Local ambient-folk duo Tully John and Liza-Jane have recently emerged from their cabin studio to bestow their gorgeously crafted, ethereal sounds upon local musical audiences.
Consisting of core members Tully Davidson and Eliza-Jane Davidson, those with their ear to the ground may have been familiar with the duo under their previous moniker, The Altais.
The pair have previously performed on bills with artists of the ilk of Bob Evans, Matt McHugh (The Beautiful Girls), Good Oak and Little May.
With new single, ‘Dust’, delivering a stellar introduction to their sound, and with a debut EP in the can and ready to launch at The Dust Temple on 17 December, Anthony Gebhardt posed a few questions to the talented duo in the lead up.
Can you tell us a bit about the genesis of how you two came together to create music? I believe that you used to go under the name The Altais?
We met at an originals gig a few years ago and immediately had an appreciation for each other’s songs and musical style. We then quickly conjured up the idea of fusing our music together and seeing what we could make of it. We had both been playing as soloists for a long time and were ready for a change. Out of this fusion came ‘Tully John and Liza-Jane’. We then went under ‘The Altais’ for a few years but have recently decided to link our art back directly to our names.
Your latest single, ‘Dust’, is a gorgeously emotive slice of swirly folk goodness. Is this indicative of your sound and what you’re striving to achieve sonically?
What a review – thankyou! ‘Dust’ is one of our favourites from the EP. The song has layers of ambience and depth as well of moments of quiet and stillness. We believe silence can be so powerful in music as it allows listeners to breath, think and feel. We strive for a balance of fullness and depth, but also simplicity and subtlety. We are still experimenting with our sound but ultimately we want it all to come back to the song, the lyrics, evoking emotion and deeper thought.
You’re about to launch your debut EP. It says in your bio that you recorded it in a cabin studio – what’s the story there!? Are you pleased with how the EP turned out, and how did it come together?
Ever since combining our sound live we have wanted to capture our songs in a real and honest way. Tully spent months clearing out a space in his parent’s old farmhouse in the Gold Coast hinterland. We then launched a fundraising campaign to help us buy recording equipment. The support we received from the surrounding community played an integral part in getting our little cabin studio off and running – we are so grateful to our supporters. We have a very simple set up, which forces us to be creative with what we have. We are very proud of the sounds and performances we have been able to capture on the EP. We feel the work captures who we are honestly and will serve as a great foundation for our future endeavours.
You’re launching the EP with a special headlining show at the Dust Temple on 17 December. Have you played at this venue before? And where can we normally find you plying your craft in the live arena?
We have never played at Dust Temple before, however we often pop in for coffee and to check out the unique art exhibitions. Dust temple is an awesome creative space run by awesome creative people and seemed the perfect place for an intimate EP launch. Some of our favourite local haunts include The Soundlounge and The Treehouse in Byron.
Do you have any firm plans in place as to where you’d like to take things with your music in 2018?
Since completing the EP we’ve been spending a lot of time writing new material. We love the creative process of recording and are itching to get back into the studio. But first we plan to get the ‘Wonder EP’ out into the world as best we can – a 2018 East Coast tour is definitely on the cards. A big goal of ours is to take our music abroad and see how it is received. We are very drawn to the folk music scene in Ireland.
What do you like to do when you’re not involved with or playing music?
Tully is basically Bear Grylls. You’re likely to find him in the forest up a rock face clinging on for dear life. I like long walks on the beach (winky face) and many a cup o’ tea.
Tully John and Liza-Jane launch their debut EP at the Dust Temple on 17 December.