A joyful time for Banks of the Beautiful

Gold Coast indie pop duo, Banks Of The Beautiful, have delivered big with brand new single ‘Joy’, the second official offering from their debut album, ‘Unscheduled Departure’, due out later this year. A perfect follow up to previous single ‘Favourite’, which landed at #51 on the iTunes pop charts, ‘Joy’ delivers driving beats and soaring synths over bouncing electronica that could lift even the heaviest of hearts with its moving melodies, lyrics and strong pop sensibility. ‘Joy’ was written by front-woman, Lou Star about giving birth to her first child and produced with established UK drummer, Andy Woollard, who together form Banks of the Beautiful. We caught up with both of them before the single’s launch.

When I read what ‘Joy’ was about, I actually wondered why I hadn’t heard more songs about giving birth (especially in pop music), given that it’s such a life-changing experience. In fact I would say more life-changing than romantic relationships, which are by far the bigger fodder for songwriters! Do you have any thoughts around that?

Lou: That’s a really good question. I personally just wrote from my heart this time round and I didn’t want to get too caught up in what anybody would think. Maybe it’s not cool to write pop songs about giving birth, I am not sure. I really love where these lyrics led to though and the music clip is just the perfect visual to the lyrics.

Can you tell us a bit about how ‘Joy’ is a different experience to ‘Favourite’?

Lou: The process with producing JOY was kinda back to front in terms of how the other tracks were put together. Ordinarily the process would start with me sending a vocal idea that a track would then be built around. With JOY however, it started with a loop that Andy had been toying around with a while before everything came together.

Andy: I had put together a bunch of loops when I was first trying to get Lou interested but had chickened out of sending them because I wasn’t sure if it was her scene. After she started giving me the thumbs up on the other early stuff I thought, ‘what the fuck I’ll just send it’. I’m glad I did, Lou found a melody instantly and it was just fine tuning from there.

Has the electro / indie pop style always drawn you and what do you think it is about it that makes it a great vehicle for the message you like to get across?

Lou: We’ve both always been a massive fan of the “do it yourself” nature of the punk and hip hop scenes and electro is the perfect genre for this  DIY approach because of the ease of access nowadays. You can have a huge palette of sounds at your fingertips, and there’s no time or financial restrictions on creativity. The pop side just kinda happens by accident because we’ve both always been lovers of melody and hooks. If you want to get a message across the best way you can do it is with a melody that hooks into peoples’ minds.

Who are some the artists on regular rotation in your playlists right now?

Lou: Both our musical tastes are really eclectic from hour to hour most of the time.

Andy: In terms of contemporary artists, a lot of hip hop recently, Run the Jewels and Kendrick, A Tribe Called Quest but also the new Beck record, Confidence Man and we are interested to hear Amy Shark’s album.

Tell us a bit about the single launch at Mo’s. Who else will be on the bill?

Lou: Mo’s will be us, Gold Coast Legend Benny D Williams and DJ Eddie Retro spinning 90’s hip hop and funk vinyl. It’s our first time at Mo’s but we just love everything about it. It’s tucked away from the mainstream, doing its own thing but creating something really awesome and unique and drawing in like minded people…similar to the Banks of the Beautiful approach. We will be releasing our new merch too so bring ya pay checks.

Catch Banks of the Beautiful at the launch party for ‘Joy’ on Saturday 12 May at Mo’s Desert Clubhouse in Burleigh.

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