All Hail King Flume

All Hail King Flume

We caught up with Flume to get the lowdown on new album Palaces, creative process, collaborations and dogs ahead of his return home for his Australian tour

Celebrating its ten year anniversary (TODAY! at the time of publication) is Flume - the self-titled, debut album that would kick start the producer’s, born Harley Streten, rapid ascent into the electronic and pop music stratosphere.

Having made a name for himself over the last decade with his relentless touring and engaging live shows, remixes, mixtapes and second studio album Skin in 2016, this year Flume dropped his acclaimed and already award nominated third album Palaces back in May.

Building on his signature sound, Palaces is an energetic and experimental journey through modern electronic music, inspired by the flora and fauna of the Northern New South Wales (with the album featuring field recordings of birds layered in the mix), while featuring a stack of notable collaborators including the likes of KUČKA, Caroline Polachek, Damon Albarn and many more.

Ahead of his 2022 Palaces Australian tour, as well as this awesome throwback interview we did with Harley where we dug deep into the Pilerats vault and showed him footage from a decade plus ago, we also chatted about all things new album and live show - get to know!

So your new album Palaces has been out for a few months and I wanted to ask about some of the inspiration, especially the flora and fauna influence and field recordings sort of stuff, which is beautiful, but yeah, how’s it feeling having it out for a few months now? How’s the reception been?

It’s nice, man. It’s always nice to have a project out. I think it’s always been bittersweet because I’ve kind of been working towards this thing for quite a while, and then you’re a bit, you know, once it comes out it’s kind of like “fuck… what’s the new direction? What do I do now?”. So there’s always a little bit of that, but yeah it’s been really nice and it’s good to have it out into the world. It’s been fun playing it out as well, because some of these demos have been sitting on my hard drive for years, so to finally be able to have them out into the world, but then be able to play them at shows and see fand kind of like, just knowing the tracks and stuff and singing, it’s really satisfying. 

I can only imagine your unfinished projects folders and demos and stuff! So when you’re going through demos and revisiting, how does stuff make the final cut for the album?

Honestly, I just kind of make a bunch of things and then after like, a few years, I’m like “alright, I really need to put out a record, what have we got?” and I’ll kind of go in and listen to all the things that I have and be like “this one definitely needs to be on the record”, you know, just kind of pick songs and try and kind of finish them and just make something out of it all. But yeah, there’s so much stuff that doesn’t get used, but I’m actually having a bit of fun now, kind of posting stuff just on social media that’s kind of, I don’t know if it’s gonna come out or now, but I post it and if it gets a good response I’m like “alright, maybe I’ll finish this”. 

What about, at what point does collaboration come in? The new album has a huge number of guests, from Perth expat Kucka to someone like Damon Albarn, how does that side of things work?

A lot if it’s just timing. I guess I’ve worked with Kucka a lot on a lot of different things, we just work together great, it’s almost like we’re a little band, just thinking about starting a band with Laura…

Please!

*laughs* She’s just so talented, and she has such an unusual voice and it’s really nice for production because her voice is so high, it just kind of sits and you can do all sorts of wild things, where sometimes I find with male vocals, that can be more difficult because they take up a larger space in the mix. So yeah, I love working with Laura. The Damon thing… I was just always a huge fan of Blur, of Gorillaz, so that was kind of a dream come true. Scary as fuck working with him, I was sweating. But yeah, I played him a lot of demos and he didn’t like most of them, and there was just this one, kind of at the end of the pile that he finally jumped on, and I was very relieved that he was into something because it could have been nothing *laughs*

I can only imagine getting the Albarn rejection on ideas, did he let you down lightly at least?

No no, he was into something, but just the whole time we’re just sitting there and I’m like “next?” and he’s like “yep, next”.... 20 demos later he’s like “alright, here we go, this one’s cool”. 

So I guess on a similar tip, you’ve got the remixes part one of Palaces out featuring some amazing producers from like Logic1000 to legendary Mount Kimbie flipping your tracks, how do you decide who would suit what remix?

I mean, just like whoever my favourite artists are. I’m like, “this is my list” and we just go out to them, and some of them say yes, some say now, but I’m just like “who are my favourite producers and artists right now” and yeah, I’m fortunate enough to actually be able to get responses from these people. Like, getting the Mount Kimbie thing is crazy to me, they’ve been so influential for me and my music. Yeah, that’s pretty much it. 

Finally, I have to ask about the Palaces live show - how is the new record feeling in a live setting?

Surprisingly good, because the music’s kind of intense, so it actually works in a show context. Yeah, every year I kind of get better at making things sound good, and I think the tracks hit in that context. Part of me is thinking about doing a record that’s like, something you could play at a dinner party because I feel like sometimes my stuff is a bit abrasive and you don’t want to put that shit on if you’re just having drinks with your friends or whatever, and I’m kind of like, it’d be nice to just do one that’s like that. But also, if I do that, then when I get to play it out it’s gonna be flat comparatively. I think I’m gonna do it regardless, but yeah, this one, the record’s got a lot of turbo tracks on there, so it’s been really fun to play out. 

I’m just picturing you like on a lounge piano or something, sitting in the corner, twinkling the ivories…

That’s it.

So you are going to be down, bringing the show back home to Australia - anything in particular you’re looking forward to the most about getting to to play this stuff back down here?

I mean, Australian shows are always the best, like Australia and New Zealand are the best shows, you know, hometown. I’ve had a crazy career in Australia, like I’ve just been so lucky to have had such a great run over the last 10 years. So yeah, I’m hopefully gonna be able to bring my dog to some shows as well *laughs*. Probably freak him out.

Get the little ear muffs on.

Yeah, yeah *laughs*

So what are we talking, what breed? 

Golden Doodle… I think they’re called a Groodle in Australia, because doodle doesn’t mean penis in America. He was born in America, so he’s a Golden Doodle, which I think is far cuter.

Flume’s new album Palaces is out now

FLUME - 2022 AUSTRALIA TOUR

Friday 11 November ​ SOLD OUT

​Red Hill Auditorium | Perth, WA

​with Channel Tres, Toro y Moi (DJ set) and MAY-A

​18+ (12+ are permitted to attend the show with a parent or legal guardian)

 

Wednesday 16 November

​Riverstage | Brisbane, QLD

​with Channel Tres, Toro y Moi and MAY-A

​Licensed. All Ages

Ticketmaster.com.au | 136 100

 

Friday 18 November

​The Dome, Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park | Sydney, NSW

​with Channel Tres, Toro y Moi and MAY-A

​Licensed. 16+

Ticketmaster.com.au | 136 100

 

Friday 25 November

​John Cain Arena | Melbourne, VIC 

​with Channel Tres, Toro y Moi and MAY-A

​Licensed. All Ages

Ticketek.com.au | 132 849

 

Wednesday 30 November

​Adelaide Entertainment Centre | Adelaide, SA

​with Vera Blue

​Licensed. All Ages

Ticketek.com.au | 132 849

 

Friday 2 December

​Regatta Grounds | Hobart, TAS

​with Vera Blue

​18+

Oztix.com.au




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