Keep your eyes on Australia this year folks. Long overlooked in the musical stakes, the land down under has been pumping out some incredible talent of late. From the sprawling psychedelic sounds of Tame Impala and King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard to the folksy blues of Courtney Barnett to the dancefloor bothering hits of Confidence Man, the last ten years or so have seen a new wave of Australian music make its way across the oceans.
Oz’s latest exports are The Harpoons, a Melbourne based four-piece who met in Australia’s thriving folk scene. Growing up together they developed a shared love for all things UK, slowly incorporating elements of garage, two-step and British soul into their music. Soon enough they were listening to the likes of NTS radio and had swapped folk for floor-fillers, turning into a fully fledged UK groove machine for their upcoming debut album.
That album, Amaro, drops on April 13th and today the band are sharing their latest taste from it, new single ‘Pressure’. Premiering on Notion today, it’s a heavily London inspired ode to the city’s divas, with lead singer Bec Rigby paying tribute to the likes of Sade with her simultaneously aloof and commanding vocal. It’s a track built for the closing hours of the club, smooth groves morphing and twisting slowly, vocal loops fading in and out with hits of bassy piano and shakers serving as the pulse of the track.
We caught up with Bec to talk about how The Harpoons went from Australian folkies to UK underground favourites, whats in store for Amaro and her favourite grime lyrics. Listen to ‘Pressure’ below and catch that interview after the jump.
You started in the folk scene – what kind of music were you each making then?
Bec: We started there as people – our parents were all folk musos in the same amazing, daggy scene, so we have known each other since we were really very little! Some of us have even known each other our whole lives because we’re brothers – that would be Jack and Henry.
How did you discover UK music?
Growing up in Australia everything was always focused on the UK and the US, not Australia! It’s funny visiting those places, and they literally know nothing about Australia ha!
What’s your favourite ‘UK’ tune?
I love Tempa T’s ‘Next Hype’. “Clear all your CDs out of your rack! Ain’t gettin’ none of those CDs back” is one of my favourite lyrics of all time.
What brought you to London?
We were just really inspired by the music scene there in general, NTS carries a lotta hype over the oceans! And we wanted to experience it for ourselves. I was personally a huge Kim and Pia Show fan!
Which acts in particular inspired you?
Micachu and Tirzah, Fatima, although she was London-based for a while, but originally from Sweden, I think? Throwing Shade, and of course Craig David. Also Sade + Matthew Herbert!
When did you start to work together?
We started working together when were teenagers really, just mucking around and having heaps of fun, Jack and Henry wrote these incredible songs and I would wail over the top, Marty was on the drums back then too!
When did you start to change your sound?
At some point, we matured past our upbringing as folk musicians who were taught that ‘pop music is crap’ and realised that pop is truly excellent. We got madly obsessed with certain pop artists and went deep on the Top 40 sound for our album.
Amaro is out on April 13th and available to pre-order now.
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