We met Woodes, whose name we’ve been hearing a lot lately, at her favorite coffee shop in Melbourne. We talked about many issues including Flash Mob, Disconnect Festival, her future plans and inspirational sources…
How is everything in Melbourne? Tell us about your life.
Melbourne is great, it’s warming up and the days are getting longer. I really love this time of the year. At the moment I’m borrowing a friend’s illustration studio in the middle of the city & I’ve been going in each day to disappear and work on my own music. It’s been nice to sketch out a big plan on the
drawing desk & stick references up on the walls. I’m also curating my first festival event for Melbourne Music Week this year!. I’ve been busy writing for that and a bunch of shows coming up in December.
Can you describe your music with words to who hasn’t heard anything about you before?
I like to create something I personally can get lost in, it’s a bit of an escape. The music I make is quite atmospheric and some call it dreamy; how I sing or tell stories. I came from a more acoustic songwriter background and now I’m more into production and electronics. I personally like songwriting and melodies that are raw and take you somewhere else & I like production that has intricacies that you discover after multiple listens. I’ve been working on those things.
What is your single Flash Mob all about?
I went to see a play in NYC with two of my friends last September called ‘This is our Youth’ starring Tavi Gevinson, Michael Cera & Keiran Culkin. It was a play about being a young adult and being in a constant state of free fall. I really loved that concept. In school I always loved theatre and reading plays and this text kind of tapped into a bunch of thoughts that I was already milling over. I got back to my hotel room really late and wrote down all the little fragments I could remember.
Then about 3 months after Callum (Elkkle) and I were sitting in the studio at Phillip Island thinking of what to make a song about and they resurfaced. The song started with the line ‘I am Perpetually Falling” and we went from there. Cal’s production is so tastefully minimal in that track. It was the first song that we wrote together that we were really excited about, which lead us to create more songs for a joint EP & later create our own film clip for Flash Mob.
You are going to play at Disconnect Festival. How do you feel? Are you excited?
It’s my first Summer Festival experience as Woodes and my first time on the West Coast of Australia so I’m pretty excited. I’ve wanted to visit Perth for a while, but it’s so far away. I love that Disconnect are bringing out so many artists to the west coast. I grew up in regional Queensland and we always just missed out on tours and festivals because of the costs associated with getting the acts up there. A lot of my favorite Australian musicians are playing at the festival so I’m looking forward to meeting up with them. The location and combination of art forms looks really unique too. Plus camping! Yes!
We have noticed that you are into drawing. Can you visualize your songs with different colour palettes?
I’m into a lot of different forms of art but drawing is often convenient with minimal materials. There’s something really refreshing about going and buying a good, inky pen and a fresh journal. I also love printmaking and sculpture/installations. It’s good sometimes to have an outlet that isn’t your primary craft. I find when I’m drawing or creating something with my hands I can reset. With visualizing my songs – I feel I create a lot of blue and purple songs, but this EP I’m writing at the moment has a bit of Crimson.
I love colour coding my tracks in my DAW too… I’ll comp the vocals, tidy up the instruments and colour code each layer. Funny! Before this question I hadn’t really put much thought into that process… but it’s definitely a ritual I do. Once it’s colour coded I guess I believe in the track. Plus logistically it makes it easy next time you’re in the session file to figure out where everything sits. If you can see all the mallet percussion parts are one colour you can revisit it easily. I like organization…
Who do you get inspired from mostly?
I suppose mostly it’s relationships with people and things that have a direct impact on my emotions. Those are usually the songs that just roll out when I sit at the piano. I love meeting people that have passion for something, or have interesting stories to tell. I like fantasy. I like collecting images, going on drives out of the city or going to see people making art. I listen to a lot of music too.
How has music defined your character?
I remember in Highschool I gradually became known as the music girl, and those formative years do, in a way define who you become. I did all the choirs, musicals, plays, orchestras, became Music Captain in senior year… I travelled interstate to do national orchestras and choirs. It was always just this big part of my life. There’s this thing that happens at the end of highschool where some adults, friends, teachers and the media project their opinions onto you to be a realist and let the creative hobbies go. I remember being so torn when I was finishing up. Maybe I’d have to go into teaching. I worked hard for top grades many tried to influence me to follow something more academic or with a ‘secure future’ I would argue that nothing is secure or definite. If you love something you should give it a go.
I took a few years after highschool before finding the right degree. I did a bit of studio engineering; I worked at a classical music festival and produced a few EPs independently with my friends. I finally found a course and a city I loved it all clicked in place. I feel like I need to do this whole-heartedly because what a rewarding thing to potentially earn a living with something that brings you joy.
Deciding to do music as a career was a defining moment of taking it seriously I suppose. I didn’t think I’d be a an ‘artist’ or vocal performer. Instead, what really excites me is creating a character and project that’s more than the music. I like to be doing the technical stuff, I like to be directing the film clips and talking to fashion designers about styling and planning out my own releases. It’s this multi-sensory project that I’m inviting people to be part of. There are so many interesting jobs within the music industry that I’m curious about, too. I love the idea of Music Supervision for films and TV… that’s a dream job.
What a rewarding thing to potentially earn a living with something that brings you joy.
Flight Facilities and Chet Faker are pretty famous in Turkey now. Are you planning to play in here soon?
I would love that. I really hope that if I put a lot of work into this project, the reward will be to play around the world to kind people in different countries. I’ve always been really fascinated by Turkey. I’d love to visit the Hagia Sophia Museum, Süleymaniye Mosque & Pamukkale! Seriously your country is so beautiful. I’d definitely write a song about visiting Pamukkale. Looks so special. Oh and a few friends have visited Cappadocia and it looks incredible. The hot air balloons and those magnificent caves. I also can’t imagine how special a traditional Turkish shared meal with my team would be before playing a show there. I think the step up from ‘Australian’ Turkish food to the real deal would be great…
How do you spend your days?
I love getting up and getting a coffee at my local café, that’s something I do every day if I’m in Melbourne. I write music, I ride my bike, I hang out with friends & I go see live music. I think I’d like to own my own studio away from my house so I can go and work there without distractions. When I’m home in Queensland I like to go to the beach and swim. The water’s too cold down here… I’ve been getting really into building strength in my body through fitness and that’s been a daily ritual I’ve been enjoying. It helps me clear my mind and give my day more structure. I love the glow I feel walking back from the gym or dance class.
What are your five favourite tracks right now?
Jack Grace – The Hill
Jack Garratt – The Love you’re given
Keaton Henson (Behaving) The River:
Banoffee – Oceans
James Blake – Sound of Silence (Cover)
Fotoğraflar / Photographs: Studio Aton