Meet FRITZ, the latest example of Newcastle's musical brilliance
With her newest single Biggest Fool in the World, the 18-year-old has just cemented the claim that there must be something in Newcastle's water.
Header photo by Brontë Godden.
While major cities like Sydney and Melbourne fight to the death over which one is more important musically, Newcastle might just swoop in and steal the throne. Amongst the usual heavyweights, bands like RAAVE TAPES are pushing the city's DIY scene into the stratosphere, leading the way for acts like Vacations and FRITZ – the latest Newcastle up-and-comer – to rise and become figures away from their local scenes.
On her latest single Biggest Fool In The World, 18-year-old star-in-the-making FRITZ showcases everything she's about with a dazzling gleam, combining light guitar melodies and a percussive pulse with her own hazy vocals that glide over the top, detailing her disdain for pointless high school events that we all know are a lot less fun as they're made out to be. Having supported names like Cub Sport, WAAX and Middle Kids (while also playing festivals like Secret Garden Festival), there's a whole lot of potential for FRITZ to become a star in the rest of the year. Catch her at this year's Yours & Owls Festival to find out exactly why she's being tipped as the 'next big thing' by us and everybody else with their finger on the pulse.
Tell us about yourself?
I’m Tilly! 18 years old from Newcastle - I write boppy-pop songs and occasionally do other things too but not a lot… Here’s a FRITZ acrostic poem though in case anyone was wondering…
Really good at Wii Mario Kart
Interested in music, clothes, fast food and everything from the 80’s
Takes half an hour to shower
Zebras seem nice
What’s the vibe music-wise?
My songs are lyrically about heaps of different things, which kind of comes off as noisy dream-pop ditty’s, where I try to sing about everything on my mind in a two-three minute song. Since releasing my debut LP in March last year, where I experimented with different genres like post-punk and synth-pop, I’ve come to realise that the songs I prefer writing and playing live are ones like YUK! that are upbeat and playful. My new song Biggest Fool In The World is like this, and shows my influences from bands like Best Coast, The Vaccines and Alvvays. I just try to make fuzzy, surfy pop songs that I hope will get stuck in everyone's head. I guess I’m like an earworm - small and annoying but easy to latch onto.
What are your production and writing processes like?
I start with writing a vocal melody because I always find that, for me at least, a heaps catchy vocal melody can make any song. Then come the chords and lead and so on and so on. Lyrics are always last, and take about 10 minutes to write only because I’m literally just blurting out the thoughts on my mind at the time while making them rhyme - I honestly don’t put too much thought into them. I look for inspiration when writing not only from music, but also TV shows, art and even childhood memories.
Can you tell us about your new single, Biggest Fool In The World?
Yeh! I wrote it last year pretty well just after I finished high school once and for all. It’s about the drama of high school parties in general. I never found myself having an all-round good night at one, and I guess it's because of the environment that surrounds these things, and the way teenagers act when there. It’s also about sticking up for yourself when someone does a crap thing, and not letting it beat you up - something I used to do way too often and have luckily stopped doing.
This song was produced in a completely new way for me - it was the first time I had recorded in a proper studio and not in my bedroom. I didn’t use a drum machine like I did for every song on my debut and actually had a live drummer, Darren James, to help with it. (He plays live with me and so does guitarist Cody Brougham). The song still has a lo-fi charm to it, however, in a more clear and intentional way - if that makes sense. Oh! And David Fulham (an amazing filmmaker from Newcastle) put my self-directed ideas into life and filmed & edited a video to go with it, and its super cool. It basically visually depicts everything I mentioned the song is about but in a heaaaaps funny and charismatic way. Lots of my lovely friends were involved are are all such good actors! I thank them so much.
Any shows coming up?
Yours & Owls Festival line-up was just released and we’re on it! Along with some seriously incredible acts. We’ve got more on the way, so keep a look out!
What’s the rest of the year have in store for you?
I’ll be releasing more music throughout the year and I’m so excited for it. I’ll be playing heaps more shows and other cool things - like I don’t know, tour Australia, get my P plates, make my own reality TV show? Who knows.
Where can we find more of your music?
All those places like Bandcamp and Spotify and Apple Music etc etc - that’s where you’ll find me.
Follow FRITZ: FACEBOOK