Q&A Scene: Spectoral

Tell us about your new single and EP?

Movin’ On was the last track from my upcoming EP that we completed, but I knew immediately it’d be the opener for it.The song’s about a friend of mine actually. We’d catch up and over drinks she’d update me about this guy she’s been in love with for years. Only problem is, he’s taken and always has been. Completely off limits, she didn’t know what to do about it. Do you just go through life crossing your fingers that one day you’ll be each other’s? We’d talk about the difficulty of “taking an L” – that is, to admit defeat… and it kinda led to me writing this song.

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

The Spectoral sound is like… an antipasto. Soft cheeses, cured meats, olives, crackers. There’s a bunch of things you can sample from it. Goes well with wine and a warm night. I guess I try to go for something a little less “sweet” and a bit more “umami” in flavouring my music.

Which of your songs resonate most strongly and why?

I’ve got this record called “Old Way Love” which I re-worked into a special version for the EP. I absolutely love performing this one live. It always gets a super strong reaction from the crowd, and it’s a really personal, bittersweet tale following on from the themes established in “Movin’ On”. My EP is called “An Incorruptible Dream” and that track really explores the idea of grasping for the unattainable, wrapping it all up in this tight little indie hip-hop beat that audiences jam with.

Tell us a quick, on the road, anecdote.

This is super embarassing but once I was co-headlining this show and as it approached time for my set, we were all super pumped about it until I realised that somehow, I left my laptop (from which I trigger all my stems and samples) back at the studio… With 45 minutes to spare I drove there and back again in such a way people would’ve sworn it was a recreation of Mad Max Fury Road. We made it though, and the crowd was thankfully none the wiser!

Where do you draw inspiration from?

From a production standpoint I love what contemporaries like Oscar Key Sung, Sampha and FKA Twigs do, pushing their genre forward with bold visions. From a songwriting and lyrical standpoint I absolutely adore Frank Ocean’s approach, and the poetic insecurities artists like Ben Gibbard and John Mayer put into their music. But beside all that, I’m a nostalgic… I look back a lot, and draw from feelings and moments that’ve stayed with me in the past, as much as I wonder about my present mentality in dealing with new moments that grow me as a human being.

Which song do you wish you wrote?

I wish I wrote Nights by Frank Ocean. I think the whole world wishes they could write like Frank Ocean. That song is just such a layercake of deep, intricate change-ups and self reflection. The whole album is unbelievable.

What’s next for you?

So my EP, “An Incorruptible Dream”, drops on all streaming platforms October 12 2018 and I couldn’t be more psyched about it. It’s the best work I’ve yet released, but it’s not nearly the best work I’ll ever release. I’ve got 14 new tracks at various stages of completion… you’ll hear some of them next year, who knows. But for now I’m in full celebration mode about these six new Spectoral songs, they represent a massive chapter of my past year.

What’s your scene?

I feel most content when I’m sharing in a happy moment with good friends or family, the weather is warm, and everybody is at their most care-free and really invested in the moment. That might be at a gig, lapping up the sounds of tomorrow and networking with fellow Melbourne producers and artists. It might be at our local, enjoying a drink, a meal, or a coffee n’ cake together, just a few of us. It might be at a good mates’ house, cracking open a bottle or two and unravelling the week with some nibbles and a movie. It might even be at home, curled up on the sofa binge watching Better Call Saul, or a warm Aussie Christmas with all the fam around. So I guess my scene isn’t so much a physical place, as it is a feeling of belonging.



Quiet achiever Spectoral has today announced his new single Movin’ On, an ominous dedication to a lovesick friend, out. Movin’ On is just the very first taste of the upcoming new EP An Incorruptible Dream from Spectoral, who’s also known as Andrew Bitto.  Dropping on October 12, An Incorruptible Dream is an understated, considered and truly unique collection of songs from the newcomer.

Movin’ On feels evocative of some big names – Flume, Peking Duck, even Kanye West’s melancholy production style comes to mind – but there is something still so one-of-a-kind about it, something so uniquely Spectoral, that makes it such a special listen.  Synths glide effortlessly alongside each other, and duck perfectly behind carefully placed percussion while Spectoral’s distinctive vocal leads the way with intensely relatable lyrics.  Reflecting on the inspiration behind the track, Andrew says, I actually wrote this one about a good friend of mine.  We’d catch up and she’d always tell me news about this guy she was in love with.  Things never really worked in her favour with him because he was already taken – it was this kinda Love Actually moment for her I guess, just in reverse.  So anyway, we’d chat about it, and she just found it so hard to give up the dream of one day him being hers.  So this song’s about that.  It’s about accepting the loss and letting it go.”

 Movin’ On appropriately precedes the highly anticipated EP An Incorruptible Dream.  Working alongside Tim Watt and Tim McArtney of Hercules Studio in Sydney (Flume, Touch Sensitive, George Maple), fellow producer Alius aka Sebastian Ivanov (Blake Rose, Arizona Jones) and musician Robin Waters (Ella Hooper, The Boat People), An Incorruptible Dream fuses pop, R’n’B and electronic influences flawlessly, all amongst a sparkling bed of confessional, well-crafted lyrics.  Andrew explains the themes behind the EP, as he says, “The name An Incorruptible Dream is a line from The Great Gatsby actually.  It’s this idea of always trying to reach for the unattainable, whether it’s a person, or a state of mind, or a level of perfection or success.  Unfortunately for Gatsby it blinded him and led to his downfall.  The EP explores this theme that is definitely in my life in different ways.  I  planned this EP back in January, but actually a couple of the songs here I’ve been sitting on for literally years.”

So it’s no secret that this EP has been a long time coming, especially for Spectoral’s dedicated fanbase – and Andrew is thrilled to finally be ready to unleash these never-before-heard tracks onto the world, as he enthuses, “I’m so pumped!  It’s like seeing a little bonsai tree that you’ve been caring for finally sprout flowers…I feel like I’ve really nestled into my sound over the past year, thanks to the experience of working with so many awesome enhineers and co-producers all over this project.  It’s been the most eye-opening and fun experience.”

An Incorruptible Dream is out October 12.

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.