Phebe Starr walks us through her captivating new EP, Chronicles
The six-track EP delves into the world of synth-pop, including woozy ballads and chair-gripping epics alike.
One thing I've really noticed lately is a sudden wave of empowering and grabbing pop music, particularly electro-pop, coming out of Australia of late. Phebe Starr is another artist emerging with this sound, with the regional NSW singer-songwriter channeling into it for the release of her new, six-track EP Chronicles - arriving today. Across the EP's twenty-something minutes, Starr floats with ease between different tones of synth-pop, from brooding, emotionally-charged ballads to powerful and dominating pop bangers. Yet, no matter what tone, it's Starr's vocals that take the pedestal and shine. To celebrate the EP's release (and her forthcoming tour - dates at the bottom), we got Phebe Starr to walk us through the entirety of the release, detailing the emotional processes and song-writing behind each of the singles.
Feel My Love
I was on a family holiday and feeling misunderstood I sat down and wrote this track in a number of minutes. It started off being about my relationship with my sister but then in the coming weeks I wanted to say it to everyone in my life. Wouldn’t it be nice if the world just got what we meant and not what we said! This track is about that feeling when you can’t seem to communicate your love in a way that is received as love. You try your best but you don’t succeed. You give everything to them in good intention and then they reply in disbelief of your intensions.
This song is pretty self-explanatory. Two hearts trying to make life work in one way. Two different directions, two wills. It’s not easy, it’s painful. But there is a beauty in that pain. I tried to capture the insanity of sacrificial love. It’s not logical but it’s beautiful.
They Keep Telling Me
Last year I went on a writing trip in New York City. I ended up in a cool studio overlooking the Empire State building. I had just had the worst session of my life and been told ‘Ill never sell music if I don’t make it about sex’. I was so angry and I carried that anger into this session. It was so cool cause the 2 guys I was working with Fredrik Odesjo + Josh Brown pulled it out of me. We talked about how frustrating it is trying to prove art has value. It’s hurtful to be told not to dream or be authentic weather that’s the people that first doubt you in high school or some old guy who thinks kids are stupid and only think about sex. This song is our frustration with these people.
One of my dearest friends father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and not knowing much about the disease I watched her slowly lose him. It was a heartbreaking experience. After a long and painful time he finally passed. I was in the studio when I got word that he passed away. I didn’t know what to say or how to comfort her. I sat down near the piano alone and cried for her and her family. I prayed for them and then started playing notes. The chorus came instantly. I’ve never been so emotional writing a song. That night I sent it to her and said ‘I don’t know what to say but I hope this song brings you comfort and hope’.
One night, I had the weirdest dream. Woke up late, caught an Uber to a session and then wrote exactly what I saw in the dream. It was haunting and was burnt into my mind so I just went with it. We tried to recreate that feeling and the music I felt. I love it because the song to me is like a conversation with a friend, when you’re trying to explain what the heck happened in your subconscious.
Wonder is the first track on the E.P I wrote. I was reflecting on my childhood and the way I was so curious to explore and discover without fear. I would create from anything around me. We lived in the middle of nowhere surrounded by rainforest and rolling green hills. It was like Narnia. I wanted people to remember that feeling. I wanted to remember that feeling.