The emerging indie-rockers release their first record on Friday July 17.
Paradise Club’s debut album has been in the cooker for three and a half years. That’s going right back to when the Adelaide indie-rock band formed.
But even before the band’s inception, songwriter and lead vocalist Gere Fuss had a MacBook brimming with GarageBand demos that he was eager to turn into an album.
So what explains the long gap between the band’s 2017 single ‘Saturday Night’ – which appears on the album – and the finished product? Well, once Fuss could contain his enthusiasm, he began to see the benefits of exercising patience, growing a fanbase and evolving his craft.
Though, while the 22-year-old songwriter has experienced a lot of personal and artistic growth over the last three years, many of his biggest influences have carried over.
“There’s a couple of bands that I’ve loved since I first heard them,” he says. “Sigur Ros; I’ve always loved what they’ve done since I was really small, and any of the ambient kind of sounds that we make stem from that. I was really into post-rock as well when I was younger.
“I was also an emo kid. I was into Turnover and the last Title Fight album, but I’ve always had quite eclectic tastes. I love The Streets – I’ve loved Mike Skinner since I first heard that shit as well.”
Strains of all of these influences (except for The Streets) can be detected on Paradise Club. The album’s equally as concerned with indie-rock songcraft as it is interweaving guitar melodies and textural atmospherics. There’s also a well-defined emotional infusion – it never becomes too abstract or artsy.
“I’m into post-rock bands like Godspeed [You! Black Emperor], This Will Destroy You, a lot of stuff like that,” says Fuss. “In our music we use the sounds more than the vocals to get a sense of feeling. I’m not that great at writing lyrics, but I like to think that the way the songs come across, it’s a certain feeling.”
Fuss’ lyrics rarely take narrative form, and nor does he strive to be overly poetic. He views lyric writing as a way to enhance the core emotion of a song, rather than using them to drive the emotional character.
“To me it’s not necessarily about writing the best English sentences or the stuff that on paper flows the best, but something that works in a melody and does pull everything along and hits the right points,” he says.
The Paradise Club sound is cultivated via a back-and-forth between Fuss and drummer Jack Newlyn, who’s an audio engineer by trade.
“I sit on my MacBook, write everything, and then I bring that to the group,” Fuss says. “Then usually Jack and I will go through things and his production style is his own. He’s quite particular with how he wants things. If it needs more layers, if it needs more textures, that’s something we have to do.”
Fuss is a perpetual songwriter. You could even call him obsessed. He has folders and folders of song ideas, and also writes loads of stuff he deems unsuitable for Paradise Club.
“Sometimes I might be halfway through making a sandwich and then I go, ‘Yeah there’s a song’ and I’m off back in my room making the song. It can be random moments that will bring it on. I might hear something outside and I’ll go, ‘Yeah, fuck that’s a song’. I’m always doing it.”
So, is it fair to assume the second Paradise Club album won’t be too far away?
“If you look at us as a band on social media, we’re not in a position to do miraculous things with this record,” says Fuss. “We just haven’t been able to pull people in as we or anyone else would expect. So, I suppose this our footprint. If people like it, cool, if they don’t, that’s also ok because we’re going to keep doing it.
“I used to make songs for the hell of it and upload them online and no one would listen to it, and I would keep doing it. And I’ve taken that ethos into this. We just keep doing it, and although labels and PR are involved, and they do consider the statistics more than we do, it definitely hasn’t deterred us from what we want to do and pushing ourselves to always do what we want to do.”
Never miss a story. Sign up to Beat’s newsletter and you’ll be served fresh music, arts, food and culture stories five times a week.