EP Walkthrough: Thandi Phoenix details her self-titled debut EP, out now
On her new six-track EP, one of Australia's best musicians showcases why she's something special.
Since she initially emerged as a new name within the Australian indie-electronic-pop world, Thandi Phoenix has come a long, long way in proving that she's something remarkably special. In the last four years, she's become an in-demand collaborator amongst the country's most successful - Set Mo, Just A Gent, Rudimental and more have enlisted Thandi over the years for their work - and with her quality over quantity approach to release, her slim discography is littered with some incredibly high-tier pop music - the Rudimental-produced My Way a real boundary-pusher, for example.
On her debut EP, however, Thandi Phoenix's real introduction occurs. It's a collection of six tracks that see Thandi Phoenix pushed to her limits, breaking the boundaries of Australian pop - and our expectations of the artist-on-the-rise - as she moulds some of the year's strongest choruses with defying productions capable of moving within - and between - electronic's many sub-genres. The Sigma-assisted Say It, for example, pulses with a quick-firing percussive base that on Cleopatra, is warped into bouncy house rhythms alongside an earworming hook that never quite leaves your head.
It's a brilliant introduction into Thandi Phoenix if you're not yet familiar, encompassing her sound while also showcasing her ability to defy that very same thing; her versatility and experimentalism standing tall amongst the flurry of electronic beats that move underneath her highlighted vocals. "I wrote, recorded and worked on it between Sydney, Melbourne, London [and] Sweden, and [I] am so grateful for all the wonderful and talented creatives that I collaborated with that helped bring this baby to life," she says on the EP in a note on her social media.
There's plenty more to come from Thandi - she's nowhere near done - but in the meantime, dive into her self-titled debut EP below with a track-by-track EP walkthrough from Thandi herself, who details the EP's creation and themes one song at a time.
Say It is a high energy dance track produced by the UK dance duo, SIGMA. It starts out quite minimal with a bed of strings, and vocals. It then builds with piano stabs in the pre and then explodes into this massive chorus with bouncy bass and anthemic/gospel-like vocals. I really like how this song brings 90s house nostalgia into a more current dance/electronic sound.
I co-wrote this one with the force, the boss queen and all-round legend that is KLP. Going into the session I already had the concept of Cleopatra and verse pre-written, but I was kinda stuck on where to take it for the chorus. What I love about Kristy is she’s so quick when it comes to writing. I played her what I had, and she puts hers down, and not long after she delivers this real understated yet sassy spoken hook with these floating counter melodies - It was fire. The songs all about owning who you are, knowing your strength, your power and never letting anyone undermine you.
I was in London for a writing trip and this was one of my last sessions with Kingdoms. This one is a fun upbeat track about getting rid of the negative people and energy that come your way. Being so full to the brim that no matter how much someone tries to take from you you’ll still be overflowing. It’s got this real bouncy synth and feel-good energy to it. It’s funny, I remember Sean and I could not stop our heads from bouncing the whole time we were writing. It was like we were those bobbleheads you put on the dashboard.
Again is quite different to the rest of the songs on the EP. It’s a downtempo ballad that features the incredible vocals from Dan Caplen. This one was probably the trickiest tracks from the EP to produce as I didn’t want to lose the magic that came from the rawness of the original demo which was just guitar and vocal. I didn’t want to overcook it with production, so it was a really fine line adding elements to the song. That being said, I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. We recorded live strings, which absolutely melted my heart and added such a beautiful accompaniment and movement to the song.
I think when you’re trying to chase your dreams or embark on a new venture half the struggle of making things happen is fighting those inner demons or self-doubt that say you can’t do it. Diggin is about tackling those fears, putting in the hard work and taking charge of your life. Nothing happens on its own and sometimes you gotta dig deep and go for what you want.
This song is about self-love and self-validation. I always thought it was weird when people would refer to their partner as their “other half”, as to imply they’re not whole or complete without another. I think it so important to be comfortable alone and to love yourself before you can love someone else.
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