Track x Track: WIIGZ - 'Songs To Catwalk To'
Brisbane-based electro-pop duo on the rise with their sights set on taking over the fashion industry take us through their debut EP, track by track
Coming in incredibly hot with their big & bold debut EP of genre-fusing electronic productions packed with pop sensibilities are Zoe Hilditch and Hannah Brydon AKA WIIGZ, with the the amazingly titled Songs To Catwalk To.
With a title like that you’d expect the record to make a statement and Songs To Catwalk To does just that, offering six cuts of diverse sounds that transport you into WIIGZ wild world of sexy, campy, tongue-in-cheek fashion forward fun. From the bouncy house flavours of opener Catwalk to the euphoric UK Garage inflected Work; the squelchy acid-infused Lifestyle of a Supermodel and the driving techno of Freaky; and rounding out with the one-two punch of former singles and fan faves Mini Skirt and French Tips.
A concept EP of sorts, Songs To Catwalk To takes all the drama and glamour of the fashion world and channels it into audio form, with none of the six tracks sounding out of place at any number of forward thinking fashion events and catwalks around the globe. In fact, the pair wish for their music to offer a form of escapism and provide a soundtrack for any occasion… “except maybe a funeral”, Hannah clarifies.
Songs To Catwalk To rounds out a huge year for WIIGZ, with previous singles being picked up by a number of big playlists, as well as receiving community radio airplay around the country. On the live front, WIIGZ have shared stages with the likes of Sofi Tukker, Wolf Alice and Client Liaison, just played Yours And Owls festival and are about to take to stages for Spilt Milk.
To celebrate the release of Songs To Catwalk To, WIIGZ were kind enough to take us through it track by track - have a listen and get to know!
‘Catwalk’ has a rich backstory in the world of WIIGZ. The first time we went to a gig together, we were dancing and then telepathically decided to part the crowd and start strutting. Since then, when we come together on a dance floor, we strut. Last year when we were developing our new live set, we knew we wanted to have a song that was a show stopper. Teaching a crowd how to catwalk seemed the only logical thing. We made the song in one night, and after that, the concept for our EP was born.
The bass/drums were influenced by Roisin Murphy but we wanted to create our own version of ‘Work It’ - Soulwax remix. We were yet to write a song with a strong command. Luke Million’s ‘Arnold’ was also a big inspiration lyrically. Despite it being very simple, it HITS and it makes you wanna get up and down, this is why ‘Catwalk’ is written as a tutorial. It’s camp and cheeky, but also commanding and serious!
We wrote ‘Work’ while on our Sydney tour last year with the amazing Kelton (aka Apollo). Kelton had prepared some tracks before the session and we immediately felt connected to this one. When it came time to lay down vocals, Kelton almost immediately started singing ‘you make me wanna work for your love’ (or some version of that). That lit the spark of ‘Work’ and helped us to build a narrative around that line.
We all loved the concept of falling love on the runway and just went for it. In the lyrics you’ll hear reference to the runway world “camera flashing, heartbeat racing”… “spotlight, all night, in your eyes baby”. We really incorporated the fashion world into this one. It is quite a conceptual song, as you can almost picture what it would look like just by listening to the lyrics. Just visualise being backstage and locking eyes with someone you have a deep desire for… With the switch up at the end, we wanted to switch the mood up… take it to the runway. “The catwalk is a lonely place, can’t find true love backstage”. In this section we wanted to drill down the idea that whoever is with you better put the work in if they want you… it could also reference working hard on the runway (if you wanna be with us) “turn around, work hard for me” - which references turning around on the catwalk. We do this with a sexy bass line and vocals.
Lifestyle of a Supermodel
We were yet to create a commanding/kooky track and this one fit right in. It’s conceptual, it’s witty, it’s hot. The concept of this song was influenced by ‘Fashion Blogger’ - RHYME and our show supporting Marc Rebillet. We love the bouncing/kooky bassline that drives the verses and the tongue n cheek lyrics. The 303 bassline was a last minute addition and it was the first sequence we selected. We were mind blown because it’s so perfect on our first try.
The lyrics are essentially describing what it’s like to be a WIIGZ supermodel, “I’m rocking hairy pitties, bitch you don’t wanna flirt”. The story then follows Zoë discovering this new model (Hannah) and they join forces to take over the fashion industry… we really thought about our live performance when writing this song… to understand you’ll just have to come watch us xx
‘Freaky’ started as an instrumental that our producer had made for another artist. He played it for us and we decided we needed it for the EP. The songwriting started with the line ‘light me up like a cigarette’, which helped establish the vibe of the song. Sexy, dirty, flirty, freaky! It’s the only song on the EP that is explicitly about fashion, however, it is THE perfect Catwalking song so we had to add it in.
At the end of Lifestyle Of A Supermodel, you will hear us reference “yeah I’m feeling Freaky”… so essentially this song is the soundtrack for when WIIGZ take over the Fashion Industry and become TOP SHIT!
Visualise this, two WIIGZ dominating the clubs, no one has ever seen us before and we are fearlessly taking over. We are dark, daring and powerful in this song. If you can’t tell, we felt like top shit making it and you’ll feel that too when listening.
We wrote ‘Mini Skirt’ last year while we were in Melbourne on tour and before our session, we went to get a coffee. The barista at the tiny cafe was so funny and we overheard him talking about how a guy he liked was playing games with him, but instead of dwelling on it he said he was just going to come into work ‘hot and horny’ and forget about it. Later when we were writing, it popped into our minds again and it was the perfect line to get the lyrics going. It was our first time working with Alex Markwell, and the first session where we collaborated with another producer. The song is hot, it’s horny…
This track started with the house keys and splice vocal sample. When we all got together we layer down a vocal hook that plays at the beginning of the song. We recorded it, laughed at how random it was, but then when we came back to it, we realised it was really sick so we kept it. We only did one take, so what you hear in the track is the first thing we recorded. This song doesn’t take itself seriously. Like all WIIGZ tunes, it’s tongue in cheek, it’s witty and it’s sexy.
The switch up at the end was an accident. Zoë found different house keys and we chucked in one of the samples and it turned out to be the sexiest key change. We wanted to include a simple yet driving bassline that would change the mood up. The bassline was the first idea we went with.
WIIGZ' new EP Songs To Catwalk To is out now Dew Process / Universal