Turning heads with Augustus Welby
Lim Orion

Lim Orion

September 13, 2020

Turning Heads episode 15 features London musician Lim Orion. Lim Orion is the new solo project for Cara Sebastian, who’s also the guitarist and vocalist of London rock band Shade Ray (fka Marine). 

Cara’s been releasing singles as Lim Orion for the last 18 months, drip feeding music from her upcoming debut album, Cosmic Salt. We’ve heard ‘Hot Flower’, ‘Mirror Mirror’, ‘Stones’, and the latest single, ‘Gold Plated’. 

It’s a contrast in sound to Shade Ray, which is a dynamic rock band. Lim's music retains the band’s penchant for creating atmosphere and space, but removes the robust rhythm section and tendency toward noisy climaxes. Instead, Lim Orion has more of an ambient slant, at times recalling Brian Eno’s work with Daniel Lanois – it’s very textural, intimate and has an organic looseness.

Some of her other influences include Cat Power and Liz Phair, as well as Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks, which we speak about in the podcast. We also talk about Lim’s commercial aims (or the absence thereof), how the new project differs from Shade Ray, being jealous of the work of your peers and how easily music can alter your mood.

Check out "Lim Pickinz Vol. 1" on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/7IUsCAVWz6UlGg6rgGZvLo?si=92vjS8zKRnCrCHfmez1SpA

Turning heads is recorded on the stolen land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation; the traditional custodians of the land. I pay my respects to their elders past and present, and acknowledge that sovereignty has never been ceded.

Alice Skye

Alice Skye

September 7, 2020

Turning Heads episode 14 features Alice Skye, a Wergaia and Wemba Wemba songwriter who is based in Melbourne. 

Alice grew up in Horsham in rural western Victoria and started releasing music in 2016, putting out the singles 'You Are the Mountains', '60%' and 'Poetry By Text' in the lead up to her debut album. That album arrived in 2018 – it's called Friends With Feelings and was recorded in Alice Springs with support from CAAMA Music, the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association. 

Since recording Friends With Feelings, Alice has struck up a partnership with musicians (and twins) Sam and Kane King, who play guitar and drums in her live band. They're also from Horsham and their contributions have helped to evolve the sound of Alice's music.

This can be heard on her latest two singles, 'I Feel Better But I Don’t Feel Good' and 'Grand Ideas', both of which show off a rockier sound. Those songs are set to appear on Alice’s forthcoming second album, which was produced by Jen Cloher and is coming out through Briggs' Bad Apples Music label. 

Our podcast chat covers not being able to perform live due to coronavirus, Alice's childhood influences, working with the twins and Jen Cloher and writing about mental health. 

Turning heads is recorded on the stolen land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation; the traditional custodians of the land. I pay my respects to their elders past and present, and acknowledge that sovereignty has never been ceded.

Woodes (Elle Graham)

Woodes (Elle Graham)

August 30, 2020

Turning Heads episode 13 features Melbourne-based songwriter, producer and vocalist Elle Graham, who releases music as Woodes. Woodes' debut album, Crystal Ball, comes out on Friday October 2. The singles 'Euphoria' and 'Queens of the Night' are out now. 

We spoke about Elle’s childhood in tropical north Queensland, the musical influences in her household, and the influence of the seminal mid-aughts teen drama The OC (specifically the soundtrack). Elle moved to Melbourne after high school to study music composition, and she spoke about how significant this was for the growth of her artistry.

We also touched on her love of Grimes and collaborations with artists like Cosmo’s Midnight, Set Mo and Golden Vessel, and working with The Kite String Tangle on 'Euphoria'. 

Turning heads is recorded on the stolen land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation; the traditional custodians of the land. I pay my respects to their elders past and present, and acknowledge that sovereignty has never been ceded. 

Alex Izenberg

Alex Izenberg

July 27, 2020

Turning heads episode 12 features the Los Angeles musician Alex Izenberg. Alex's second solo album, Caravan Chateau, comes out on July 31, 2020, via Weird World/Domino. 

Alex recently turned 29 years old. He was born and raised and continues to live in Los Angeles, California. He’s been playing in bands for years and in 2016 released his debut solo album, Harlequin. 

Alex's music is evocative of late-60s/early-70s singer-songwriter, prog and psych rock/pop. It's all there on Caravan Chateau, which also touches on Laurel Canyon folk rock, David Axelrod-style experimentalism and Scott Walker-esque baroque pop.

Alex worked with a variety of LA producers on the album – Greg Hartunian produced the majority of tracks, and Dashiell Le Francis, Ari Balouzian and Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado were all also involved. Chris Taylor from Grizzly Bear mixed half of the tracks.

In the podcast, we speak about Alex's intentions for the new album, how he felt his debut didn’t get the reception it deserved. We spent a lot of time talking about his influences – Alex posted a playlist on Spotify called "Alex’s favs", which includes greats like Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, Crosby Still and Nash, King Crimson, Elton John and Creedence Clearwater Revival and contemporary artists Fleet Foxes, Radiohead and Grizzly Bear. 

Find the playlist here:

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1KmZItAlWWkR50OGpSesPQ?si=HahmKhb4QUa8n5PfJ9JxeA 

And check out the Turning heads guests playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5L6jSWXJx4INWyojMV86SW?si=8aCtA_FJSLSmmQEm7GOp2A 

Turning heads is recorded on the stolen land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation; the traditional custodians of the land. I pay my respects to their elders past and present, and acknowledge that sovereignty has never been ceded. 

Poppongene (Sophie Treloar)

Poppongene (Sophie Treloar)

July 20, 2020

Turning heads episode 11 features a conversation with Melbourne-based indie pop musician Poppongene, aka Sophie Treloar. Poppongene’s debut EP, Futures Unsure, came out at the beginning of July 2020. 

Treloar has been releasing music under the Poppongene banner for the last four years. She released the singles ‘Do It Girl’ and ‘Belgravey’ back in 2016. However, she stalled on releasing an EP as she wanted more time to develop the sound and figure out what she wanted Poppongene to be. 

The first taste of Futures Unsure was the single ‘Not Wrong’ which arrived in mid-2019. Like the rest of the EP, it was produced by Tim Harvey, who is a member of Jade Imagine and has worked on records by the likes of Gena Rose Bruce and Taylah Carroll. 

Treloar and Harvey established a strong creative synergy and brought the eight-song release to life during the latter half of 2019, with help from Gemma Helms (bass), Deanna Rumsaviche (keyboard, backing vocals) and Damien Meoli (drums, percussion). 

Futures Unsure was inspired by a break-up, but Treloar’s not one for wallowing in misery. The EP consists of eight song’s worth of spirited indie pop with an aberrant inclination – it doesn’t always take the most logical route from A to B. In that way, it’s reminiscent of artists like artists like Deradoorian, Melody’s Echo Chamber, The Shins and Broken Social Scene. 

In the podcast, we speak about the development of Poppongene’s artistic identity and Sophie’s desire to distinguish herself from Sunbeam Sound Machine, a project she’s performed with for many years. We also spoke about Melbourne’s rich music community and Sophie’s bond with producer Tim Harvey. 

Check out the Turning Heads guests: Eps 1-10 playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5L6jSWXJx4INWyojMV86SW?si=iVOtnK_XQ2CaAmnGwSK1tg 

Turning heads is recorded on the stolen land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation; the traditional custodians of the land. I pay my respects to their elders past and present, and acknowledge that sovereignty has never been ceded. 

Rebel Yell (Grace Stevenson)

Rebel Yell (Grace Stevenson)

July 13, 2020

Turning heads episode 10 features a conversation with Sydney-based electro punk musician Grace Stevenson who makes music as Rebel Yell. The new Rebel Yell album, Fall From Grace, came out on July 10.

Stevenson launched the project four or five years ago while based in Brisbane. The first couple of Rebel Yell releases were the 2016 EP Mother of Millions and the 2017 single 'High Authority'. The latter was the first taste of the project’s debut album, Hired Muscle, which came out mid-2018 via Sydney's Rice is Nice.

Stevenson's been based in Sydney for the last couple of years, which is where she developed Fall From Grace. It's a striking body of work. You could loosely describe it as industrial techno or electronic body music. It’s furious in tone, but also really energising. There are a lot of distorted, brawny sounds, it's very percussive, very bassy, and generally high BPM. Stevenson's vocals are a disorienting, but compelling presence. She speaks as much as she sings and often sounds coldly detached, but the effect is strangely gripping.

We spoke about the music scene in Sydney, the nastiness of tall poppy syndrome, the development of Fall From Grace and the inclusion of a number of guest performers on the album. We also made some sweeping generalisations about the differences between Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. Good fun.

Turning heads is recorded on the stolen land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation; the traditional custodians of the land. I pay my respects to their elders past and present, and acknowledge that sovereignty has never been ceded.

Allara

Allara

July 6, 2020

Turning heads episode nine features Melbourne-based, Yorta Yorta musician, composer and filmmaker, Allara. The conversation focuses on Allara’s latest single, ‘Murnong Farm’, which like all of her work draws on and explores First Nations identity, and the various struggles that come with being an Indigenous person in modern-day Australia, including the struggle for sovereignty and the feeling of displacement.

Allara’s music centres on her double bass playing and spoken word vocals. It’s a unique sound – it’s spoken word, very rhythmical and musical, but not quite rapping. It’s difficult to know where to categorise it. It’s somewhat adjacent to hip hop, neo soul, contemporary jazz and indie rock.

Allara spoke about two texts that had a big influence on the lyrics of ‘Murnong Farm’. The primary impetus for the song was Bruce Pascoe’s book Dark Emu, which looks at the advanced nature of pre-colonial indigenous farming. And the other was Behrouz Boochani's No Friend But The Mountains, which was written during the Kurdish Iranian journalist's six years in the Manus Island immigration detention centre.

Allara speaks very thoughtfully and passionately on the topics of displacement and sovereignty and freedom, and her songwriting follows suit.

Turning heads is recorded on the stolen land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation; the traditional custodians of the land. I pay my respects to their elders past and present, and acknowledge that sovereignty has never been ceded. 

Westerman

Westerman

June 29, 2020

Episode eight of Turning heads features London musician Will Westerman aka Westerman. Wetserman’s debut album Your Hero Is Not Dead came out in June 2020.

Will was born, raised and continues to be based in West London. He started releasing music under the Westerman name in 2016. His first few singles were acoustic folk numbers in the vein of Nick Drake.

Working with producer Bullion (aka Nathan Jenkins), Westerman’s sound expanded on his next few singles, ‘Edison’, 'Easy Money' and ‘Confirmation’. The evolution continued right up until the album, which recalls avant-pop songwriters like Talk Talk, Arthur Russell and the Blue Nile.

Will and I spoke about his stylistic growth over the four year period leading up to the album and what his working relationship is like with Bullion. We also looked at Will’s principles when it comes to writing lyrics and melodies and how to use his voice.

Turning heads is recorded on the stolen land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation; the traditional custodians of the land. I pay my respects to their elders past and present, and acknowledge that sovereignty has never been ceded. 

Simona Castricum

Simona Castricum

June 22, 2020

Turning heads episode seven features Melbourne icon and dance music extraordinaire Simona Castricum, whose new album Panic/Desire is out now. It's the third full-length release from the musician, designer and architecture academic based in Melbourne.

Simona has been involved in music for many years, but the current project has taken shape over the past six or seven years and become one of the most distinct and significant voices in Melbourne electronic and dance music. Simona's first album Exotic Ladies Of Birobidzhan came out in 2014. Her next full length release, #TriggerWarning40, arrived in early 2016.

Over the past couple of years, there’s been a drip feed of singles leading up Panic/Desire, which is Simona’s strongest work to date. The album covers synth pop, dark wave and queer electronic disco, as well as some more abstract, dreamy soundscaping. As ever, Simona’s lyrics dig well beneath the surface, with Simona calling the album “an allegory about gender nonconformity lived in the spaces between urban and digital realms.”

We spoke about about Simona’s aims for this record and how she wanted to be more philosophical or political in her approach, moving away from the more explicitly angry and vulnerable nature of Trigger Warning. We also looked at some of her biggest influences, including Depeche Mode and Sylvester.

Turning heads is recorded on the stolen land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation; the traditional custodians of the land. I pay my respects to their elders past, present and future, and acknowledge that sovereignty has never been ceded. 

Dianas (Nathalie Pavlovic)

Dianas (Nathalie Pavlovic)

June 14, 2020

Episode six of Turning heads features a conversation with Melbourne-based musician Nathalie Pavlovic, who is one third of the band Dianas. Dianas released their second full-length album in early May. It’s called Baby Baby and arrives five years after their debut self-titled effort.

Nat and guitarist Caitlin Moloney started the band in Perth nearly ten years ago. They're now joined by drummer Anetta Nevin. Dianas' music sits somewhere on the post-punk spectrum. It doesn’t really adhere to the markers of post-punk as a stylistic movement, but it carries a spirit of fearless expression, which is true of a lot of the great post-punk releases.

Nathalie recorded and mixed the album and put it out through her label, Blossom Rot Records. Nat also plays in Snowy Band, who were the subject of Turning heads episode five, and forms part of the Elizabeth live band. We spoke about how she’s been dealing with the crazy events of 2020, how it feels to put out the first Dianas album in five years and how the band’s confidence has grown over the years.

Turning heads is recorded on the stolen land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation; the traditional custodians of the land. I pay my respects to their elders past, present and future, and acknowledge that sovereignty has never been ceded. 

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