An ethereal storyteller and an aural illustrator of musical grandeurs, Owl Eyes, aka Brooke Addamo, is one of the most unadulterated treasures of the Melbourne music scene. At the tender age of 19, Addamo is able to juxtapose her innocence against her elaborate fantasies and meticulous fictional worlds, creating a delicate blend of endearing and illuminating indie-pop.
Underpinned by her eternal love and passion for song-writing, Addamo shares her musical history, noting “I didn’t grow up in a musical family, sadly,” she smiles. “I started singing when I was 12 and I instantly fell in love with it. I started singing covers and then moved further into jazz and it all started from there.
“When I was about 15,” she continues, “I started writing poems and songs in my notebook and it became a natural progression to making demos and turning my love for singing into a love for artistry; a love for writing and creating something special,” she explains gracefully. “I had been writing with a lot of producers and musicians for quite some time but they just weren’t ‘getting’ my style, especially what was in my head that I wanted to showcase and get out there.
“I ended up,” Addamo explains, “working with Jan Skubiszewski and he really ‘got’ me straight away; he understood exactly what I wanted and it was just a really just a great musical connection, which is rare. We had a lot of ideas and plans for songs we were going to work on, but we decided to scratch them all and work on something completely new and fresh. In five days we wrote the five songs for the EP. It all happened so quickly but it all comes back to that rare musical connection we had.
“All of those tracks went onto the EP with barely any changes which was great and just a really nice contrast to what I had gone in the past.“
That resulting EP, entitled Faces, is a lush and pure exploration into the themes of escapism, alluring the listener through a journey of desperation, mystique and a poignant insight into Addamo’s experiences. “Most of the EP is influenced by my life in general; how I’m feeling and what’s happening around me. It’s not really about love or longing, it’s more about everything that’s going on within my head. There are a lot of metaphors and a lot of references to animals,” she shares excitedly. “My favourite lyrically is Faces. It references a wolf to embody my insecurities and my self-doubts. It’s all about just not really knowing what will happen and doubting yourself and exposing your vulnerabilities. As a wolf it allows it to take you on a journey and I really love the visual representation that connects it all together. “On the opposite end of the spectrum there’s 1+1, which is quite straight forward. It’s about a relationship that should mathematically work on paper, but with all of the uncontrollable variables in life it just doesn’t add up.”
With the playful yet confronting sounds of Faces finally being shared with world, Addamo’s continuing refinement of her honest and wholesome live performances has also gathered critical acclaim nationwide. “Considering I’ve been singing since I was 12 I’ve obviously done a lot of performing, but singing my own stuff was something I had only done a little bit,” she concedes. “I had always spent so much of my time with a focus on my writing and perfecting my skills rather than getting out and gigging every week. The whole concept of playing every week, touring and performing all of the time is still pretty new to me, but I’m really loving that aspect of the project.
“I love connecting with people who have both heard and haven’t heard my music and receiving some sort of reaction. Even if it’s dislike or if it’s love,” she adds, “it’s amazing to gauge the reactions. It’s really nice to see people respond to your music in a way you didn’t imagine when you were writing it in the studio.”
She pauses momentarily, before adding, “It’s really important to truly feel the song and express it in a way so that others can feel it too and feel captivated. As the visual aspect of my music is really important to me I’m also working on more artistic measures for my performances. I’ve spent a lot of time playing support roles which really doesn’t allow you to be creative or bring in your own ideas or have the full show that you want, so in my launch shows I’m going to really focus on having the set design I want, the full band that I want and having something like a costume or something outrageous with me. I really love the visual component.”
An artist that seems truly beyond her age, Addamo’s ever-growing potential soars greater almost with each passing day. Her vivid lyricism underpinned by her instrumentation dexterity and magnificent delivery reinforces the excitement for her future possibilities. “I definitely think I’ll release a second EP before jumping into an album,” she explains of her future plans. “I think sitting down and writing a full album is a mountain I’m just not ready to climb yet,” she grins, “I want everything I write and release to be true to myself. I’ve already begun writing my second EP, I’ll be embarking on my first full national tour and mid-next year I’m hoping to go overseas and seeing the reaction I get,” she laughs humbly, “Of course before all of that there is going to be a lot more writing, a lot of shows in Melbourne and just doing everything about Owl Eyes that I love.”
OWL EYES’ excellent debut EP Faces is out now and it’s launched with a huge show at The Workers Club this Friday November 12. Owl Eyes will be joined on the night by special guests Undercolours and The Ocean Party.