The likes of Westerman, Snowy Band, Simona Castricum, Rebel Yell, Allara and Dianas appeared throughout the season.
After 12 episodes featuring interviews with a range of emerging artists from Melbourne, Sydney and overseas, season one of Beat’s Turning Heads podcast has come to a close.
Throughout the season, host Augustus Welby explored the artists’ creative processes, uncovering unique blueprints for success, and welcoming listeners along for a relaxed and relatable journey.
With more up-and-coming artists in the wings, the Turning Heads podcast now readies itself for season two, set to kick off in late August.
To celebrate season one in its entirety, we’ve assembled the 12 episodes from top to bottom, kicking off with Melbourne expat and former Gypsy & The Cat member, Sonny.
#1: Melbourne expat Xavier Bacash, aka Sonny, is based in Copenhagen, Denmark. This interview looks at Sonny’s first LP, Union: Integration of the Shadow. The record, which came out in April, is Bacash’s first full-length project since the break-up of his old band, Gypsy & The Cat.
#2. We catch up with Melbourne musician Giuliano Ferla, who fronts the band Ferla, for episode two. The conversation focuses on It’s Personal, Ferla’s debut album from April 2019, as well as Giuliano’s philosophies on creativity, staying motivated and his teen fashion regrets.
#3. Episode three features Barcelona-based, Australian songwriter Steve Smyth who released the EP, Blood, in May. It’s Smyth’s first release since 2014’s Exits LP. He speaks about his long absence from the release radar and the sorts of personal hurdles he had to jump over in order to feel comfortable releasing new material.
#4. We chat to Sydney artist Rackett, aka Rebecca Callander, for episode three of Turning Heads. Callander spoke of how her newfound love for artists like Charli XCX, Tyler, The Creator, Dorian Electra and A$AP Rocky encouraged her to cast off the rock-oriented sound of the former Rackett and relaunch the project in technicolour.
#5. Episode five features Melbourne musician Liam “Snowy” Halliwell of Snowy Band and formerly of The Ocean Party. The conversation looks at The Ocean Party’s prolific release history and Snowy Band’s new album Audio Commentary, which came out in March and also features Emma Russack (guitar/backing vocals), Dylan Young (Way Dynamic; drums/backing vocals) and Nathalie Pavlovic (Dianas; bass/backing vocals).
#6. We catch up with Dianas’ bass player and vocalist Nathalie Pavlovic for episode six. Dianas released their second full-length album Baby Baby in early May. The record sits somewhere on the post-punk spectrum, while also carrying a spirit of fearless expression. Pavlovic tells Turning Heads what it feels like to put out the first Dianas album in five years and how the band’s confidence has grown over the years.
#7. Episode seven features a conversation with Melbourne icon Simona Castricum about her third full-length album, Panic/Desire. It’s Simona’s strongest work to date, covering synth-pop, dark-wave and queer electronic disco, as well as more abstract, dream-scaping. It’s also a concept album that Simona describes as “an allegory about gender nonconformity lived in the spaces between urban and digital realms”.
#8. We welcomed London musician Will Westerman to the show for episode eight. Will started releasing music under the Westerman name in 2016 and his debut album, Your Hero Is Not Dead, came out in June 2020. Will speaks about his relationship with producer Bullion (aka Nathan Jenkins), which has seen him expand beyond his folk origins to make music that resembles artists like Arthur Russell and Talk Talk.
#9. Episode nine features Melbourne-based, Yorta Yorta musician, Allara. The conversation focuses on Allara’s single, ‘Murnong Farm’. The primary impetus for the song’s themes was Bruce Pascoe’s book Dark Emu, which looks at the advanced nature of Indigenous farming pre-European invasion of 1788. The other major influence was Behrouz Boochani’s No Friend But The Mountains, written during the Kurdish-Iranian journalist’s Manus Island incarceration.
#10. For episode ten, we chat to Sydney-based electro-punk musician Grace Stevenson, who makes music as Rebel Yell. Stevenson speaks about the new Rebel Yell album, Fall From Grace, which came out on July 10. Fall From Grace is furious in tone, but also really energising – there are a lot of distorted, brawny sounds; it’s very percussive, very bassy, and always high velocity.
#11. Emerging Melbourne indie-pop musician Poppongene, aka Sophie Treloar, is our guest for episode 11. This conversation focuses on Poppongene’s debut EP, Futures Unsure, which came out at the beginning of July 2020. It’s eight songs worth of spirited indie-pop with an aberrant inclination – it doesn’t always take the most logical route from A to B.
#12. Episode 12 features Los Angeles musician Alex Izenberg whose second solo album, Caravan Chateau, came out on July 31. The record is evocative of late-’60s/early-’70s singer-songwriter, prog and psych rock/pop while also touching on Laurel Canyon folk rock and Scott Walker-esque baroque pop. Izenberg speaks passionately about his influences, which include Pink Floyd, Fleet Foxes, Crosby Still & Nash, King Crimson and Jim Croce.
Turning Heads series two is launching in late August. We’ve put together a Spotify playlist spotlighting the guests for season one. Give it a spin below.
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