Snowy Band leader Liam Halliwell is one of Melbourne’s most prolific musicians
08.06.2020

Snowy Band leader Liam Halliwell is one of Melbourne’s most prolific musicians

WORDS BY AUGUSTUS WELBY

Halliwell joined us for episode five of the Turning Heads podcast.

Episode five of Turning Heads features a chat with Melbourne musician Liam “Snowy” Halliwell. The Halliwell-led Snowy Band released its first album, Audio Commentary, in March 2020.

Halliwell grew up in Wagga Wagga, in regional NSW, which is where he met his band mates from The Ocean Party. Together with the members of The Ocean Party – a six-piece indie pop band – Halliwell relocated to Melbourne in the early 2010s and embarked on an incredibly fruitful period of songwriting, recording, releasing and performing.

“For the first couple of years the band was in existence, we felt completely like outsiders,” says Halliwell. “None of us were from Melbourne, we didn’t have any friends here, we were just our own little insular scene.”

The Ocean Party put out a minimum of one album per year between 2012-2018. On the sidelines, Halliwell was making music as Snowy and playing in bands like Ciggie Witch, No Local, Jade Imagine and Emma Russack.

“That word ‘prolific’, for a long time we would wear that as a bit of a badge of honour,” he says. “Once you start having that reputation, you don’t really want to lose it.”

The Ocean Party came to a really sad, tragic end when co-songwriter, drummer, engineer and multi-instrumentalist Zac Denton suddenly passed away at the age of 24 in late 2018. The band decided not to carry on without Zac and Halliwell took a moment to retreat and come to terms with the death of his close friend.

The retreat eventually gave rise to the songs on Audio Commentary. The Snowy Band lineup also includes Emma Russack (guitar/BVs), Dylan Young (Way Dynamic; drums/BVs) and Nathalie Pavlovic (Dianas; bass/BVs).

For the podcast, Liam and I spoke about his history of prolific music-making, his reflections on The Ocean Party, what it was like growing up in Wagga Wagga and the validity of savage music criticism.

Check out the podcast episode below:

I will be back with a new episode of Turning Heads next week. You can find the podcast on SpotifyPodbean and through Apple.

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