Austen’s Darkside

Austen may be a new name for readers of Blank GC, but the young songstress has already garnered triple j airplay, toured Australia, released two singls and hit festivals such as Jungle Love with fervour. Her latest track Faded has ticked over more than 300,000 Spotify streams and garnered acclaim from Australian tastemakers like us (and Pilerats, Project U and AAABackstage). Darkside is Austen’s new single and she spoke to us about the track, her upcoming tour supporting Asta and how she connects with fans.

“Finding out that Faded had over 300,000 streams was crazy,” she told Blank Gold Coast. “I was a completely new artist with no PR team and it was really cool to see people responding to the music I like to make.”

Despite her digital success (and relative youth), Austen has come to terms with the importance of connecting with her audience while acknowledging most of her generation is connected via social media. 

“I feel super lucky that I can connect with someone and make a new fan, or friendship, just because they decided to message me on Instagram,” Austen said. “It breaks down the barriers and is the biggest advantage we have as young people with everything that’s going on in the world.”

“The best way to connect with fans is definitely at shows,” she said. “The atmosphere and the vibe at a live gig is probably half of the reason most people decide to pursue a music career in the first place, so the fact that you have an opportunity to give people that experience is sick.”

Austen’s says a new track Mon Amour – a collaboration – is pretty personal and she’s happy with how people have responded to it.

“Working with Kuren was such a great experience. We got the chance to play it live together before it was released a few times. His live show is super energetic and he incorporates pretty much everything – he plays keys, drums, samples, DJs, and sings.”

You probably won’t hear this track at Austen’s shows though, because she has too much of her own material to play.

Austen is no stranger to bigger audiences. She’s played The Night Before BIGSOUND and her song Faded was featured in a Sounds Australia x triple j unearthed playlist for SxSW.

Showcasing is actually pretty daunting to be honest and that’s something I didn’t give much thought to until after I’d played – everyone there has seen SO much music in the space of a couple of days so you need to make them remember you,” she said.

“High pressure gigs are always the most fun though and definitely push you to want to be a better performer. You know that people are being genuine if they tell you they enjoyed it too because they’re missing like six other gigs while you play.”

Austen hits the road with Asta and has a bunch of new, unreleased tracks she’ll be playing for the first time.

As far as my live show goes, it’s a mix of electronic and organic elements, we have live drums and guitar incorporated in with the electronic vibes which lets us just jam out and be a bit more free creatively through the set,” she said.

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Austen is at Bleach* Festival for Varsity Daze on 31 March and is supporting Asta at the Cooly Hotel on Sunday 12 March.


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