Gold Coast singer-songwriter duo Tully John and Liza-Jane have been killing it over the past two years with a string of sold out headline shows across South East Queensland and the releases of their debut EP ‘Wonder’ and pop folk single ‘Embers’.
Inspired by the sounds of Damien Rice and Bon Iver, the two storytellers weave together their intimate blend of folk through their tales of love, loss, travels and triumph.
Their new single ‘Airport Lights’ has just hit the airwaves and reflects upon being separated from someone you care about while trying to find your way. ‘Airport Lights’ is featured in this month’s New Music column and we recently caught up with the dynamic duo to chat about the single and what they have in the pipeline for the rest of year.
Could you tell us a little bit about ‘Airport Lights’ and what the inspiration was behind this beautiful song?
Tully John: I’ve always found airports to be this place of mixed emotions. Under cold, impartial lights, you have the sadness and exhilaration of departure, blending with the joy and relief of reunion. This was part catalyst for Airport Lights, the main inspiration coming from when Liza left to travel overseas a few years ago.
Liza-Jane: I brought in the New Year that year with friends on the streets of Germany, while Tully was camping on top of a cliff in the Gold Coast Hinterland. We brought in each of our New Year’s on the phone to each other. Ultimately this song reflects on what you go through when you’re a world away from someone you care about and what it takes to be apart and find your way.
What was the process around writing ‘Airport Lights’ and how long did it take you guys?
Tully John: I had the middle verses about New Year’s for almost four years before the song was finished. We’d tried many different ways weave it into a full song but nothing seemed to flow. One day, the lyrics “These airport lights” fell out and from there everything fell into place. The song was finished that afternoon.
How do you feel about the song and how the final product turned out?
Tully John: We’re stoked with how the song turned out!
We recorded it at Love Street Studios with our dear friend and absolute lord of the mixing desk George Carpenter, who worked with us on our ‘Embers’ release last year. We find his passionate personality, sense of humour and way of producing to fit so well, and bring out something new in us.
Liza-Jane: George nailed it in capturing the sounds and subtleties of our performances, as well as challenging us and guiding us with the direction of the song. It actually took us a bit of time to come around to the final product, as it felt so different to what we’ve done in the past. We’re really happy with it now though – we love how the narrative progresses, the sensitivity of it all, and those firework drums in Liza’s verse. We’re really proud of this track.
We certainly are in crazy times at the moment with COVID-19. How have you been going with things and what have you been up to in this Iso time?
Tully John: I’ve been getting in the ocean as much as possible, surfing and taking a few photos along with trying to song write with every spare chance. It’s been nice to slow down and give yourself and others space.
Liza-Jane: Iso has been my favourite. I’ve really enjoyed the space and the moment to pause and reflect. In saying that, 2020 was looking to be a really exciting year for us with plans locked in to travel and play overseas, so we’ve definitely had our ups and downs with putting that on hold.
What is in store for you for the rest of the year? Anything we should know about? Any other new music up your sleeve?
Tully John: We’re excited to be back in our home studio workshopping a bunch of new material and hope to be able to release again in the not too distant future. We’ll make sure Blank is the first to know when we do!