Q&A Scene: AUSTEN

Tell us about your new single NORTH SOUTH EAST WEST?

The song is a fun, summer jam written about easy, drama-free love. I think it’s best listened to in the arvo sun with a drink, or on a road trip.

What’s your favourite work at this point in time?

My next single that’s coming out soon! I guess it’s always the one that hasn’t seen the light of day yet, because there’s so much anticipation. I’m always looking at what’s next – I’m especially excited for people to hear a different side to Austen in the next song.

How would you describe your sound in food form and why?

Something that’s crunchy on the outside but still juicy, kind of unique but kind of basic, and suits in any context: a pickle.

Tell us a quick, on the road or studio, anecdote.

Probably the most memorable story from on the road is the time we were supporting a bigger artist at a venue in regional Victoria. Somehow, their festival rider was sent to the venue instead of their rider for smaller shows, so while we were sitting backstage waiting for the show to start, in walk the staff with 20 peoples worth of catering: cartons of drinks, platters, an entire cake, and sandwich trays. There were only 4 of us in the whole touring party… we did our best but there were definitely some leftovers and we felt super guilty. Shout out to regional venues for being the most hospitable!

What, or who, inspires you?

I’m inspired by people and their quirks, the city I’m in, street fashion, nature, waterfalls and the beach. Bands like Little Dragon, Tame Impala, LCD Soundsystem, artists like Clairo and HAIM and Georgia.

Which song do you wish you wrote?

The Knife – Heartbeats.

What’s next for you?

I’m excited for my next EP to be birthed into the world, as well as announcing a tour this week!

What’s your scene?

At a festival, swaying as the sun sets, surrounded by friends and having a boogy.

Left-leaning pop artist Austen has today announced her new single North South East West, a gorgeous track about blossoming love, out today – April 29 on Tank Top Records. Austen has also released a stunning clip to accompany the track, featuring an all-Austen band performing on a ‘60s talk show, filmed by Teel Studios (JOY., Nyxen, Miss Blanks).

North South East West feels evocative of alt-pop forces Clairo and King Princess with a Mark Ronson-esque beat and production – but also exhibits something uniquely Austen. Perfectly summery, with gentle, rolling percussion and lush, full instrumentation that highlights Austen’s quietly assured vocal, North South East West is a woozy track that feels just like falling in love. Co-written by Evan Klar and Hailey Collier, and co-produced by Evan Klar and Jono Ma, North South East West is a beautiful addition to Austen’s impressive discography, as she explains, North South East West is about that easy type of love where it feels like you’re living in a hazy dream, exploring new territory and not having to force anything – a love letter to the honeymoon period. I’d written a lot of songs about toxic love and I wanted this one to be the polar opposite…it’s a love song to simple, flirty love.”

The video for North South East West is as joyous as the song itself. Filmed by Teel Studios (JOY., Miss Blanks), the clip features Austen starring in every role, from drummer to audience member, and has a gorgeous, sun-soaked, retro vibe. Reflecting on the inspiration behind the video, Austen says, I had the idea as a way to bring out the breezy, throwback vibe of the song, and also because it just feels like a song that needs to be played live. I was at home playing around on the song with my guitar and my bass and drum pads, and I thought if my band can’t cross the borders then I may as well play all the bits myself. I wanted to create different characters for each instrument, to form the ultimate girl band and embrace those different sides of myself.”

We’re keen for Austen to bring her eclectic sound to the stage after a trying 2020 with no shows – and she feels the same way, explaining, “This year I’m really excited to expand my show to have a live band, after touring for the past couple of years with a smaller setup. After so long with no gigs because of Covid, it’s inspired me to go all out and make it a hectic experience.”

North South East West is out now on Tank Top Records.

Stream: NORTH SOUTH EAST WEST

About Mary Boukouvalas 1299 Articles
Mary is a photographer and a writer, specialising in music. She runs Rocklust.com where she endeavours to capture the passion of music in her photos whether it's live music photography, promotional band photos or portraits. She has photographed The Rolling Stones, KISS, Iggy Pop, AC/DC, Patti Smith, Joe Strummer, PULP, The Cult, The Damned, The Cure, Ian Brown, Interpol, MUDHONEY, The MELVINS, The Living End, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine, The Stone Roses –just to name a few - in Australia, USA, Europe and the Middle East. Her work has been published in Beat magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, Triple J magazine, The Age Newspaper, The Herald Sun, The Australian, Neos Kosmos, blistering.com, theaureview.com, noise11.com, music-news.com. She has a permanent photographic exhibition at The Corner Hotel in Richmond, Victoria Australia.

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