Melbourne singer-songwriter GUTHRIE has previewed their new EP with the release of their new single Best You Ever Had. The folk, electronica artist has also released their debut EP INCUBATOR. I was lucky enough to have the chance to discuss the release with GUTHRIE themselves:

Firstly, I just wanted to start by saying how beautiful this new body of music is.

Thank you so much! 

How would you describe your musical style?

I really like to combine the warmth and storytelling of folk with the abrasiveness and industrial sounds of electronic music and specifically hyperpop. I think hyperpop has a really important role in the representation of queerness in music at the moment so I get really excited about applying some of the features of that genre (e.g other-worldly-sounding syths, crashing industrial noises, abrasive drones) to songs which sit somewhere between folk and alt-rock. I think traditionally you’d get from that combination a type of folktronica – but I’m keen to push that a bit further to bring in some of the harsher sounds but make them feel like they belong in the landscape and help tell the story. 

Where do you draw your inspiration from when writing and creating your music?

A lot of inspiration for me comes from things that make me feel really intense emotions. Love is of course a big one, but I think something that’s often overlooked is friendship-love not just romantic love. I also tend to write about the things that make me angry, like gender inequality, internalised victim blaming, abusive relationships, transphobia etc. I also draw alot of inspiration from my collaborators, in particular our band: Libby Ferris, Jake Pickering, Oliver Powell & Billy Exton. They each bring such a rich perspective to songs and how to translate an emotion into a live performance. 

Does the music in INCUBATOR differ from your previous work at all?

I think the tracks in INCUBATOR lean more heavily on electronic influences, I also think the production is a fair bit more ambitious than previous work in the sense of using more abrasive sounds and a bit more of an experimental process. We seem to have strayed a bit further from folk & alt-rock in this latest release into the wilderness and I’m really enjoying it. There’s also alot more political themes – it kind of builds on the ‘Fairy Lights’ release which discussed themes of abusive relationships and opens up that discussion a bit more with ‘Dickhead Song’. I think Dickhead Song really feels like a nuanced conversation where Fairy Lights felt more like catharsis – still important but in a different way. 

The single is co-produced by fellow Australian musician Gordi, how was it working with her on the track?

I maintain that Sophie is a bloody genius when it comes to production. She’s so creative and intricate with the worlds she builds in production – nothing is there by chance. Ever sound, however small, has a deliberate and well constructed purpose in telling the song’s story and creating the emotion for the track. I learnt so much from her and it was amazing to get the opportunity to share pre-production demos back and forth and build things together as well. 

Which track from the EP are you most excited about?

I think I’m excited about them each for different reasons – I was most politicaly excited about Dickhead Song beacuse it offered me an opportunity to try and communicate a nuanced message as clearly as I could, and I was stoked that it was so well received. I’m excited about the sound of Hers because I think it’s very much where the project is going. And Use Somebody was fun to translate into a very nostalgic, vulnerable type of mood.
Best You Ever Had was so special for me because I think it captures a blend of folk and electronic music which was exactly what that song needed – and also the mix for me was really special. Alexander O’Gorman (Gormie) did the mix at about 3am just after getting his first new born child to sleep and when I first heard it I just burst into tears and we made no edits to it – it was just perfect in one hit. 

Where to next from here?

I’m really keen to play more live shows later this year with the band – particularly festivals and support shows for artists coming through Naarm (Melbourne). I’d also love to travel with the band and play some of our own headline shows in different cities, but for now we’re launching INCUBATOR in Melbourne (Leadbeater Hotel) on the 26th of August

I’m also excited to jump into some more production this year – also hopefully some toplining and cowriting. Should be fun! 

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