Way before all of this began, Redlands schoolboy Matt Cairns woke at 4.00am regularly, packing two mates along with blankets and surfboards into an old Suzuki Sierra, and drove an hour south to find waves. After surfing for 40 minutes, they’d pack it all back up into the Sierra and head back to school… in Redlands. Such is the love of the Coast in the man. In late 2014 he made the marriage official, relocating permanently to the Gold Coast’s Palm Beach.
Around this time he met another Redlands local Ryan Henderson through a mutual friend. They jammed a few songs in 2014-15, recorded them in a mate’s garage, and created a Soundcloud account. Hollow Coves was born. Wanting to see the world, the rest of 2015 and 2016 were filled with travel, Ryan to Canada and Matt to Europe and the UK, where they used messenger services from backpacker hostels to collaborate on music ideas.
“Both of us like Angus & Julia Stone, Ben Howard, Sufjan Stevens, Paper Kites… that sort of thing. It was clear our musical influences were pretty similar,” explains Matt.
“And I suppose we had in common that we both wanted to make music to help people through tough times. That was important to us both.” Ryan continues. “I think that’s why it worked while we were in different parts of the world”
Some time in 2016 it all got real. One day they checked their digital music profiles and there were several thousand spins a day. A few bloggers got on board. Some guy from a band called One Direction tweeted a link to their music. Then there were 50,000 plays per day. Something was going on. They decided to spend three months together in Canada. They signed a manager and a licensing team. A CBS TV show from the US picked up a song for the final montage on a series called Scorpion.
“We ended having the most shazammed song (The Woods) in the US as 2017 kicked off. Is ‘shazammed’ a word?” Ryan jokes.
Watch the video for ‘Coastline’s here, and then read on.
They picked up Woodford sets this year after playing 2017’s Australian Music Week, catching the attention of head of programming, Chloe Goodyear, and played to standing ovations. Their first US tour awaits in March 2018 after which they head to the UK to record a new album with producer Chris Bond (Ben Howard) and sneak in another few tour dates in Europe. Germany and The Netherlands are favourites, where they play to packed houses. The six tracks on their debut EP ‘Wanderlust’ have now collected 30 million spins on Spotify, and their collection on YouTube has been watched over a million times.
As Ryan and Matt tuck into their burgers at Lester and Earl they’re still humble enough to withstand heckling from the waiter, who actually brings out a blankie when Matt flinches at the heat of the sauce.
“I’m working on getting Ryan down to the Goldie too though… when we’re not touring,” says Matt, laughing as he finishes up. “Mainly because the best bacon and egg burgers in the world are down the road at Espresso Moto. Everyone I care about should be near them. They’re life changing”.
With life changing burgers and life changing music, 2018 will no doubt be a big year for Ryan and Matt.
Hollow Coves hit NightQuarter, Friday 2 February 2018.
More details at Hollow Coves at NightQuarter.