Q&A Scene: Noah Earp

Tell us about your new single/ album/ tour?

My debut album is called ‘Disinheritor’. It’s taken me about 3 years to make, and all the blood, sweat, tears and any other cliché you wanna throw at it. I’m launching it at the Toff in Town on Thu 27th, with Gretta Ray and Busy.

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

I’m pretty fond of track 3 on the album, ‘The Messenger’. It’s a great live band take and there’s all sorts of atmosphere going on. I also really like the duet I did with Gretta Ray, partly because she’s singing on it. But the last track of the album ‘Build Me an Ark’ does a certain thing, there’s a certain intensity to it which makes me feel like it’s the most important thing I’ve done so far.

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

I think my sound would be a thick, heavy stew with unusual ingredients, aromatic spices and wild exotic flavours that jump out at you. Maybe something like a Persian stew with walnuts and pomegranates.

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

During the recording of ‘Build Me an Ark’, we got to the climax of the song and this huge noise burst out, like a ginormous flock of birds whooshing through the sky. Going through the takes later we discovered it was a Roland Space Echo unit that hadn’t been doing anything in the studio, just sitting there. Somehow it started making sounds at just the right moment, a real ghost in the machine. We left it in.

What, or who, inspires you?

Great songs. Generous people. People who worked out a way to mess with the system, and then, just as the system worked out a way to wrap its greasy tentacles around them and put them in a box – they threw it all away and started again.

Which songs do you wish you wrote?

Right now, ‘Je T’aime… Moi Non Plus’ by Serge Gainsbourg, and ‘The Makings of You’ by Curtis Mayfield.

What’s next for you?

The overriding plan is to write new material, because I haven’t done that in ages. Preferably on a Mexican beach or somewhere I can re-charge my neuroses.

What’s your scene?

I stay well away from scenes. It’s a proven fact that scenes cause autism. The government just doesn’t want you to know about it.
Australian songsmith Noah Earp has announced his new single The Raw and the Cooked, a broad, sweeping stroke of alternative folk-rock. To accompany the single, Earp has released a self-made film clip that endears the viewer with its undeniable quirk. The Raw and the Cooked is the first taste of Earp’s debut album Disinheritor, an enlightening collection of songs that demonstrates a rare ear for unexpected harmony. Disinheritor is out October 28.


The Raw and the Cooked rambles comfortably across its three and a half minutes, generating a sprawling acoustic soundscape that lifts and inspires the listener. Evoking thoughts of Father John Misty and Radiohead, the track nestles sweetly underneath Earp’s inimitable vocal, then climaxes in perfect chaos. Of the track, Earp says, The Raw and the Cooked is about a person who is trapped in a bad scene. At first she seems really cynical, but actually the cynicism masks a certain naivete. We all have this to some extent – nothing is too neat and nobody’s perfect. I liked the idea of a love song that wasn’t…in the end this pretty love song fragments into a million pieces, because life is scary and chaotic.”

The clip for The Raw and the Cooked is lovingly homemade by Earp himself, and features charming characters, including Brisbane musician Laneous and band member Danny Cox, in iconic Melbourne scenes. Affectionately tongue-in-cheek, the clip was inspired by several wasted hours spent watching extreme sports and skateboard tricks on YouTube. Earp laughs, “I thought it’d be cool to grab some GoPros and film an extremely untalented person making an absolute mockery of themselves and the sport. I thought the album was serious enough…I have a habit of doing music videos myself. It’s not generally advised, but I like learning about filmmaking, and I’d rather learn about it by jumping in and giving it a shot.”

Earp’s debut album Disinheritor demonstrates the troubadour’s insatiable taste for poetics and symbolism, encompassed within a balanced acoustic/electronic environment. The result is tender, suffused with melancholy, marked by Earp’s delicate vocal tone and unforeseen tunings that unsettle as much as they ease. Recorded with Jonathan Dreyfus (Gretta Ray, Lester the Fierce), Jez Giddings (Kingswood, Dallas Crane) and Craig Harnath at Hothouse Studios, Disinheritor includes many pleasant surprises – even a duet with the 2016 winner of Triple J Unearthed’s Unearthed High competition, Gretta Ray. Of the record, Earp enthuses, “We’re not supposed to think about the fact that tomorrow we’re going be somebody else’s history book. So I guess all of these loose threads in the album – the love songs, the songs that play on religion, the songs that play on politics – they’re all set in the knowledge that this is just a flash in the pan. In some songs, that’s a vision of terror. In others, it’s where all the most important and beautiful things in life have their basis. It’s a debut album… but the irony is it all comes across as a swansong.”

Noah Earp, alongside a full band, will launch Disinheritor at an exclusive gig at renowned Melbourne venue The Toff in Town on October 27. Thrilled to finally put the record out into the world and to perform it live for the fans, Earp says, “I really enjoy performing these songs live, partly because I don’t do it that often, and partly because we always leave a bit of room to improvise. The band is solid and they know the songs so well, we really try and rein in on the moment using the words as the focal point. It’s a big sound – I like to think of us as oversized chamber music. Folk musicians don’t book us for gigs because we have too much stuff on stage!”




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About Mary Boukouvalas 1593 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.