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Holly Throsby

Holly Throsby

Monday 9th August, 2010 12:45PM

Holly Throsby writes the kind of melancholic-cutesy pop folk which, up until recently included the kinds of bird song and tree rustling that are part of the Bambi-like picture her music evokes. Recording her latest album in Nashville and taking a multi-instrumentalist on tour, Throsby is stepping it up a notch and hitting our shores later in the week. I caught up with the lady herself last night to find out what it was like to tour with M. Ward and Joanna Newson, and go to school with Australian stars.

Have you ever toured NZ before?

Yep, but we’re cutting it fine this time – we’re only there for a few days! We were over there earlier this year around Easter and then one time before that and so it’s third time. Those times were great - we played in Auckland, and we played a couple of shows there wellington is very pretty reminded me of Hobart.

You recorded your latest album A Loud Call in Nashville?

Yep, but I did my first two on the South Coast [of Australia] in the country. Nashville wasn’t a huge amount different. I was working with a producer who has a home studio - he’s an ex-country producer but his main personal taste is a punk rock ‘n roll. It was just on this really nice urban street and felt kind of domestic still which was what I was used to. I’ve avoided any kind of proper studio. The first record was incredibly unpolished; dogs and birds and cows in the background and if we wanted to get really hi-fi we’d close the windows or something. The most hi-fi is this one for sure But ramshackle suits me and the way I write. I’m not a trained musician make it up as I go along and like things developing organically.

Tell us about any thematic countenance on the album:

The way that you write records and the time that it takes represent a certain time of your life…the theme arrives more subconsciously in this record. There’s quite a lot of nautical elements which I didn’t realize at the time it’s a very romantic album…the most romantic in terms of the sound and the songs I have written…yeah…ships and marriage…

Your music is quite emotively raw. Does it feel weird to publically bare that kind of material?

It’s funny because writing songs can be a solitary thing and it’s something I’d do on my own and I realize these days that it might end up on the record. But I try not have that affect what I do: I follow a dream logic and sometimes I’m not sure what I’m saying until I listen to it three months later.

Over here we kind of get the impression that Sydney, where you live is a bit of a cultural black hole compared to Melbourne?

There is a Sydney-Melbourne divide. They have a lot of great venues which we lack. There is certainly more and more stuff happening in Sydney and I certainly have a lot of friends in bands and things but I’m envious in Melbourne. I have a lot of friends that are involved in visual arts here and I often find that inspiring. I’m a big music fan but often I’m inspired by things that aren’t musical - - I’m really very inspired by books and authors.

So, you went to a school where a whole heap of to-be-famous kids went (Rose Byrne, Alex Lloyd). WTF?

I went to Balmain Primary School and then Hunterville High School. There seemed to be a huge amount of creative people and I’m friends with a lot of them now and the parents were these bohemians in that 80’s hangover period where everyone wants to be a hippy and there was a lot of people playing on the streets making art projects and things.

You’ve toured with the likes of Bonny ‘Prince’ Billy, M. Ward and Joana Newsom. How do experiences like these affect your music?

That’s been something that’s been the most exciting thing for me…I’m a huge fan of all of them and being able to sing with him (Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy) I don’t know what you learn specifically but seeing someone you admire doing something. It’s subliminal - there is always something very inspiring and it ultimately makes you want to be a better songwriter.

Holly Throsby tours NZ THIS WEEK!

Thursday 3rd September - Wine Cellar, Auckland 8pm
with Ben & Bruno
Sunday 6th September - Happy, Wellington 8pm with Seth Frightening

Tickets on sale now - get yours here.

Interview by Courtney Sanders

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