Today, Aussie electro-pop duo leftprojects release their latest single Heaven via Exist Recordings. It’s been labelled by lead singer Sarah Corry as a “future nostalgic” track, and definitely sparks a sense of happiness and longing for the good times within it’s catchy hooks. Heaven is the perfect summer jam to drive to with the windows down. Combining the talented production work of Jono Graham and the stunning vocal arrangement of Corry, leftprojects release their most ambitious piece of work to date. Coming off the the back of a big 2018 we were lucky enough to have a chat with Sarah about their new single, their rise in success and what may lie ahead for the future.
Aaron: It has been an incredible couple of years for you guys as a collective, becoming feature artists on Triple J unearthed and Fbi Radio. How did this all begin? How did you meet Jono? And at what point did you feel you could produce music to a bigger audience?
Corry: "Thank you! We’ve known each other for over 10 years now but we started making music in 2014. Jono was starting to produce electronic music after having spent most of his life playing and performing guitar. Mixing guitar with electronic sounds was his thing then, then he showed me some of his tracks and I immediately wrote to them. It was just like “boom, there it is”. Our early stuff is really airy, breathy vocals and raw, bedroom production. We spent a while in that vein and then moved towards dance beats because we love dancing :) now I think we’ve got a really glittery sound but always doing something a little different, still raw and real."
When you became the unearthed feature artist and listed as SMH’s “next big things”, did you feel any extra weight or pressure to produce another level music?
"At the time we were just excited really. The longer you spend in the industry the more you realise everything is temporary - you’re only as good as your most recent work. So while it’s always flattering to be given props by the media, it’s also good to keep things in perspective and stay focused on writing and performing. For us, the only pressure we feel is the pressure we put on ourselves to keep getting better and to keep exploring."
Of your singles which do you feel had the greatest impact on your rise in success? Or was it more the collection of songs you have?
"I think 'No Way' was a big song for us. We worked with Styalz Fuego who has made some incredible hits, and he really helped us to lift the original idea to a place that really knocked it out of the park. The song tells a story from the perspective of a domestic violence victim and sadly that story remains all too familiar and relevant."
The chemistry between production and vocals is a real drawcard in your music. Does one often come before the other in the recording room? So, does Jono have his beats laid out and you put some lyrics to work or vice versa?
"Jono often comes to me with a beat and I write to it separately. But we’ve also written our best songs while in a room together. We write with Adit (Horrorshow) who is a gun and a source of endless inspiration and passion. Jono and I can sometimes get bogged down in emotions, so it’s great to have a third mind in the room!"
"The longer you spend in the industry the more you realise everything is temporary - you’re only as good as your most recent work."
You’re both immensely talented artists with a distinct sound, previously you’ve listed acts like Flight Facilities and Vallis Alps as artists you share similarity with. Other than these who do you see as a major influence on your vocals? And what would say are some of Jono’s major influences?
"I love Yukimi Nagano from Little Dragon and I aspire to be like her. She has a flair for melody like no other, and an ability to create really amazing pop songs that sounds effortless. I also love Cardi B - she’s a huge influence on me because of her attitude alone.
Jono is deeply into Bonobo."
Your latest single, Heaven is a beautifully crafted song. What sparked the inspiration behind this track, because it does hold plenty of emotion?
"Life is complicated - you lose people, you lose things, you lose time, you lose brain cells, constantly. The song is emotional yes, but it’s also celebratory. You have this one day, and it’s perfect. Really though, the inspiration was having many days like this that kind of meld into each other in a dizzy, warm, sunset-y kind of way. You’re in the car, driving to the beach, and you’re eating fruit and listening to music you love and you’re free as a bird."
You label this track as being “future nostalgic”, can you describe what that phrase means to you?
"Future nostalgia is a term I made up that is essentially that feeling you get when you’re experiencing something amazing and you want to file that memory away right as it's happening. You know you’ll look back on this day fondly when you’re older - and so part of the experience is you trying to squeeze every last detail into your head for safe keeping."
The song is emotional yes, but it’s also celebratory. You have this one day, and it’s perfect.
Can we see more music similar to Heaven in the future, this sort of dreamy electro-pop combination? Is that an avenue you are wanting to explore more?
"We’re actually a bit all over the place with genres. We write lots of different styles - electronic pop, RnB, dance/house, neo soul. I know people say “we don’t like being defined by genres”, bur for us it’s just that we don’t even discuss the genre, we just make stuff we’re into in that second. Is that future-proof and sleek and strategic? Hell no, but who cares?"
Finally, what is next for leftprojects? Where do you guys see yourselves heading? Is there an EP or Album on the horizon?
"We’ve got SO much music we’re sitting on - now the task arrives to release it. Sometimes, it’s the annoying part for us. We’re primarily interested in the creation of music. If people like it, mad! If not, that’s cool cos we’re working. Always working."
You can stream leftprojects latest single, Heaven now on all streaming platforms