austen

Interview with Austen

Up and coming musician, Austen, has released a stunning music video to accompany her new single ‘North South East West’. Her unique indie-pop sound includes hints of 60s nostalgia as well as futuristic pop.  

Born and raised in Dalby, regional QLD, Austen began writing music in her early teens and amassed millions of streams after uploading her first songs to the internet. Her debut EP Passenger Seat saw Austen garnering support from Triple J and selling out her launch show in Brisbane. 

Her new track ‘North South East West’ is a fun and flirty love letter to the honeymoon period of a relationship, and explores the feelings of falling in love. The music video features an all-Austen band, playing every role from drummer to audience member, performing on a ‘60s talk show. The retro vibe of the video reflects Austen’s retro style and eclectic music influences. 

We had the opportunity to talk to Austen about her new single, music video, and her unique style. 

We’re loving your new single ‘North South East West’! What is the song about?  

Thank you so much! North South East West is kind of my love letter to the honeymoon period of a relationship, where things are easy and comfortable.

What was your inspiration for the ‘North South East West’ music video? 

The concept was inspired by 60’s talk shows, like The Ed Sullivan show, which I just love the look and feel of. I wanted to emulate that kind of vintage, throwback visual but modernise it and put a twist on the idea by playing each of the 5 characters myself. The characters were formed out of the personality of the instruments and the parts they’re playing in the song, so the styling was inspired by those personalities – and the version of Austen in the audience is just inspired by my harsh inner critic, haha.

You have an EP coming out later this year. What artists have been influencing the sound of your EP? 

I feel like the EP is quite eclectic which reflects how chaotic my listening habits are. It really changes from week to week, but at the moment I’m drawing inspiration from The Talking Heads, Little Dragon, Metronomy, London Grammar, The 1975, Mark Ronson, Gorrilaz.

You have a distinct retro style. Where did your love for retro fashion come from? Who inspires your style?  

I think I like vintage fashion because it can be timeless and it means you’re not contributing to cheap, fast fashion that destroys the planet for a trend which will be old news in 6 months. I’d love to say I have a fashion icon that I look up to but really I just get inspiration from random people I pass on the street, or Depop.

You recently made the move from Brisbane to Melbourne. What made you decide to move?  

I’ve been a bit nomadic over the past couple of years and have moved cities a couple of times, but have been mostly based in Brisbane. I grew up in a small country town so I think I have this desire to live in a lot of different places throughout my life and move around. I moved to Melbourne in March 2020, so really bad timing on my behalf, haha – I spent a good 6 months in lockdown and then another 6 months being super nomadic to counteract that. I’m in Melbourne now and loving it so far – I think I just enjoy a change of scene and a new chapter.

You supported Touch Sensitive at the end of 2020. What was it like getting to perform live again after so long in lockdown? 

It was incredible – that gig was so special. New South Wales still had some restrictions on music venues, so everyone was sitting at these long tables, it felt like an awards ceremony or something. People kept getting kicked out for standing up, but just kept getting more and more into it until the very last song where everyone in the venue stood on the tables and danced their heart out as a big group. It was the cutest act of defiance, in a state where there’s 50,000 people going to the footy but a ban on a couple of hundred people dancing at gigs…

What is your dream gig? 

Madison Square Garden, Brisbane Riverstage, first artist to play on the moon… (Let’s be honest though that will end up being Grimes)

What can we see from you in the future?

I’m really excited to announce a tour this month, and an another taste of the EP really soon!

Where can people keep up to date with all things Austen?

www.austenmusic.com 

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