Good Morning

GET NEXT TO DANNIKA
May 10, 2016 11:03 am

Dannika Horvat is a multitalented musician and filmmaker from Melbourne who recently released her first single “Next to You” from her upcoming EP For Peaches. ATYPICAL SOUNDS jumped on the opportunity to speak with this Renaissance woman on her music and other projects.

Dannika_3Congratulations on your signing to Solitaire. What would you like people to know about you? Is there anything you’d like them to know about your music before listening to it?

I have always loved singing and writing music but have never played an instrument, which makes writing music pretty hard. I watched Whiplash, and although that doesn’t make being a musician seem super appealing, I bought a bass the next day and started plucking away. I’m very terrible at bass but it provided me with a platform to make music with very talented musicians who actually know what they’re doing, which has been very cool.

Your bandmates Liam and Stefan are also in the band Good Morning. How did you all come to be working together?

Liam and Stefan are my very dear friends who have been lovely enough to lend their time and talents to this little project. We all went to high school together so we’ve been mates since way back. One day I played Liam my first song on his front porch and he messaged Stefan saying, let’s make an album. I’m very grateful to those boys because they’ve had to coach me through this whole process and they’re so bloody talented, it is so much fun working with them. Also Paul Ceraso, our drummer, is one of the best people in the world. I’d be lost without my boys.

I’ve heard you describe your work as “four mates making soft, feminine rock.” What does femininity in rock music mean to you? Do you feel it’s part of a larger discussion on feminism in the music industry?

Femininity means something different to everyone, but to me, in my music it’s a sort of dreaminess with some pretty vulnerable lyrics. But femininity in music is so broad which is what is so beautiful about it. You’ve got bands like Terrible Truths, who are just kick ass women writing really incredible music that makes you feel super powerful and on top of your shit.

Most of my favourite musicians are women so as long as they get to keep doing what they love the way they want to, I’d be pretty happy.

You also wrote and directed a short film in 2014, The Summer of ABC Burns. The theme of girls being mean to each other is one that seems to come up in media frequently. Is your story based on an experience you had? Do you think it could help someone in the same age group who is questioning their sexuality?

The Summer of ABC Burns came from my own experience and addresses the sometimes toxic nature of young female friendships. I was very keen to write a film that dealt with the classic trope of best friend/worst enemy that so many girls encounter in high school.

The film definitely doesn’t set the best example of how to deal with sexuality in the dog eat dog world of high school. It’s kind of a what not to do. But I think there is a lot of power in seeing someone like you on screen, so in that way the film is hopefully helpful.

Your Tumblr feed that features your photography is pretty extensive. What do you look for when taking pictures? Are you looking to tell a story about your life, or are you looking to learn about the lives of other people? Is it some combination of the two?

It’s a combination but I am definitely more drawn to taking photos of people I know and love than documenting strangers, and that is purely because I am very shy with the lens. I like documenting intimate moments and nice days spent with great people.

What are your favorite Tumblr feeds to follow?

I’m not actually super active on Tumblr but my favourite Instagram feeds are @savage_woman, @gdayimajay, @james.pdf, @oatsthelabel, @emmacollard, @chessycarey, and @chadoner

All great people with nice photos of cool things.

Are there other artists (musicians or otherwise) in Melbourne you feel deserve more attention?

Frances Fox is a beautiful band from Melbourne whose latest EP, Electric You, is one of my favourite things to listen to at the moment. I received the tape as a gift from my housemate and I think their music is so lovely.

What are your favorite venues in Melbourne to listen to music?

I love the Tote because I had a really great Christmas Eve there last year where I saw Dick Diver and it was just the best gig. It was a million degrees and everyone was dripping just from standing there but it was very fun. It’s also really easy to ride to from my house and that’s cool too. I also like the Gasometer, it’s such a beautiful building.

What are your plans for 2016? Will you be releasing an LP? Are you working on any new films?

2016 will consist of me finishing my masters in screenwriting and hopefully making another short film. We have no solid plans at the moment to make another album but there are some songs that are very special to me that I’d love to record one day.

THE GLORY OF GOOD MORNING
November 29, 2015 11:28 pm

Melbourne band Good Morning has returned to Australia after 11 performances at their first CMJ and positive reviews from publications including Spin and NME. ATYPICAL SOUNDS had the pleasure of welcoming them to New York during that time, and you can read our interview with them here.

Now, the band is settling back in at home, and getting ready to release their Glory EP in February 2016. We were given a sneak preview of the album, and will do our best to convey its sound to you. It’ll be like you’re right here with us.

The album opens with “Overslept”, a lo-fi track that makes you feel like a pack of crayons on a hot radiator. Singer Stefan Blair certainly sounds sleepy in his delivery of the lyrics, “I overslept today/ What in the world/ What in the world/ What in the world should I say?” It’s the type of song that makes you want to stay in bed a little while longer while listening.

The EP gives the impression of following Blair and bandmate Liam Parsons through a lazy day during a hot, Australian summer. The timing of the release will be great for the band’s fans at home, since February falls during summertime in the southern hemisphere. For the rest of their fans, who will inevitably be freezing their asses off during this time, the album sounds like a chilled-out vacation in a much warmer climate.

“Cab Deg” is the band’s first single to be released from the EP. It’s the most “indie” album on the track, featuring extended vocal harmonies and a poppier sound. However, Blair and Parsons quickly bring the listener back down to reality during “To Be Won”. Played predominantly on acoustic guitar, it can be a challenge to decipher Blair’s softly-sung vocals, leaving the track up to interpretation over whether the song is sad or tastefully subdued. Either way it’s beautiful, making “To Be Won” the second single due to be released from the EP.

Between the first 3 and last 3 songs, the sound changes, like the guys have had some coffee. Overall, there’s less distortion and these tracks sound cleaner and more produced than the previous ones; “Give Me Something To Do” features some fancy saxophone but maintains the vocal harmonies of “Cab Deg”. However, the track goes in a new direction with spoken lyrics towards the end of the song that sound like they could be the slightest bit influenced by Lou Reed’s Street Hassle.

“The Great Start”, the penultimate track, carries through the psychedelic feel of the EP, but adds an airier, more atmospheric sound that blends well with Blair’s sleepy vocal style. By the time “In The Way” begins to play, I can’t imagine the listener is anything but blissed out, and this track prolongs that feeling all the way to the end of the EP. “I’m so sorry/ I get caught up…” is repeated through the track, but it’s never quite clear what Blair and Parsons are apologizing for. It doesn’t matter; it’s another beautiful song on the EP. Finally, it dissolves into a swirling puddle of sound before picking up and giving us one more “I’m so sorry…” and gently letting us go.

THE BEST OF CMJ
November 16, 2015 9:02 am

Another year, another CMJ. It’s no doubt that CMJ Music Marathon is one of the best music festivals held in NYC where you can discover both local and international bands. The city turned into a playground for bands and made millennials stay up all night dancing to some catchy tunes. Not only did CMJ offer great music to our city but also incorporated daytime programming where people could learn about music politics, attend Q&A sessions with radio promoters, and even have a cheeky breakfast with music industry individuals.

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Here at ATYPICALSOUNDS, we’re all about celebrating indie music so we curated three killer showcases with the best bands you need to know right now. Our first showcase on Thursday featured artists like Stolen Jars, Weaves, Methyl Ethyl, and IDGY Dean who slammed drumbeats along her soulful voice. Our biggest day party was on Friday at The Delancey and we had a lineup to fill all three floors. We managed to squeeze in Bent Denim to our lineup who were perfect to start the day with their calm shoegaze tunes. The rooftop crowd was amazed by Avi Jacob who nailed “Cannonball.” Wolkoff and Caveboy were also astounding artists who added an extra umph to the show. Beverly played at our last showcase at Cameo Gallery and performed smoothly with her breathy vocals. Lena Fayre, who’d been in all three showcases, closed the night with her deep, dark, and emotional tones that gave chills throughout the room.

Throughout the week there were many more artists we discovered that blew our minds. Australian band Good Morning played the Cake Shop on a Tuesday night and talked about their favorite video games after the show. We headed to The oberjikjDelancey later that night to check out City of the Sun who never fails to leave us in amazement with their rhythmic skills. Birch was playing on a Wednesday night at the Bowery Electric and energized the room with Michelle’s electric blue hair and dancy beats. Cosmo Sheldrake was a pleasant change from the guitar and drums we’ve been used to listening to. A multi-talented instrumentalist who creates a piece by putting together different sounds especially wowed the crowd with his improvisation skills. We headed to see the Brooklynite Oberhofer own the stage at Mercury Lounge and had a chat about his album Chronovision after his show behind the merch table. Saturday at The Delancey were dedicated specifically to bands from Australia. Gordi caught my attention with her acoustic guitar folk tunes and calming voice.

The BEASTS are are pretty damn good at this whole “knowing where to find good music” thing. Last month’s CMJ was an obvious reminder of that, and there will be plenty more where that came from. Just wait for SXSW….

GOOD MORNING, CAKE SHOP
October 15, 2015 9:49 am

How far do people travel to perform at Cake Shop? From the other side of the world apparently, though the CMJ music marathon certainly qualifies as a special occasion. Tuesday night saw Aussie band Good Morning, who came all the way from Melbourne to perform in the best basement in Manhattan. ATYPICAL SOUNDS sat down with band members Stefan Blair and Liam Parsons for a chat after their brilliant set.

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This is my first show of CMJ, thank you for kicking it off with an awesome set! Is this your first time in New York?

SB: I’ve been here before.

LP: I’ve never been here before.

What do you think so far?

LP: It’s awesome. New York is the coolest place in the world.

Do you have more shows planned for CMJ?

LP: We have 7 more.

In the next 4 days? Is that exciting or terrifying?

LP: It’s exciting. We wish we had booked more.

SB: We tried to book as many as we could, so that we didn’t just come over here and do nothing.

LP: It’s like 36 hours on a plane.

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You guys are pretty far away. But now you’re here, and that’s all that matters.

SB: Exactly.

LP: We’re all jetlagged, but we’re feeling OK.

Have you gotten to do anything fun while you’re here?

SB: We’ve done heaps of fun stuff. We’ve only been here since Saturday…

LP: Just walking around is fun. Seeing shit.

It’s a great city to people-watch.

SB: It’s the best city, cause everything sounds like a sound bite from Grand Theft Auto. We went down the FDR the other day, and I was like “I know this street from Grand Theft Auto.”

LP: I’ve done terrible, terrible things on that street in that game.

Is that your favorite video game, or do you have another?

SB: I reckon that’s probably my favorite video game.

LP: It’s pretty great. It’s definitely top 3.

SB: I used to be really into Ratchet and Clank. That was a really good game. That was a big favorite of mine for many years.

LP: Goldeneye 007 was the greatest videogame of all time.

SB: Donkey Kong, Super Nintendo was genius also.

Have you tried the pizza in New York?

LP: We did. We went to this place on Broadway and 112th or something, and it was twice the fucking size of my head. And it was really, really good.

Is there anything you’d like to share with your audience?

LP: Sunbeam Sound Machine!

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What is that Facebook page, Boycott Good Morning?

LP: It’s run by us, but it’s like…I think people actually like it.

SB: It’s all about condensing a community of haters, and making sure we have this community of people that really don’t like us.

LP: You know how on Facebook, you can see how many people like you?

SB: You also want the “anti-likes”.

All publicity is good publicity.

LP: There’s also a group called Boycott Boycott Good Morning. That’s not us.

Do you know them?

LP: Yeah, we do. They’re friends of ours.

SB: What would you like to share [with the audience]?

I guess that I hope the rest of CMJ goes as well for me as it has tonight.

Upcoming performances:

Friday, 10/16 at Black Bear Bar (6pm) and Our Wicked Lady (7:30pm)

Saturday, 10/17 at The Delancey (5:35pm)

Watch: Good Morning, “You/On the Street”