Five Minutes With The Pretty Littles
We chat with the Melbourne rockers following the release of their huge, third LP.
Melbourne indie-rock quartet The Pretty Littles released their brilliant third LP, Soft Rock For The Anxious, a couple of weeks back, and having spent the past fortnight giving it a thorough spin - we can safely say it's one of the best, most honest Australian rock albums of 2016. The 13-track release sees The Pretty Littles seamlessly swing between distortion-fuelled garage rock and soft, melodic slow-burners without a fuss, while their combination of heartfelt lyrics and Aussie larrikinism urges you to fall in love with every tune. The legends were kind enough to have a word with us about Soft Rock For The Anxious and why we should all be blind drunk at their upcoming October tour dates.
Congratulations on releasing album number three, Soft Rock For The Anxious, a couple of weeks back! How has the response been so far?
I think it has been pretty good! I can’t remember where we debuted on the charts, but I think it was pretty high. I think Drake pipped us at the post, but that’s cool, he is a pretty established artist…we’re not jealous guys though, we’re super pumped for him and wish him the best.
It's an interesting album title, can you tell us a little about how you landed on this one?
All the words are just pretty straight up and I guess at their core - a bit generally nervous. I get anxious pretty easy and lots of the words reflect that… at least the ones about personal stuff. Lots of them are just observations but even they have a bit dog-on-a-chain-being-poked-with-a-stick vibe. I like matter of fact, literal titles, too.
Soft Rock For The Anxious was written and recorded over a few months - is that generally the amount of time you guys give yourselves to get an album together?
Yeah everything is always pretty quick. This was really quick and it all just feels so fucking long. It’s the worst. I’m full of respect for bands like King Gizz who are working on three or four things at the one time, while printing, pressing, releasing, art working and touring. We’re working just about as fast as we can, given our opportunities to write and rehearse and shit, and it still just feels slow.
Too many ideas come after you’re hearing the record back, but maybe that’s just the way it is. We’d probably keep the recording process pretty quick though. Recording is the best and worst thing: fucking amazing when you get something going, but fucking tedious otherwise.
As far as lyrics go, it seems like there's a lot of lighthearted larrikinism on this album, along with some deeper, more serious moments. Would you say there are any key themes or topics that you guys explore on Soft Rock For The Anxious?
Nah, no key themes. I mean there probably are but that would involve a serious amount of self-analysis, which I don’t know if I’d come back from. I’d say the songs are about things that make me feel a certain way. Then that feeling is strong enough that it sticks around. Then I think about that feeling a little bit more and then a song starts to rear its ugly head and then you’ve gotta do the whole process again, but with music. Or the other way around. That said, those feelings can be kicking around for like five fuckin’ years before you’re thinking’: 'Oh fuck yeah, chorus right there'. Sometimes it can cheapen the entire emotional response coz you’re thinking, 'Hmmmm wonder if I’ll get a song out of this,' ha.
Pride has been getting a fair bit of play on triple j and rightly so, it's a ripper of a tune. What's that one all about?
Hmm you’d have to ask Goolsa, he wrote this one. Think it was about him missing the Cog reunion tour. Really fucked him up.
You have the album tour kicking off at the end of next month, which looks like it's going to be massive. How pumped are you for those shows?
Pretty pumped. People are pre-buying tickets which is pretty wild. Not many…but still.
What can fans expect from you guys when you get on stage for those dates, if it's their first time catching The Pretty Littles live?
This question always makes me feel pretty shit about being in a band. It’s pretty hard to tell people what to expect when you’re a four-piece rock band. I mean, you’ve given it all away already, haven’t ya? Instead, I’ll offer some more general/procedural advice to someone if they’re thinking about coming: if it’s your first time watching live I’d make sure that you’re pretty pissed. Not recklessly so, but enough that your senses are a little skewed. I’d bring a few friends as well – someone to bounce ideas off. I’d also get their early to see Neighbourhood Youth, because they’re something different.