the moment, Movies.

Singing or Guitar?

Probably guitar at the moment.

Sunset or Sunrise?

With young children, inevitably sunrise.

I know you’re a fan of ‘The Walking Dead’, so I have a question. The Gov or Negan? (the comics/TV shows villains)

Ugh! Well that’s a hard one because they’re both horrible people. Negan is way more charismatic though. Negan’s not gonna be in the TV show is he?

Yeah they’ve just cast him!

I can’t wait. I kind of almost wish I was starting to watch it now, so I could just binge instead of having to wait.

Yeah I did that this year. [laughs]

Yeah good move. [laughs]

Morning or Night?

Yeah night’s good.

Sweet or Savoury?

Ah, probably sweet but it should be savoury. [laughs]

I don’t know if you’re a fan of emojis, but if so, what was your recently used emoji?

Um. Let me tell you. Aw, it was just the boring muscle arm you know?

To finish off, what are three words to describe you?

Oh god [laughs] um. I don’t know, those are my three words.

‘But For All These Shrinking Hearts’ is available for purchase at www.joshpyke.com

JOSH PYKE ‘BUT FOR ALL THOSE SHRINKING HEARTS’ ALBUM TOUR

Presented by Music Feeds

SUN 27 DEC | WOODFORD FOLK FESTIVAL, QLD

Tickets available from www.woodfordfolkfestival.com

 

MON 28 DEC | WOODFORD FOLK FESTIVAL, QLD

Tickets available from www.woodfordfolkfestival.com

 

FRI 29 JAN | TWILIGHT AT TARONGA, SYDNEY NSW (ALL AGES)

Tickets available from www.twilightattaronga.org.au

SAT 30 JAN | CANBERRA THEATRE PLAYHOUSE, CANBERRA ACT (ALL AGES)

Tickets available from www.canberratheatrecentre.com.au | 02 6275 2700 | Canberra Theatre Box Office

 

THU 04 FEB | STUDIO 56 @ MIAMI MARKETTA, GOLD COAST QLD

Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix Outlets

 

FRI 05 FEB | THE TRIFFID, BRISBANE QLD

Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix Outlets

 

SAT 06 FEB | STAR COURT THEATRE, LISMORE NSW (ALL AGES)

Tickets available from www.starcourttheatre.com.au | 02 6622 5005

 

FRI 12 FEB | MELBOURNE ZOO TWILIGHTS, MELBOURNE VIC (ALL AGES)

Tickets available from www.zoo.org.au/twilights

 

SAT 13 FEB | THE WOOL EXCHANGE, GEELONG VIC

Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix Outlets

 

FRI 19 FEB | HER MAJESTY’S THEATRE, ADELAIDE SA (ALL AGES)

Tickets available from www.adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au | 131 246 | All BASS Outlets

 

SAT 20 FEB | ASTOR THEATRE, PERTH WA*

Tickets available from www.astortheatreperth.com | 1300 111 369

*U18 can attend with parent/guardian

 

Interview: Sarah Blasko – Eternal Return

Words: Alyssa Cavanagh
Photo: Wilk

Hi Sarah, thank you for chatting with Concrete Journal today, how are you?

Fine thanks, yeah.

Your much anticipated fifth album ‘Eternal Return’ will be released on 6th November this year, are you excited about the release?

Yes I am, it’s a little different to the last two so I’m excited to know how people will respond.

Your musical style is always evolving, without pigeonholing yourself, would you say you identify with a particular genre? How would you describe your current and past music to a new listener?

I guess I’ve always been trying to write pop songs and the great thing with pop is that it embraces lots of styles within it. In the past it’s been kinda dramatic pop but I guess with this album it’s kind of nostalgic pop. It’s impossible to describe yourself really because I’m pretty subjective! It’s like trying to describe one’s personality, there are different sides.

How did you start writing music?

It started with bad poetry as a teenager and then I learnt to play guitar and realised I could sing when I was about 18. I mostly learnt by ear.

What’s your favourite part about writing?

Having no idea what you’re going to come up with. Sometimes it’s really surprising what comes out and then you start to piece together a new direction and feeling like you’re on the road with that is always a gigantic relief. I think once you don’t feel that, it’s probably time to give it up. I kinda live for that feeling of discovering some new terrain.

Who are your biggest influences?

I’m not entirely sure if they’re “influences” in the sense that I’m not sure how much I sound like these people or if their influence can be detected, but these people have really inspired me with their musical passion – David Byrne, Bjork, PJ Harvey, Tom Waits, David Bowie.

What are your earliest memories of music?

Feeling emotional when I heard the song ‘Bright Eyes’ [by Art Garfunkel] when I was 3 or 4, making up songs and dancing on the backyard balcony when I was about 10, watching Michael Jackson videos premiered on TV and being so excited, listening to records as I went to sleep (my dad would let my sister and I choose an album to go to sleep to on Friday and Saturday nights).

‘Eternal Return’ is a declaration of love, and your lyrics are often honest reflections of personal experiences. Is it ever difficult to be so open about yourself in your songs? Have you ever felt like you’re over sharing?

It’s not a difficult thing for me really, I think personality-wise I’m the kind of person who will open up about my feelings without too much difficulty. I’m not sure why. No, I don’t feel that I’m over-sharing because there’s a craft to trying to make something relatable to others and so you have to come outside of yourself in order to do that. You’re communicating something, not just in your own head.

Ahead of the release of ‘Eternal Return’ you’re going to perform an exclusive preview at the Sydney Opera House, as part of Sydney’s Graphic Festival, in October. Your performance will be accompanied with visuals by award-winning filmmaker Mike Daly, how important a role has film played in the making of this album?

Not really much of a role, but I love films. I studied film at university. The visuals to accompany my album are going to be something I really care about and get involved in because it’s got to feel right with the mood and the colour of the music.

You’ve previously performed at the Sydney Opera House for the launch of your album ‘I Awake’, how was that experience for you?

Amazing. They were the best shows of my life. I cried when that tour was over. It was such a massive challenge and then to feel like I did it was just an incredible feeling. To stand in front of a 40 piece orchestra and sing makes you feel like the luckiest person alive.

You’ve said before that ‘Eternal Return’ is “quite a departure” from 2012’s ‘I Awake’ album, could you tell us why?

It’s a synth based album. My last two were very much explorations in acoustic music. This one embraces electricity! I say that because it’s not an electro record. I use loads of keyboards but the the band are living, breathing humans. It’s also quite a joyful album in my opinion. I Awake was a little heavier.

You collaborated with Sydney-based composer Nick Wales on the soundtrack for Rafael Bonachela’s ‘Emergence’ as performed by Sydney Dance Company, and Australian fashion designer Dion Lee created the costumes. What was it like collaborating and creating music for a multi-dimensional visual experience such as dance?

It was a real learning experience. I love playing that supporting role in trying to work out how the music can best underpin the work. Nick’s a really generous collaborator, we’ve worked together a few times. He and I wrote a couple of the songs on ‘Eternal Return’ too. Raf, the choreographer is super passionate about what he does and he was easy to work with in that he knew what he wanted. It’s great to work with a bunch of people with strong identities.

The music you created for ‘Emergence’ was distinctly haunting, and very different from any other music you’ve made. You said that you “layered unexpected things on top of each other” and made a “push to be more abstract and esoteric” which I think you were very successful in doing. Apart from being a sensory delight, I feel like you had a lot of fun making this soundtrack, is that right? Could you tell us a little more about your creative process in this project?

Yes, we had loads of fun in parts but there were also some dark times trying to get it right. We started by just going with our instincts and improvising and we both wanted to mess with what we usually do. Nick enjoyed cutting up my vocals, I enjoyed pitch shifting them and for my voice to be used more like an instrument. Basically just getting to fuck with a song structure and juxtapose beauty and dirt together was a satisfying feeling.

Listening to your entire studio discography from the poppier indie melodies in ‘The Overture and The Underscore’ to the cinematic power ballads in your most recent album ‘I Awake’ and now from what I’ve heard in previews of ‘Eternal Return’, your sound has shifted considerably, would you say it’s a reflection of your growth as an artist, or a reflection of your life experiences, or both?

I think it’s a reflection of both. I’ve never been able to do anything other than what feels “right” for me at any given time so I usually stumble upon something – be it an instrument (I started playing piano for ‘As Day Follows Night’ or ukulele on ‘I Awake’ or a prophet keyboard for ‘Eternal Return’) and then take it from there. I think the beauty of being a “solo” artist is that you can shift your musical direction and it can still be “you” because it’s your voice and you bring to each new sound some idiosyncrasies that you couldn’t shake if you tried. I’ve shifted around of my own choosing and to have some satisfying life experiences along the way.

I understand you’re not formally trained musically, however you’ve had some singing lessons, how do you think your writing experience differs from those who are formally trained? Do you feel freedom from the constraints of rigid conventions?

No, I have no formal training you’re right. I think it means that it probably takes me longer to do things and I’m sort of stumbling around in the dark whereas people who are trained know the language better and can communicate it better! But I sort of like the stumble and not really knowing what I’m doing because there’s a mystery in it. I sort of have to speak to people in hand gestures and weird sounds! I’m not sure how much freedom it gives me, but I’m certainly not educated to think anything is too simple or silly which I think can be a positive. I actually love simplicity. Some of the best songs written in the world even I could play!

Let’s talk about your opening track on ‘Eternal Return’ could you tell us about it? You’ve said that you’re “haunted by the idea of being a good person or an evil person”, why has it been important for you to sing about this?

The song is about embracing your dark side and owning it. It’s about striving to be transparent and not wanting to be seen as one dimensional. I just felt it was important to remind myself to always strive to be open and honest and there’s strength in being okay with one’s flaws.

You’ve mentioned a few big names as influences for you writing this album, including Gary Newman, Diana Ross, Bruce Springsteen and Talking Heads, particularly for their 80’s hits, what is it about their work that you found so alluring?

We were trying to produce strong, classic pop songs which all those names have done. It wasn’t specifically the 80’s that we were inspired by. There are sounds from the 60’s and 70’s that have their place on the record too. Because I started writing the songs on a synth, naturally the music of those people became inspirations of some sort.

Concrete Journal, Issue Zero, is about first experiences, and starting from the ground up, could you tell us about your experience starting in the industry? Can you remember your first live performance?

I remember one of my first in Glebe at a tiny pub and I was standing in a corner near a door. It was a thoroughfare and so people were kind of elbowing past me with beers and then out of nowhere came this gigantic cat. It was surreal. There was about 3 people watching me and they were my friends! I just remember the constant enthusiasm, drive and kind of blind faith I had. You know, putting up posters up and placing ads in street press. I learnt how to do everything myself first before I got a manager, booking agent and record label… and then things get complicated in a whole different way!

Love can have a giddy effect on the way we create art, why do you think songs about love are so relatable as opposed to any other mutual or common human feeling/experience?

Love is what we all crave and we probably need it more than anything else so yes of course people want to think about it and revel in it and it’s certainly more pleasant than thinking about many other things! It’s like our base state. As children we love so easily and so we’re always trying to get back there in our hearts.

Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone starting out in the creative industry?

Follow thy gut ∆

‘Eternal Return’ is available to purchase now www.sarahblasko.com

Getting ‘WILD’ with Troye Sivan

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Concrete Journal photo shoot and interview with Troye Sivan
Photos:
Neon Theory
Interview: Alyssa Cavanagh

Meeting Troye Sivan at EMI HQ, he is everything you would expect him to be like; polite, charming, articulate and immaculately stylish.  The photo shoot was first, and Troye got straight into posing without being awkward. I swear I don’t have a single bad frame of him from the 200 photos I fired off in the allocated 30 minutes of shooting time! Afterwards, we sat down for a chat, covering all things – Cat Cafe’s, the Spice Girls, romance and of course his hugely anticipated ‘WILD’ album release. This is our full conversation:

Alyssa: Hi Troye, thanks for chatting with Concrete Journal today. How are you?
Troye: I’m good thanks. I’m really, really good.

Alyssa: ‘WILD’ is about to blow up the Internet on September 4th. Are you excited about the release?
Troye: I’m so excited I’ve been waiting for September 4th for a really long time, so yeah; it feels like it’s been a long time coming.

Alyssa: How did you come up with the title ‘WILD’ and what does it represent to you?
Troye: So basically ‘Wild’ was the last song that we wrote for the project. When we wrote it, it just felt like a moment. It felt really important to me personally and to what I’m trying to achieve here. Which is essentially just making really cool, interesting pop songs. I feel like ‘Wild’ is one of my favourite songs that I’ve ever written.

Alyssa: So basically it’s your baby, and it seemed fitting to name it after that?
Troye: Yes, totally.

Alyssa: I really like how ‘WILD’ delves into quite a pop-y territory, yet it still remains very ‘Troye’.
Troye: Right, thank you that was what we’re trying to go for. I think this time around I found collaborators really early on that I trusted and loved working with. Once you find that trust, you can explore so much more (pauses) because you feel safe with them so you know that you’re gonna end up with something cool regardless of what happens. You know what I mean? The song that I wrote with Alex Hope, who I’ve written well over half the album with, was just her and I in her studio in Sydney. We were in our ideal comfort zone, and it just felt like a safe environment to try out that ‘poppier’ side of me and I’m really happy with how it turned out.

Alyssa: When did you realise that you wanted to get into music?
Troye: I was probably like 2! (laughs) I just really loved singing around the house. I used to sing The Spice Girls and stuff like that. Any opportunity where there was anything that looked remotely like a stage I would jump on it, probably like tables and things like that. I was just always, always, always trying to sing for people. It’s always existed in my life in different forms. When I was 8 it was just singing lessons, then I started doing corporate events. When I was 13 my voice started breaking, so I then completely became a recluse musically. That’s when I started working in my bedroom and how I ended up writing ‘The Fault In Our Stars’, which is the song that got me signed when I was 17 or 18 so it’s always been there but in different forms, and now it’s like my main schtick.

Alyssa: That’s awesome! I forget how young you are, you would’ve been about 2 when the Spice Girls became big. I was quite young also, but they pretty much blew my mind.
Troye: Yeah, well I had Spice World on VHS and it was the one with them on top of that red bus. I haven’t seen it since I was like 4 or 5 or whatever, but I still remember it. Also, a Michael Jackson concert that my dad taped over are my memories of music as I was younger.

Alyssa: Do you think you were attracted to that kind of lifestyle? Do you think being exposed to that influenced you?
Troye: Yeah it just seemed like such an attractive thing to me, the music, first and foremost. I used to just be absolutely mesmerised by what I now recognise as the arrangements of a song for live. All the big build ups, the long intros and stuff like that. I would watch and think how cool Michael Jackson was. He would hype up a song for 3 minutes and stand there while the crowd would scream. All that stuff was so interesting to me, and I feel like I know why now. It makes sense.

Alyssa: What’s your favourite part of the job?
Troye: Ummm, songwriting. I’ve only been songwriting for 2 years now but it’s fast become everything I do.

Alyssa: What has been the most surreal moment of your career so far?
Troye: The most surreal moment was Grammy night. Probably because I’d met Sam Smith before and we kinda like became mates a little bit. So I spent a lot of Grammy night just hanging out with him, and we went to a party that was full of everyone that I had ever listened to growing up. I was just like “oh look, there’s Taylor Swift walking by, and there’s Katy Perry having a drink.” It was just absolutely 100% out of the movies. So, that was so surreal, yep, I’ve never seen anything like it. Rihanna… just like everyone was there –

Alyssa: Oh wow, so everyone was just chillin’?
Troye: Yeah hanging out, that was the weirdest thing! Everyone was just hanging out. The weirdest part was that it was quite, like a lame party, no one was dancing (laughs). I was just like completely wide-eyed the whole night.

Alyssa: Did you try and get people dancing?
Troye: No! I was so busy just looking around. I’m sure I looked absolutely ridiculous because I just literally couldn’t stop looking around.

Alyssa: I can picture you just looking around like a meerkat –
Troye: I was just trying to stay calm, and cool, and collected, and failing miserably probably (laughs).

Alyssa: I’m sure you were fine, they were probably freaking out about you!
Troye: (Laughs) no way…

Alyssa: Who are your biggest influences?
Troye: The person who made me really want to write music was Amy Winehouse. I was just so obsessed, I listened to how conversational her lyrics are, and how real they are. She didn’t embellish things to make it relatable to the masses or whatever. She sang about such specific experiences in her life that it was such a form of therapy for her. That just seemed really really attractive and appealing to me. I basically wanted to try and do it for myself. I started listening to music really differently when I was 14 or 15, and started hearing the individual elements in a song rather than just listening and thinking “that’s a good song.” I started to really listen to production, listen to lyrics, listen to melody and figure out what I liked and what I didn’t like. I always loved it (music), and I didn’t know why. I only really discovered what I liked in music when I started this educational process.

Alyssa: I feel like that’s generally the process for any artist. You generally just immerse yourself into it and start teaching yourself things. You can only become a true artist if you’re growing and learning –
Troye: Mmm, right.

Alyssa: Which brings me to my next question – In your music, you write about love, loneliness and friendship. Do you feel as though music has been a therapeutic process for you?
Troye: Yeah music is a very direct line to my emotions. My emotions are very accessible through music y’know? I don’t cry or anything like that, but if there’s something that makes me cry it’s music. It’s just always been very attached to my emotions and how I feel.

Alyssa: Yeah I love that, when you listen to something and it really just touches you on an emotional level, and you get chills.
Troye: If I’m crying in a movie it’s because they’ve used the perfect song at the perfect moment. So I’m like “ok, yep cool, I’m just done.”

Alyssa: Now that your life has changed in a pretty big way, could you walk us through a typical day in the life of Troye?
Troye: The thing is that there’s no such thing as a typical day, it’s different every day. I think that’s why I like it so much, but it completely depends where I am. If I’m in Perth then it’s completely normal. I wake up and hang out with my friends and chill with my family because there’s not much that I can really do there. But, somewhere like here (Sydney), I’ll wake up and have 12 interviews, photo shoots and Spotify listening sessions and stuff like that.

Alyssa: Fun! Yeah that sounds really hectic!
Troye: Yeah it’s fun though. I got to go to a cat café today! So like, That’s my job…

Alyssa: In Sydney?
Troye: Catmosphere in Surry Hills, Yeah I was filming stuff there.

Alyssa: I’m not leaving until tomorrow afternoon; I need to find this cat café.
Troye: Where are you from?

Alyssa: I’m from Adelaide, I flew here for our shoot/interview.
Troye: Oh awesome! Thank you!

Alyssa: ‘WILD’ is a brave, bold, and ambitious statement of intimacy, romance, and the intensity in between. Would you say you’re a romantic person?
Troye: (pauses) Yeah… just not necessarily in the… I can’t stand cheese, I don’t like cheesy romance. You know what I mean? Like I’m not going to be the guy that shows up with a dozen red roses, but I definitely believe in love.

Alyssa: Yeah I don’t believe in puke-worthy romance.
Troye: No I’m not into like kinda stuff. Romance to me is like Netflix and Indian food/takeaway.

Alyssa: Yep, that’s pretty much me as well, I love Netflix.
Troye: It’s so relaxing.

Alyssa: Agreed.

Alyssa: I get goosebumps listening to ‘Bite.’ It’s my favourite track –
Troye: Oh, that’s awesome thank you!

Alyssa: So, ‘Bite’ is basically about your first time going to a gay bar. Could you talk us through your creative process? And would you say WILD is autobiographical?
Troye: Yeah ‘WILD’ is definitely autobiographical. With ‘Bite,’ I went into the studio with Allie X and Leland, who are both artists, and a producer called Bram Inscore. We’d been working together for a couple of months. Allie started playing that little piano melody and it was creepy and haunting, but really innocent and childlike at the same time. It sounded like a fucked up nightmare from a little kid. We started talking and I told them about how I had been out and started describing it to them… Some of the best nights of my life have been at gay clubs, yet at the same time there was definitely a strange kind of concoction of emotions, I felt really vulnerable. I never felt more like a little kid when I was there. I felt like I was this tiny innocent 18-year-old, and everyone else was so much older and bigger than me. But I loved it. So, for me it was like capturing some of that curiosity, but also that vulnerability and the chaos of the experience.

Alyssa: So yeah, I guess that’s part of the human experience. Any first time experience you feel yourself revert back to your childlike state of mind. That kind of lullaby, almost nursery rhyme vibe that’s in that song is so good.   
Troye: I’m so nervous that this isn’t recording? Is it?? (picking up the voice recorder)

Alyssa: It is.

Troye: Ok cool, I just wanted to check sorry.

Alyssa: I checked like 5 times (nervous laughter).

Troye: (laughs) Cool sorry what was the question?

Alyssa: How do you feel about your fans knowing you on such an intimate level?
Troye: I’m fine with it. I’ve been online since I was 12-ish. That was when I uploaded my first YouTube video. I’m 20 now, so I’ve had a couple of years to figure out how much I want to share. There have been times where I’ve over shared and times when I haven’t said a word. I’ve figured out what I’m comfortable and not comfortable with… any sort of privacy goes out the window when they hear the music because we just didn’t hold back with the writing. Like I said the writing is 100% autobiographical. Everything that I would never ever, ever, talk about in a YouTube video or a tweet, are in the songs.

Alyssa: Yeah, I find your music really accessible and feel that people can really listen to it and not get too caught up in the particular things.
Troye: Well that’s the thing, obviously these are specific stories to me but also, one of the cool things about music is that it makes us realise how connected we are. That’s why listening to a song makes us think ‘”this song gets me on a personal level,” because subconsciously we apply it to our lives and that’s the coolest thing.

Alyssa: You’re basically living the dream. Your debut EP TRXYE has topped the iTunes album charts in 66 countries, and now you have an upcoming release of ‘WILD’ which has also topped the iTunes album charts in over 41 countries… and it hasn’t even been released yet! Which is actually crazy. I think every creative person would love to know, how the hell did you achieve that?
Troye: Wow. Um thanks (laughs). A lot of people don’t necessarily take me, or my music super seriously, because I started on YouTube. I do completely understand why though. Starting from YouTube is such a new way of doing things, but at the same time I wouldn’t take it back in a million years. I was born to be a musician, and I believe I was born to make music and do what I’m doing now.

 Alyssa: For WILD you’ve collaborated and co-written with some really impressive ‘futurist’ musicians and producers: Tkay Maidza, BROODS, SLUMS and Allie X to name a few. How was that experience for you?
Troye: I love every single one of those people, I feel like it’s this little crew of just awesome musicians who are forward-thinking, I met every single one of them and thought ‘I really want to surround myself with people like you’ people who are open to ideas and just creatively just so exciting and I’m honoured to have worked with all of those people, I just think they’re the bees knees.

Alyssa: Your track ‘DKLA’ which is an acronym for Don’t Keep Love Around, you’ve described it as your darkest song, could you tell us why?
Troye: So the way that that song was written was we went to The Grove which is kinda like a live-in studio. It’s an hour North of Sydney and I went with SLUMS, Jia Lih and Alex (Hope). We stayed there for like 3 days and there was a lot of sleeping in until midday and then working throughout the night. It was nighttime, and it was dark and I think that’s probably why we started with the chords that we started with. Then obviously the chords kind of informed the lyric and the lyric was basically about being hurt too many times that you basically just get burnt out and you’re like done with love for now! And I think it’s a really sad song about a person who’s essentially given up y’know? That drum beat is such a fresh beat I knew that I wanted a female rapper and I couldn’t think of anyone better than Tkay. She sent a Garage Band demo in like two days and it was so so so so good. So she just went into the studio and I think she was in London and put it down. It’s now like one of my favourite moments on the whole project.

Alyssa: You especially notice how dark it is when you listen to that track and then you go back to the first track. You can hear sonically it’s so dark and you definitely pull it off. 
Troye: Thank you so much.

Alyssa: Can you reveal anything about what’s next for you?
Troye: So there’s a lot of music coming out this year, ‘WILD’ and other music coming before the end of 2015. And touring as well is something that I’m really really excited about, I mean I haven’t got or announced any dates or anything like that yet but it’s definitely something that we’re working towards.

Alyssa: Very cool, like an Australian tour?
Troye: I wanna go all over with the show, yeah I just want to go everywhere.

Alyssa: Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years?
Troye: Hopefully still doing what I’m doing but just much better. I wanna keep growing.

Alyssa: Lastly, any life/career advice for people starting out in the creative industry?
Troye: I would say there’s no need to wait around anymore, because you can do a lot of it yourself ∆

‘WILD’ is available today to purchase here: www.troyesivan.com

‘Muse’ Editorial by Neon Theory

PHOTOGRAPHY/EDITING: Neon Theory
MAKEUP: Karen Gower & Hannah Playford
HAIR: Abeera Haider & Karen Gower
STYLING: Stacey Hendrickson
MODELS: Beck Hume from IMG Australia | AZALEA Models & Annie Smith
LOCATION:
Centre for Creative Photography Studio

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Kendall for Fendi

Photo Cred: Karl Lagerfeld for Fendi

After marrying Karl Largefield like a boss at the close of the Chanel AW15 haute couture runway show, Fendi have sent the internet ablaze with the release of their new campaign.

Shot by her hubby, Kendall casually hangs out with Sophie Taeuber-Arp’s life-size puppet sculptures.

While some totally hate the fact that Kendall is the new face of Fendi, we here at Concrete Journal think with legs like that, she can do anything.

What do you think? Check out the images below.

kendall-jenner-fendi-4 kendall-jenner-fendi-3 http://avxhome.se/blogs/crazy-slim kendall-jenner-fendi-1

Teen Angst and Rom-Coms. ‘Beyond Clueless’ Movie Review.

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Written by Ella Chronowski

British blogger turned filmmaker Charlie Lynn navigates his way through over 250 teen classics and creates a love letter for American teen movies. The soothing tones of cult actress Fairuza Balk (The Craft) narrate the dizzying hormonal experience of love, lust and the teenage experience.

While Lynn does not question the genre, or the white heterosexual world that encompasses it, he skilfully utilises the ‘fair use’ rule in US Copyright Law that allows short clips to be used cost-free for critical commentary. As a result, this crowdfunded film stars superstar actors including Heath Ledger, Reese Witherspoon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Lindsay Lohan and Kirsten Dunst. With the cast set, a collection of short clips form an oddly consistent narrative that suggests that the only way to survive high school is to appreciate the order and play by the rules.

Beyond Clueless weaves together an inspired structure with the wealth of material that’s at its fingertips, grouping together the classic motifs of high school cliques that are lost in an endless ritual. British synth-pop duo Summer Camp create an angsty soundtrack that encapsulates the thematically-linked messages of the film and the ceremonious right of passage to have violent confrontations and sexual awakenings.

The American teen genre is nothing more than a unified cinematic world and Charlie Lynn wouldn’t have it any other way. According to Lynn, “the best teen movies reflect the lives of contemporary teenagers, so they’re inevitably products of their time.” Beyond Clueless makes you reminisce these classic films, and leaves you wanting to watch them over and over, until you remember the teen angst you once forgot.

Rihanna’s Dior Campaign Debut

Rihanna makes her stunning debut in Dior’s latest ‘Secret Garden IV’ campaign. The fourth instalment of the series was shot by famed luxury fashion photographer, Steven Klein, the short film is shot in the opulent and luxurious Versailles, but honestly we couldn’t picture it being anywhere else for Rihanna.

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Strutting and prancing around in a dream-like state, segments from Rihanna’s upcoming song ‘Only If For A Night’ sets the tone for the eerie display of splendour.

You can check out the film below:

Rihanna suits the Dior Girl title, and rumour has it that Jennifer Lawrence will be the new face of Dior Addict makeup, we can’t wait to see what Dior has in store.

New Mag – COMING SOON…

New independent Australian magazine, covering all things fashion, culture and arts with a unique and classic twist. 

Highlighting local talent, reaching a global market. 

Biannual print, limited edition. Averting the focus from digital media to printed art.   

Not black, not white, we explore grey area not bound by convention.

Expect the unexpected.  

Issue 0, set to launch Spring 2015.