Back in April, Melbourne label Tremorverse Records put the call out for music students across the globe to take part in an isolation curation of sorts, for a chance to be featured on their new compilation album Songs From Home. Created in collaboration with Melbourne’s Box Hill Institute, Songs From Home brings together emerging artists from Music Institutions far and wide to share songs created in response to the unprecedented times we’ve found ourselves living in. The 11-track album traverses everything from neo-soul to alt-folk, and electronica to ambience, with songs to soundtrack either the deepest of meditations or the loudest of house parties. We had a chat with Stella of No Face, Jayden of Hack and Eve. about entering the comp, surviving isolation, and tips for up-and-coming music enthusiasts.
Hey folks, congratulations for being featured on the new Tremorverse Records Songs From Home compilation album! Can you talk us through what inspired each of you to write your track?
No Face – We are so so grateful to be included in this album and this interview we can’t thank you enough!
Initial inspiration for this track came from a trip I took with my partner just before lockdown, about the time I started having some mental health issues. We drove down the ocean road to a beautiful remote beach, surrounded by wild looking Australian bush. I was inspired by our surroundings and played around on an old acoustic guitar we brought down with us.
By the time of full lockdown I was in the midst of a bad mental health period and I picked up the song idea again, finishing the lyrics and writing the backing parts. Everyone else in the band brought the song to life, during recording we sent it back and forth a bunch, everyone adding their own touches. I included themes of the surroundings in the song, the percussion and backing vocals remind me of the water down on that beach and the lyrics are drawn from my mental state over the last few months.
Eve. – Hey! And firstly, thank you! Modern Logic was surprisingly created by complete accident. I was in my second or third week of my first semester and one of my assignments was to create a short composition. So, I initially started to create a different track and then accidentally left the take running and it played through one of the outtakes that ended up being the chord progression for ‘Modern Logic’! During the time that was producing it, I also started seeing this guy, who’s now my current partner and naturally ended up writing lyrics about our little, pre-iso, budding romance & my emotional process that I was going through whilst I was falling in love with him.
Hack – ‘Tremor2020’ was initially a remix of a friend’s track which turned into an original. The distorted sound at the start of the track is a looped snippet of the original vocal that I stumbled on accidentally when jumping to a random section of the song one night. The grittiness inspired the rest of the track.
How long have you been making music, and how has studying at an Australian music institution changed or shaped your music practice over time?
No Face – I have been singing for long as I can remember but only started properly pursuing music in late high school. This is my first proper release which I am so excited about. I have only been confident enough writing my own music very recently, so this is a big step forward.
Being at a music institution has built up my knowledge and confidence so so much and for that I am incredibly grateful. I honestly found the social aspect to the course one of the most helpful things, learning how to interact with other musicians and being surrounded by talented like-minded people who inspire and support me. It has helped me take music seriously and given me the confidence to pursue a life with it.
Eve. – I’ve only been producing my own music within the previous year and a half, however, I was blessed to be introduced to home recording by one of my good friends, Thom (who goes by the artist name Delivery Buoy) and recorded some vocals for him back in December of 2018. Whilst we were working on it, he taught me a bit of the basics of production, as it was my first experience and the track ended up getting played on RTR.FM radio in Perth a few times! Which was totally amazing to me because it was my first time ever having my voice recorded & released on a track. I believe that was my entry point into making music & further on in time I was fortunate enough to be taken under my friend Clint’s wing and he taught me anything and everything I needed to know about creating my own stuff. So, I guess you could say around two years.
Studying helped to fill in the little gaps that I was missing, in terms of music technology knowledge. My teacher Tamara was (and still is) so incredibly fantastic and she really invested time into teaching me additional skills and it gave me the confidence I needed to put something out there. It really felt like I had learnt and grown a lifetime in a few short weeks and it gave me the courage and direction I needed to create Modern Logic.
Hack – I’ve been making music for 5 years now and studying for 3. Studying at Box Hill Institute has given me access to a network of incredibly talented and hardworking individuals that motivate me to do my best work. Being taught by staff at the height of their careers and on industry leading equipment has certainly shaped my journey so far and put me in the best position to take charge of my career.
Besides the Songs From Home comp, what’s your favourite compilation album and why?
No Face – I can’t say I have listened to many compilation albums, being on this album will definitely prompt me to give more of them a go. The one that does comes to mind is the pulp fiction soundtrack compilation album, I’m not sure if that counts but it’s absolutely insane and absolutely marvellous.
Eve. – This is a seriously good question… I haven’t listened to many compilation albums in recent times, I guess due to Spotify and the fact they release playlists now but if I had to choose one, it’d be So Fresh’s best of 2007 / hits of Summer 2008. Absolutely iconic. Having ‘Girlfriend’ by Avril Lavigne, ‘Shut Up and Drive’ by Riri and ‘The Way I Are’ by Timbaland in the same album should be illegal. Completely lethal.
Hack – 2016 was an amazing year for music in my opinion and my first year out of school. The Triple J Hottest 100 compilation that year sums it up for me, and who doesn’t love Flume?!?!?
What advice would you give your younger self about what to expect from studying and making music in Australia?
No Face – I would tell myself to stop putting so much pressure on myself, comparing yourself to the people around you and in the industry in such a toxic way is a waste of time. Creating music doesn’t work in that mindset. Focus on what is meaningful to you and what makes you happy as cheesy as that sounds! If you are enjoying what you are making others are sure to enjoy it too.
Making music and studying through an institution will open up all sorts of pathways for you and give you a space to try things you never would have considered. It gives you a safe space to try things and fail. There is really no point being scared of failure and embarrassment, it’s how you learn, just lean into it! Especially when you’re in a safe, university setting.
Eve. – I would tell her that she’s going to be blessed enough to receive much more than she bargained for when she starts studying! I would tell her to keep her heart open to everyone around her and to take those leaps she wants to take because her next inspiration, professional connection & better yet new friends could be awaiting her. I’d also remind her that she knows that opportunities and people will come at the right time.
I also would say that she needs to not underestimate the amount of connections and opportunities the institution will bring her as well – not just within the educational community but also opportunities like ‘Songs From Home’! I’d tell her that there are more doors that will open for her in the Australian music scene than she realises. I would possibly also remind her to stop questioning her choice to study music and go for it & quit giving herself a headache over fearing what other people think of her, where she’s studying & what she’s studying. I’d remind her that no one was ever led astray when they were following their heart and lift her chin up so that she can see what is waiting around the corner for her.
Hack – Australia has a very tight knit music community and full of support. Through studying in Australia you’re never too far from someone who could make a difference in your career if you put the hard work in. Music festivals in Australia like to support up and coming talent through Triple J so keep up the hard work and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
And finally, what’s next for you? Can we expect any more releases, live/streamed gigs or collaborations in the near future?
No Face – Excitingly we are working on releasing a 4-track EP in this new lockdown. I am so excited to have more material out there and to share what we have been working on, the recording of No Face from isolation was a nice piece of evidence that we can record professional sounding material from home.
Crazily enough we haven’t played a single gig as a band yet, our first gig at the Jazzlab got cancelled in the first lockdown before getting rescheduled and cancelled again. We have a bunch of material that we are keen to put to use. We are playing with the idea of filming a little live video of a 30 minute set in a little dance studio. It’s just an idea now and of course we would not be able to do it until after lockdown has been lifted but it would be a nice substitute for the gig that never happened!
Eve. – I’m about to start working on another single which I started producing late last year, before I left WA, which I can hopefully release within the next month. I’ve also got the beginning of some EP plans, which is super exciting to think about!
As for collaborations, the folks from Trad Ukiyo reached out after the release of the compilation and we’re going to work on t-ing up a show once things have returned back to some kind of normalcy here in Melbourne. It would definitely be dope to create a track together come to think of it… maybe that could be something!
Hack – Some of my best and most in depth work is in the pipeline at the moment. When I look back on this point in my life I hope to think that 2020 was the year I brought my brand to life. Expect some seriously engaging music to come this year and next.
Keep up to date with No Face, Eve. and Hack via their socials below, and wrap your ears around Tremorverse Records’ Songs From Home compilation album while you’re at it!
Image: No Face