David is back on the blog pipes.
One of my favourite interviewers is Ian Svenonius. He is a master of putting his (musical) subjects at ease, by way of his conversational style, which is equally analytical, informative, and casual. He is extremely laid back.
This is all very well documented in NOISEY’S semi recent segment Soft Focus a fantastic interview series in which Svenonius interviews a number of musical guests.
There is an air of mutual understanding between both individual(s) during these pieces that makes the interviews feel a bit more natural, legitimate, where the stilted awkwardness that can often surround band interviews is 100% absent.
Perhaps the central key to Ian’s interview skill is his history of friendship/familiarity with his subjects – having played in a number of bands himself. (He is also famous for being a purveyor of far left tongue in cheek political concepts which came to the fore during his Nation of Ulysses period.
One such band I have discovered recently, The Make Up, and they are bloody great. Think The Fall fronted by a James Brown, Prince, Iggy hybrid singer (Svenonius) belting out garage/funk/gospel stuff – what they liked to call “Gospel Yeh Yeh”.
I reckon Rice Is Nice’s own You Beauty may find a great affinity to the Make Up – they were known for their energetic, theatrical live performances that often called for audience participation. Check out the Make Ups (fake) live first album – Destination: Love – Live! At Cold Rice (where the added a lot of live sounding effects during the studio recording) – it’s 10/10.
You can actually catch Svenonius, and (one of) his other band Chain and the Gang who will be playing March next year with Angie at Newtown Social.
Another more contemporary Australian artist who has the ability to be as equally theatrical as The Make Up is Nicholas Allbrook. His new album Pure Gardiya came out a few months ago now, and it’s one of my favourites from 2016.
Allbrook has this amazing ability to write songs that are both parts cathartic and serene. A bit of a departure from his Ariel Pink style debut Ganough Wallis Fatuna, Pure Gardiya is kinda glam folk (if I had to pin a ridiculous genre). Nick sings in a strong Aussie accent and belts out lyrics that are cryptic, humorous, and on certain songs – namely the lead single Advance – insightfully critique Australian nationalism.
Nick is one of my fave Aussie musicians, and always one to keep an eye on as undoubtedly his next musical release will be even more interesting – and ever more different – to his last.