Dustin Tebbutt walks us through his beautiful new EP, Chasing Gold
Featuring a charming cover of Innerbloom with Lisa Mitchell and a stripped-back take on his Flight Facilities collaboration, Tebbutt's latest EP is a winner.
Header photo by Marcus Coblyn.
Finding his stride with the ARIA-charting The Breach back in 2013, Australian singer-songwriter Dustin Tebbutt hasn't slowed down since. His 2014 EP Bones only solidified his smooth, indie-rooted sound and releases since - collaborations with The Kite String Tangle and Flight Facilities, another EP, and his 2016 debut album First Light - have seen Tebbutt experiment on and flesh out his trademark sound, setting his place as one of the country's most-renowned songwriters. Last week saw the Melbourne musician return with the first extended release since his debut album, a seven-track EP that among covers of RÜFÜS DU SOL's Innerbloom (in which he enlists Lisa Mitchell for a soothing, stripped-back take of the single) and Flight Facilities' All Your Love (which he initially featured on), sees Tebbutt offer a heavenly sound that'll comfort you with its tender and often quite personal moments.
"Chasing Gold is a song about getting caught up in nostalgia and the realisation that some of the seemingly smallest decisions we make can turn out to be some of the most important ones that shape our lives," says Tebbutt on the EP's title-track; a dreamy three minutes of indie-folk which sees Tebbutt's angelic vocal cut through a restrained, guitar-saturated instrumental. "In another way, it kind of sums up the writing process for these batch of songs, I was really trying to find stories that were about the strongest memories and moments I could find. Quite often, you'll write a song that doesn't quite capture or express that, so it's a bit of a challenge to catch those moments real or imagined and then find lines and images that really express them powerfully."
Capping off a brilliant 2018 for the musician marked with some of his strongest singles and collaborations to date, the EP is a real stellar moment for Tebbutt who, in my opinion, still gets commonly looked over despite his prevalence in the Australian songwriting world. While First Light felt like Tebbutt truly 'finding his sound', Chasing Gold offers versatility and dynamic, whether it's in the slight change of pace when compared to his previous work or more generally, his strive to offer something different - like a spoken-word final song, Atlas In Your Eyes, which was created for a film's end credits before ending up on the EP. Listen to the EP below (or HERE), and find a track-by-track walkthrough of Chasing Gold by Tebbutt himself underneath:
A song about being held in limbo by someone, and wanting to know where you stand - they’re not letting you get too close or too far away. I wrote this song with a friend while I was in Amsterdam touring, and that part of being a musician can be kinda isolating sometimes, but I think in this case that distance from home helped me craft the feelings in this one. I've always been a bit obsessed with space and I really like how well metaphors from that world are woven through this story. The video clip for this one was really fun and challenging, as we had the task of lifting eight people seamlessly into the air.
Probably my favourite track off this EP, writing the chorus was a really raw and honest process for me about those occasional moments when you're reminiscing but at the same time projecting forward, or get clarity on the shape of your life and how it's unfolding. I feel like it sums up a universally human theme even if it is from a hyper-romantic viewpoint, and the driving rhythm keeps the song feeling nostalgic without leaning on despair.
I wrote this one with Tom Rosenthall in London, he sat down at the piano and started playing this rumbling magic piano line. It wasn’t long before we had the melody pinned in over the top and the words just seemed to slot into place. It’s a track about losing contact with someone, perhaps by death or distance, or circumstance.
Love Is Blind
This is a song is about meeting someone that teaches you how to look at things in a new way, through the way they live and love.
All Your Love
This track came out of a collaboration with Flight Facilities earlier this year and looks at the euphoric side to a relationship and how the early moments of one developing kinda get wrapped in a nostalgic glow that sits there nicely underpinning everything from then on.
Lisa Mitchell and I did a co-headlining tour last year and as part of it performed this version of the stunning RÜFÜS [DU SOL] track. We enjoyed playing it so much that we went in the studio to record a version as well.
Atlas In Your Eye
This track was written for the film Jasper Jones which came out last year. This song came together in the car on the way home after watching an edit of the film for the first time, and the following day, Craig Silvey who wrote the story as a book originally, sent me a poem from early on in the books process which I was able to work throughout the lyrics. It’s about trusting your own instincts in the world and taking control of your own path.
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