Melbourne duo Elle Bird make their debut with infectious pop-rock single, ‘The Light’

Melbourne duo Elle Bird make their debut with infectious pop-rock single, ‘The Light’

Words by Talia Rinaldo

‘The Light’ is the first taste of a longer-form release from Elle Bird.

Formed within the throes of the pandemic, Melbourne’s fresh-faced addictive pop-rock duo Elle Bird have arrived with their captivating debut single, ‘The Light’.

Combining the talents of celebrated artists Andy McGarvie and Sally Vanderzwart, ‘The Light’ is an enticing introduction to a duo creating instantly-engaging melodies out of sophisticated guitar pop with rootsy undertones.

Created in their home studio, ‘The Light’ was built off a foundation of influences stretching from Vulfpeck’s Theo Katzman, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and John Mayer, to music industry Queens Carole King, Beyonce and Alanis Morrissette; ensuring listeners a tasting platter of sound.

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Musically rich with McGarvie taking on all instrumentals, ‘The Light’ toys with expansive chord changes and steady beats, both pop and rock-influenced, and utilises the versatility of Vanderzwart’s vocal range, immersing you deep into a pool of captivating storytelling, transcendent hooks and lyrical promise to lift up the downhearted.

Sprinkled with lashes of country elements within the vocals and guitar lines, a peppering of harmonic complexity and compositional intrigue to draw in both layperson and aesthete, ‘The Light’ is an impressive, forward-thinking and refreshing take on modern pop, putting musicality front and centre.

Woven together nearty with smooth and wildly-atmospheric DIY production, ‘The Light’ is a powerful, uplifting anthem about unconditional love that Vanderzwart penned on the lounge room floor amid Melbourne’s lockdown.

“The songs are written from my personal experiences, thoughts and feelings. Reflecting on life during COVID and the abundance of downtime gave space to the creative juices and was very therapeutic for me,” she explains.

“’The Light’ is about being there for someone you love, unconditionally. Whether it’s a partner, friend or family member.

“When they are struggling and can’t see how amazing they are, you are there to lift them up and keep them going.”


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Having only played one cover gig together back in 2018, this magnificent collaboration spawned quickly from a friendship between two young musicians. Reuniting in early 2020 when McGarvie returned home from living in London, the duo made the most of life in lockdown, moving in together and embracing each other as a unit, going on to writing, producing and recording an entire Elle Bird album.

“Fortunately for us, songwriting together comes very naturally,” Vanderzwart says. “We play to our strengths and have understood what our strengths are from the beginning, without having to really discuss who would play what role.

“It’s definitely helpful to have a tune or idea come to your head in the shower and be able to quickly sing it or play to the other person and have a spontaneous writing session.

“That’s how ‘The Light’ came to be. I was sitting on the lounge room floor writing the lyrics and melody but needed Andy to work his magic with the guitar. We thought we were onto something cool so spent the rest of the day, into the evening producing the song together.”

As two solo artists with individual masterful storytelling abilities, alongside McGarvie’s prodigious guitar skills and Vanderzwart’s liquid gold vocals, their blended talents and dynamic vision present a hopeful new chapter and we are betting Elle Bird will be pulsating their defiant heartbeat in the Australian music scene for years to come.

Check out ‘The Light’ below.

‘The Light’ is out now. For more on Elle Bird, head to their website.