Premiere: Meet Travalley, who whip up a surf-rock storm with Dear Babe
The Victorian duo are striving in the new year, with Dear Babe being their fourth release for 2020.
When we're talking about music release schedules, we often talk about the importance of quality over quantity. However, that doesn't have to always be the case, and every so often an artist comes onto our radar that has found somewhat of a middle field; sharing a lot of music at an almost-monthly or bi-monthly scale, but each track being so genuinely good that it doesn't particularly feel too overwhelming or anything. It's a difficult line to balance on, but one a couple of stand-out newcoming Australian acts can do with ease.
Victorian duo Travalley seem to be a blossoming example of that balance-keeping band, at least with what they've given us through 2020 so far. In the last four months, the duo - composed of brothers Levi and Sam, with homes in Melbourne and Ballarat between them - have time and time again reminded us of their worth, whether that be with a two-side single Break Free / See Through Walls or their latest single Him, which came out just a few weeks back. Now, there's also Dear Babe - their fourth piece of new music for the year, and one that really showcases the band at their best.
Dear Babe is a song that encompasses everything people will love in Travalley. Musically, it's a thick-rhythmed explosion of guitars that fit more-so within the alt-rock to surf-rock canon, picking up the pace a little bit in comparison to some of their past work, which occasionally teeters on the edge of indie-rock. It's explosive and high-energy, but full of charm all at the same time; Levi, for example, using the track as a bit of a light-hearted vehicle for his inability to flirt: "I always manage to say the wrong thing or give too much away too early which tends to end up in the 'what if I said this' situation happening over and over again and then repeating the process with the same results," he says.
It's a brilliant moment, and for Travalley, it's a single that comes with high hopes for the future. As any up-and-coming Australian band will tell you, the live show is a crucial part to one's break-out, particularly in a genre where high-octane live shows are often the band's 'going to make it or not' factor. In a way, Travalley are missing out on this opportunity, having just gotten into the swing of things by the time COVID-19 came around.
In saying that, the duo are just keeping positive, and looking forward into the future. "We’ve had a lot more time to write new music and expand our sound, and we’ve had to come up with more creative ways to keep our fans engaged, but it’s also given us the opportunity to sit back and relax for the first time in a long time," says Levi. "But like many other bands out there, we had to cancel our entire tour and a bunch of bookings too. The biggest thing we’ve missed is playing live to our amazing fans that travel to come see us play."
Dive into the Pilerats-premiering Dear Babe below, and better introduce yourself to the sibling duo before they continue to smash 2020 with every release:
Tell us about yourself?
Travalley is a 2-piece indie rock band consisting of brothers Sam and Levi Mellington. We both grew up playing music together from a young age which has definitely helped shaping our playing style. We tend to create a fun and wild atmosphere at our live shows which in return always ends up being a super fun show for us and most importantly the crowd. We have been playing under the band name Travalley for around two and a half years as a 4 piece, however two of our members left at the same time due to Year 12 & starting up their own record label. Everything is still on good terms if you’re wondering.
This left us with a huge gap in the band and especially our sound which we decided to roll with what we had and trial the 2-piece that we are now. I’d be lying if I said we never thought about giving up... Over 3 months of trying, we couldn’t find the right sound and the songs we originally wrote as the 4-piece just weren’t hitting the same. After doing a heap of research on ways to make the guitar/bass situation work, we finally found a way we could play and sound somewhat decent in a live setting. The next thing was creating a new setlist... this is where we wrote Dear Babe and got everything rolling.
We grew up in a regional town called Horsham. Growing up in a town that had practically no live music scene made it extremely difficult to find inspiration to write new songs and develop a style. After missing out on an entire teenage life without a music scene, as a band we really focus on building our brand in the smaller towns that really thrive on the culture of live music. We hope to continue bringing music to the areas that need it most and eventually bring bigger and better bands into the areas of Australia that so often get ignored.
What’s the ‘vibe’ music-wise?
The vibe of our music is a mix between indie rock and surf rock. We try to make all of our songs really fun and catchy which transition into a live setting. This is our main goal as we love playing our music and getting the crowd up and about. The themes are generally about love and life. I like to make each song a personal experience and hopefully express that in a way that relates to the listeners.
What are your production and writing processes usually like?
For whatever reason, I have written all of our songs on a shitty 5 string acoustic guitar that has a huge crack through the body of guitar because I left it in my car on a 40-degree day (the high e string always breaks for some reason so I just never restring it anymore). My theory is if I can make a song sound somewhat ok on that guitar, it’s going to sound unreal on my electric.
The writing process generally goes writing the guitar first and then from the vibe I write lyrics on top of that. I try to explore as much as I can, but I tend to always write about love and life. I always record everything into my voice memos. Voice memo has been a lifesaver, the amount of times I have thought of an idea and then recorded it and instantly forgotten is have been too many. So THANKYOU to all of my iPhones who have been the saviour to Travalley.
Can you tell us about your new track, Dear Babe?
Dear Babe is a dedication to all those people that find it really hard to flirt or say the right thing. Me for example, I am shocking... I crack under the pressure big time. This song is about my ability or more so lack of ability to know what to say. There haven’t been many successful attempts however, the last few years have seen a bit more of a development in my dating game, so I decided to write this song to give anyone who struggles a bit of a pick me up. And hey if you don’t know what to say just show them the film clip and I’m sure that will be a good talking point.
What does 2020 have in store for you?
2020 is looking to be pretty adventurous for us as a band. We both really like pushing the boundaries so we have started producing house music to fill in the gaps of not playing shows. It’s just a bit of fun and gives everyone something else to listen to for the time being.
As for Travalley, we have 3 songs recorded and ready to be put out for the world to hear. We are just trying to build our brand as much as possible, so we continue growing with each release. If the isolation restrictions do allow us to play a couple of shows by the end of the year, we will hit a regional tour in Victoria pretty hard to catch up on all the lost time. Because we are both country boys, getting back into rural communities is extremely important for us.
What do you want people to take away from the project?
We want people to discover our band with a bang. We really feel that this film clip has so much history attached to it and is continuing a trend which would allow us to push into the scene a lot more. The other thing is we want people to see that we are fun and entertaining and there’s more to Travalley than just music.