Emerging from the depths of Tasmania are Allan McConnell and Finn Rees aka Close Counters. Coming from a background in jazz, the boys have moulded their sound into an electrifying fusion of electronic, house and soul with a healthy dose of dense synths and driving basslines. Close Counters are set to appear on the upcoming Meadow Festival in March, but not before two back-to-back shows in Melbourne at The Night Cat. We had a chat to the guys all about it:

Hey guys, how’s things? What are you all up to?
Things are great, we’re currently preparing for two back to back shows at The Night Cat this week. We were really stoked to sell out the venue five weeks before the show, so we put on a second show.

Close Counters have been picked to play this year’s Meadow Festival in Bambra VIC this March, which has a pretty epic lineup to say the least! Who are you excited to catch while you’re there?
We’re really excited to see our friends Surprise Chef and 3K. Our violinist Elle will also be performing with her own project – Elle Shimada Collective, which shares a few members from our live band set up.

What’s the music scene like in Tassie? And what other bands should we be listening to from your neck of the woods?
The music scene is really strong considering the small population. There’s also a number of great events and festivals like Dark Mofo which draw a lot of interstate and even international people to come to support local gigs while they’re down. We’d recommend checking out Kudu Joy who is led by Sabine Bester who used to sing live vocals for Close Counters – and also Jay Jarome and Tai Harlii, both of which supported us at our last headline show in Hobart.

How important is it to you as a band to play regional music festivals such as Meadow? And what do you find are the main points of difference between regional vs. metro music festivals?
It’s definitely important to us, regional music festivals have much more of a focus on community and the environment. As people have made the decision to travel away from the city for a weekend to enjoy a festival, they’re likely undistracted and dedicated to making the most of their time away, which means seeing all the acts that are performing! 

What other Festivals have you played? Any on the bucket list for Close Counters?
Last year we played the midnight slot at Meredith after Liam Gallagher which was definitely a career highlight. We’ve also played Splendour In The Grass, Falls Festival and MONA FOMA. As for the bucket list we’re chasing nothing in particular but would be amazing to play some intl festivals in EU!

Your music is some of the most danceable we’re hearing at the moment! The sound is super eclectic and jumps about in all sorts of directions. Do you guys travel a lot? What sounds/genres/artists/cultures do you draw inspiration from?
Appreciate the compliment! Around 2016 we embarked on a big research trip around the EU where a lot of crate digging, gig attending and jamming took place. That was a big eye opener for two Tassie boys. Now as we reside in Melbourne/Narrm, the local artists around us provide some of the biggest inspiration. The connection between Melbourne and the EU seems to be growing stronger in the underground scenes. We’ve always got our eyes and ears open to music of any origin that feels soulful really. Some artists that have been inspiring to us recently are Raw Humps, Kaidi Tatham, Bugz in the Attic, Joe Armon Jones, Roisin Murphy and the list goes on. 

What else is in the pipeline for Close Counters? Any upcoming releases, gigs, collaborations, world domination plans etc.?
We have a few local collaborations in the works for the next EP/LP. The abundance of ridiculously talented musicians makes it hard not to collaborate whenever we get the chance! 

And lastly, what is the one song that’ll always get you up on the dancefloor, no matter what?
Throw It Down by Cameo.. Old school funk. It slaps!!!

Meadow Festival
27 – 29 March, 2020
Bambra, Victoria
with Angie McMahon, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Sheer Mag (USA), Frankie Cosmos (USA), Dyson Stringer Cloher, Donny Benét and more
Final Release tickets on sale now via meadowmf.com

Close Counters also playing
The Night Cat, Fitzroy
Thursday 20th Feb with Fossey + Emelyne – ON SALE NOW
Friday 21st Feb with Josh Kelly + Sophie McAllister – SOLD OUT!