For those who haven’t been to this unique venue, let me set the scene. Think….rustic barn meets greenhouse; hay bails, oak barrels, velvet couches, hanging plants, and the aroma of fresh woodfired pizzas.
Amongst this garden sits a small stage with keyboard and mic stand and Annie Bass was first to grace this stage. I wasn’t familiar with Annie until this show, some of you may know her from Triple J unearthed, her sets on Triple J Mixup, or collaboration project she released with producer Christopher Port last year.
She certainly had the crowd’s attention with her raw vocals and sultry dance moves around the stage; comfortably moving back and forth from mic stand to keyboard and ad-libbing between songs giving us a glimpse of her cheeky sense of humour.
Earlier this month, Annie released her EP ‘Control’, which is minimal, electronic, and ambient. This soundscape creates space for Annie to show off her vocals and emotional songwriting. Driving the mood in many of the tracks, Annie vocals should really be considered the main instrument.
I would suggest checking out ‘Thrown Away’ from her collab with Christopher Port or ‘Don’t Worry’ where she teams up with KITO on production (KITO is also know for working with Mabel and Jorja Smith.)
After a brief intermission, it was onto Owl Eyes. Intimate, up close and personal, there was certainly nowhere to hide on this stage but Brooke did not shy away. She entered cool and confident, immediately captivating the audience with her presence.
We haven’t heard a lot from the Brooke over the last few years until a very recent release You and I/Le Solei, in the lead up to the new album. I was really interested to see if the Owl Eyes sound had progressed, and if so, in what direction.
The momentum was set from the get go. This show was intended to give you a taste of what’s to come from her latest work. Starting with an ever so brief chorus of pop track Tokyo, she did not linger moving straight into ‘Closure’ & ‘Nightswim’ both favourites from her 2013 album ‘Nightswim’ (On a side note, if you haven’t already, check out the Giraffage remix of Closure here).
After some brief words and introduction we were presented an unidentified new track, which according to Brooke is about a “fuckboi”. This track was different to other songs in Owl Eyes catalogue, specifically there was less electronic or synth based sounds but more R&B style vocals with a slow 808, trap-ish, beat.
I would say the highlight of the show was ‘Invisible Woman’. Another track from the upcoming album, however this rendition was stripped back to vocals and keyboard “wanted you guys to hear it before it gets all the production added”… Usually mingled in amongst the musical elements, this performance highlighted Brooke’s vocal abilities, in all their glory and needless to say, I was pleasantly impressed.
Brooke continued to play through her other popular releases ‘On me’ and ‘Heart Attack’, possibly one of her most well known tracks on which she collaborated with Flight Facilities. There was special shout out to Hugo (who was in the crowd) and extended him an invite to join her onstage – he did not acquiesce. New single ‘You and I’ closed the show with high energy, Euro Disco vibes, and Owl Eyes even making her way into the crowd to boogie with fans.
Overall this gig was short and sweet, certainly doing it’s job, teasing you with tastes of what the new Album has to offer. It sounds like Brooke is exploring new production, with 80’s synths, disco elements and Euro sounds playing a key influence.
All in all, I am left curious and excited for the release of this new album.