Perth's Feels discuss their new single and EP, and their exciting WOMPP initiative
WOMPP - Women of Music Production Perth - aims to create a community for women to feel supported in music production and share their skills.
Late last year we met an emerging Perth two-piece named Feels and their sensational new single Pipe Dream, which shined through its percussion-soaked rhythms of obscurity and eclectic sound. Since then the duo have been fairly quiet until they returned this week with another brilliant single in Prior Engagement. Released through Australia's emerging Spirit Level label (which houses names including Braille Face), Prior Engagement is a quirky little instrumental, with playful, plucking synth melodies pulsing underneath a clicking percussion line and deep thumps of bass which all come together to create this really unique sound which boasts shades of tropical and tribal. Ahead of the single's launch this Saturday at The Bird in Northbridge, we chatted to the pairing about the single and EP, their live show and WOMPP - a new, women-focused initiative Feels are spearheading, which we'll let them explain because they no doubt know it best:
Hey Rosie and Elise, hope you’re good and congratulations on the new single, Prior Engagement, can you tell us a bit about it?
Prior Engagement was written at the beginning of this year. Rosie was in the hospital with a serious back injury, having the absolute worst time of her life, meanwhile, Elise was snowboarding the mountains of Hakuba, Japan, having the absolute best time of her life!
Elise: My partner proposed to me going up the ski lift in Hakuba, we then shredded down the mountain on snowboards. I got back to Perth shortly after we got engaged in Japan and was super excited to write new music. I had been away from my computer and instruments for 2 weeks and I literally sat down and wrote this piece in one sitting - it was originally a piano solo.
It’s taken from an upcoming EP, how’s that coming along?
Our debut EP Emerald is due to release next month through Melbourne based record label Spirit Level. This EP is really special to us and we are looking forward to sharing it with the world! Some of these tracks we have been sitting on for a while, it will be awesome reliving the excitement that we experienced when we finished the tracks, upon release.
It seems like things have been pretty go-go go since you launched the project, working with Tim and playing some great shows – what’ve been some of the highlights?
Working with Tim has been a real game changer for us. He has been so supportive of our music and as individuals ever since we first started releasing music and has really helped us shape our careers as Feels. For our EP, working with Lewis Cancut on mixing and Becki Whitton on mastering has been an absolute pleasure. Lewis, Tim and Becki have all helped our sound reach its full potential.
Playing live for local shows is always a highlight for us - whether it is for 5 people or hundreds we always get really into it! We are passionate about playing good live shows and inspiring other female electronic artists to get out there and do the same. Some of our favourite shows this year have been our headlining show at The Bird and the RTRFM Fremantle Winter Music Festival - they both went off!
You recently launched an awesome new initiative – WOMPP (Women in Music Production Perth), what spurred you on to start it?
Elise studied music composition at university and has always noticed a lack of women within composition and music production. At first, I [Elise] thought it was just my year intake and more girls would join me, but the further I got in my career, the more I realised I was one of few women in this part of the industry and if I wanted to make it I had to be confident, driven and speak up. Rosie as a drummer has had similar experiences playing drums/percussion in the local scene.
When we started gigging as Feels we noticed very few women in Perth doing electronic music and music production. We wanted to start a community for women to feel supported in music production and share their skills. Before WOMPP, we both used to go to music production community meetings and were often the only 2 women. At this month’s catch up we had nearly 30 women, we all barely fit in our studio - it is amazing how far WOMPP has come!
And what are the main outcomes you wanna see come out of WOMPP?
Well… here is a list!
1. Improvement in equal gender representation across local and national music events.
2. To create an environment where women feel safe to learn and discuss music production, to teach each other and better each other through sharing experiences.
3. To encourage emerging artists to take the plunge and commit to their first live set
4. We want our WOMPP Facebook page to be a place local bands/electronic artists and booking agents can go to discover the acts involved in the group - providing an answer to the commonly heard “there’s just not enough female artists to book”.
5. Bringing together women and empowering each other. Providing support network focuses on making positives changes in the Perth music scene
This weekend along with your single launch is the very first WOMPP showcase, can you tell us a bit about the artists playing?
The lineup includes some new artists and some that have already been making some waves around Perth.
First up is G*rey. She's a French electro singer/songwriter bringing us her first ever live set. Next, we have Alex and Yell - amazing sister music production duo, they have so much knowledge in music production and often write music for theatre. For main support we have the ever amazing Lana - cool experimental electronics, yummy synth lines and stunning vocals. Lana has been playing live for a while and is a favourite within the Perth music scene. Last we have WYN, a very talented and versatile DJ who will be playing tunes throughout the evening.
And you guys, of course, will be launching your new single, for those who haven’t seen you can you tell us a bit about the Feels live show?
We like to keep a balance between electronics and live drums/percussion and combine our favourites of the two. There is a lot of mixing 808s with african djembe grooves from Rosie and pairing synths with orchestral samples played on the Ableton Push by Elise. Fast changes happen often for both of us between instruments including shakers, kalimba and Indian kanjira combined 14” and 16” floor toms. It’s kinda like organised mess haha.
Besides the EP, what’s coming up for the rest of the year and beyond?
There are a few exciting Perth gigs and festivals still to be announced that we’re really looking forward to. We are looking forward to travelling to Berlin to take part in the Ableton Loop summit in November as well as putting on our second WOMPP showcase on in the same month. We will be finishing off the year by spending some time in Sydney at the Ableton HQ studio writing/developing new tracks!
Feels - Prior Engagement Single Launch & WOMPP Showcase:
Follow Feels: FACEBOOK