Tora confirm their status as one of Australian electronic's most exciting with their new album
Take A Rest, the group's debut record, sees Tora truly excel like never before.
Despite being one of the more consistent groups on the Australian electronic market at the moment, Tora have always had words like 'emerging' and 'up-and-coming' attached to them. The Byron-based four-piece have played at Glastonbury and Falls, supported RÜFÜS with Bob Moses, and have a whole heap of other international festivals under their belt already, yet they still haven't quite escaped the arms of the 'emerging' tag - until now. Their debut album - Take A Rest - is one of the most impressive Australian electronic albums to arrive in recent times, a strong title with names including touring mates RÜFÜS, Flume and Paces all dropping albums in the past year or two. Across the album's lengthy duration, Tora showcase this dizzy, R&B-infused electronic sound that is both incredibly unique and exciting to Australia, with guest collaborators in Sam Lawrence, Merryn Jeann and Grace Pitts stepping up to the plate to donate solid contributions.
Recordings aside, Tora have also developed a title as one of the more promising acts on the Australian live circuit at the moment, returning to Australia later this year for an album tour fresh from crushing tours in the UK, US and Europe (where they'll be heading over again after the Australian tour). To celebrate the album's release and their upcoming, 'homecoming' run of shows across Australia, we caught up with the team to discuss the album and its creation, drawing influence from touring overseas, and what to expect from the said, upcoming tour.
Hey, guys! Huge congrats-in-advance on the release of your debut record Take A Rest, was there a moment that made you guys decide to finally break away from EPs and work on an album?
Thank you, I feel it’s an essential step for any band to take that are looking to make a career out of music. As far as the industry are concerned, I don’t believe they take most acts seriously until they have produced a full-length album. It’s like a right-of-passage in a way.
The album has this woozy, almost R&B-like sound to it which you’ve really perfected across the past few years, how have things changed creatively between the EPs and the record? Did you have a different approach this time around with a much longer release?
As with all previous releases, the songs don’t follow any specific creation method. Many of the songs were old ideas brought forward and re-worked, while some had been made close to the end of the writing period. Really the main goal was just to create enough quality content that could form an album.
It’s mentioned that although the album was composed and recorded at home, it draws a lot of influence from your ventures touring overseas. How do different environments and cultures you find touring overseas influence you all musically?
New environments foster alternative thinking by challenging our status quo. It’s like learning a craft or activity, you have to open your mind to allow an intake of fresh information and doing so can drastically alter your perspective of things.
The album has quite a few guest features in it too, with people like Sam Lawrence and Merryn Jeann picking up slots across the album. How does bringing in artists like Lawrence effect the recording process for you guys, does it change the creative dynamics at all?
I think it adds more flavour to the whole experience and also opens doors for external creative input. With the power of the internet these days it’s possible to collaborate without the persons' presence, so the recording process on our end doesn’t actually change all that much.
The album release comes with a tour too – which kicks off in Melbourne on June 23. For those yet to see a Tora live show, how do you translate your music into a live setting? Is anything changing for the album tour?
The biggest feature would be the live drums which bring a lot more energy to the music. We’re are also putting more emphasis on the lights and visuals to create a more engaging performance.
Is the round of forthcoming Australian shows a bit of a ‘homecoming’ moment for you guys after touring overseas? Does the live show change depend on where you’re touring? Does the crowd reaction change between Australia and say, North America or Europe?
In a way… we’ve been back for so long now I think we’re all really just itching to start performing again and, most excitingly, with new material. The live show does change aesthetically but generally, we tour the same set as a huge amount of time goes into creating all the transitions between songs and organising the overall flow which isn’t easy to change once we’re on the road. Crowd reaction is pretty random, some of the most obscure venues have been the craziest and vice versa. I guess that’s what’s so enjoyable about performing in new places with songs, we’re never sure what we’re going to get.
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