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Q&A w/ Orlean

What is your local scene like?

Probably not news to anyone, but Melbourne has a fantastic music scene. On any given night of the week there are dozens of venues with 3 or 4 acts on the bill, across a diverse range of genres. Some of the best songs I’ve ever heard have been from the support acts at $10 shows, and it gives me a strange kind of FOMO to think about all the possible gems I’m missing every day.

What are some of your earliest musical influences that have found their way into the music you’re currently making?

We’ve just released a song called Horizons that was influenced by a medieval style piece of music that I heard a lot on ABC Classic FM when I was a kid. It’s called ‘Prologue: My Life Before Me’ by Wojciech Kilar from the Portrait of a Lady Soundtrack. I’ve tried to remix it several times over the years but never done it justice. One day.

What is the first song you ever wrote and did it make it onto a release?

It was a song I co-wrote with my neighbour about my dog Mickey when we were 13 or so. It covered an ambitious amount of ground musically and we recorded it onto a blank cassette on a family holiday. That was ‘released’ to a total of two households.

Without invoking genre, describe your music…

When I was playing the original demos to Bella, she described the sound (probably more poetically than this) as a dark ocean with lots of empty space between the surface and the ocean floor. It became a bit of a mantra for how to arrange and mix the music.

What was your first ever favourite song?

Before the age of 10 I listened to plenty of commercial radio and my parents music at home, but I have this clear memory of walking to the annual school running race (the biggest event of the year for a 10 year old), and singing ‘All I want’ by The Offspring to myself and thinking it was the best thing ever. That special moment when you realise you can go off and like whatever music you want to.

Lots of songs start out with a working title and are eventually renamed, what were some of the original names of your songs before they were complete?

The working title of our band itself was Scandinasia, and I was labeling all the initial demos as that with numbers after them. It was kind of like a mood board for the music I wanted to create. I.e. something that would go down well in Scandinavia or Asia, and not necessarily follow the trends from Australia, the US or UK.

Favourite Simpsons episode? Discuss.

The one where Mr. Burns opens a casino. It’s made up of a hundred tiny scenes that don’t necessarily have obvious ‘jokes’ in them. A really creative way to do the narrative and makes for so many memorable moments.

What’s the best show you’ve been to this year?

Lord Echo (NZ) in Tokyo, Japan. Mara TK’s dancing was worth the price of admission.

Are you Pro or against streaming services and why?

Pro. There’s no right or wrong in terms of listening to music. If you can access it, that can only be a good thing. It’s usually a combo for me. I’ll listen to PBS in the lounge room, shazam some gems, save them to a relevant Spotify playlist for later, and then head down a rabbit hole based on that artist or style. The journey for good tunes should never come to an end.

Tell us 3 bands that we should be listening to/be keeping an eye out for?

Harvey Sutherland and Bermuda. I’m all about nudisco at the moment, and Harvey’s live show with drums, congas and electric violin is the high watermark right now.

Gavin Turek, from LA. Her 2017 EP is flawless and I can’t wait to hear what’s next.

Mildlife. Another local act with some long, progressive jams that take you to another world.