Q&A: Bec Sandridge & Dave Jenkins jr - Lost Dog
The singer-songwriter and songwriter-producer interview one another in celebration of Sandridge’s latest EP release.
Since the release of her debut album TRY + SAVE ME in 2019 (which featured the International Songwriting Competition second-place winning single Stranger), you may have seen Bec Sandridge appear on Falls Festival, Groovin’ The Moo, The Plot, and Festival of The Sun lineups, or supporting the likes of Naked and Famous, Yungblud, The Rubens, Cub Sport, and Montaigne. Now back in Australia from a successful UK + Europe run this September, the singer-songwriter continues to ascend through her luxe indie-pop sound, unveiling her latest EP; Lost Dog.
5- tracks in length and oozing with gritty yet slick production, Lost Dog showcases Sandridge’s powerful vocal capabilities, ear for melody, and versatility as a songwriter. “This one’s about the trick of nostalgia. It’s far too easy to go back to something that feels like home… Nonetheless, this is potentially my favourite on the EP. For me, it embodies that disgusting feeling of being trapped in a stuffy-car, all day, with a stomach ache.” shares the Wollongong-based artist, continuing “I’m incredibly thrilled with how these songs have turned out and I have been fortunate enough to work with a lot of my favourite people on these songs, people that have true insight into my sonic brain. Dave Jenkins Jr, Lucy Taylor, Andy Bull, Geoff Swan, Japanese Wallpaper, Rosie Fitzgerald, Dorny Mayes, Tony Buchen - such a dream team!”
Out today with an EP launch tonight at Vic On The Park, Eora/ Sydney NWS, we thought to celebrate Lost Dog’s release by asking Bec Sandridge and her good friend/ collaborator/ prolific songwriter and producer Dave Jenkins Jr (Daniel Johns, Vera Blue), to do a fun Q&A with one another. Be sure to hit play on the new EP, and have a read of how that went down below.
Dave: Hi Bec, welcome to the interview. Prepare to be interrogated..
Do you remember how we met?
Bec: I do! North Gong pub in Wollongong. You were playing under NOTABOYSNAME - the gig ruled and I think maybe i introduced myself already and said we should write sometime or something along those lines... and the rest is history?
Why do you think this writing/production partnership works?
I just feel like there's zero ego and whatever is best for the song, happens. Which is pretty nice/great.
This EP was written and recorded in various locations with different people - Can you explain the writing and recording process and the personnel involved?
We started writing in Golden Retriever then stopped. Then moved to Dave and Lucys apartment in Clovelly where the remaining writing took place and Easy to Go Bad i wrote at mine and another track called Notasfunasitlooks and guts which hasn’t seen daylight, yet... We tracked drums in Dorny Mayes studio, then some some work in Golden Retriever again. We got Andy Bull in. Rosie Fitzgerald. And it was kind of all a bit collage-y and pieced together. We took our time which at times tested my patience (with covid restrictions and budget and doing everything indie) but im SO glad we did!! I'm so proud and happy with how everything turned out. We then reopened a lot of the songs 1-2 years later, got Tony Buchen and GabStrum on the additional production and flung it overseas to my dream mixer Geoff Swan in the UK to put the final lacquer on it.
How is this EP different sonically and lyrically from your debut album and EP?
I think just every single bit from kick sounds to vocal glitches etc has been considered. We took our time. Went through with a fine tooth comb... And is a lot more in tune with what goes on in my head... The elements are a bit more organic too. Lyrically, I feel like I was a bit more abstract on this. I tried to not overthink it, so much…
You collaborated with Londoner Lucy Taylor on 2 tracks from this EP, can you explain what she is like to work with and also why we sometimes call her “Haylz”?
Lucy is the best (so is Dave)! They are equal best. Haylz has this "Australia bogan ulta ego, that works at hogs breath, who loves the pokie machines and prosecco". Working with Lucy was super chill, everything kind of just happened organically, and her concepts/lyrics are so effortlessly beaut!
You worked with photographer Will Edgar on the new PR images, where did you see his work before, and why did you choose him for your new PR shots..?
Will is one of my oldest besties from the Gong, I love his eye with film shots and subtle queerness. We met via my first ever girlfriend and his first ever boyfriend, which is CUTE. It was just perchance we took these shots. He usually just buys some film for fun and we see what happens. The black and white snaps we took during a lockdown in Melbourne on a rooftop which was fun... I did Jetty with Giulia who i love and Cost Of Love with Sam Brumby, so all ol’ pals really!
What's planned for the remainder of 2022 going into 2023?
Recording a world-dominating album.
Bec: On this new EP, you helped me open up about heartbreak and loss, what is your process in this kind of collaborative environment?
Dave: In any songwriting situation you need to give the artist enough space to express themselves freely and expunge their feelings and experiences. Sometimes that means just talking and listening to music for a few hours. It is very easy for producers to jump straight into the music, and “the sound” of things without thinking to deeply about why they are doing it. I am sometimes guilty of this. Working with you and Lucy Taylor (co-writer of Cost of Love and The Jetty) really stopped me racing toward the finish line so much.
Where are you right now and who are you listening to at the moment?
I am writing this from a backeri in Hamburg. Eating a berliner after playing the Reeperbahn festival (with you!) so most of the music I have heard over the last few days has been very German and very great. The Dusseldorf Dusterboys and International Music are two new faves. I’ve also been listening to DAF.
Besides that, the old stuff I love is Todd Rundgren, Prefab Sprout, Devo, The Blue Nile. New stuff is ROSALIA, Black Midi, Kesmar, Chloe Dadd, Higher Places, Bec Sandridge..
Favourite memory from our time making the EP?
Too many to name! I enjoyed our first session with Lucy when she introduced us to the English delicacy known as “fish finger sandwiches”. That time you had JUST returned from Japan and we literally took your travel stories and bundled them up into a nice little song called “ The Jetty”. All the sonic experimentation..we really took our time and searched long and hard for the sounds on this EP - We re-amped just about every part through any piece of gear we could get our hands on! The zoom mixing sessions with Tony Buchen were surprisingly fun too. We found ways to work hard when the world was in lockdown and the results are very satisfying.
What's planned for the remainder of 2022 going into 2023?
Well now that no one cares about COVID the music business has gone into overdrive. I am producing some really awesome music with artists that I love. A collab with Daniel Johns, new singles from Melbourne based Seb Szabo and Sydney sider Lucy Lucy, an album with Londoner PAWWS, touring with Vera Blue and Ben Lee.. and hopefully some time for my own project NOT A BOYS NAME (check it out!). It’s not all roses though. There are still a mind boggling amount of cancellations going on in the live music scene.
What are some of your favourite things to do outside of music?
I am a bonafide film buff. I really love going to the cinema, especially The Ritz in Sydney. They show everything you could ever want; brand new blockbusters, 35mm prints of older films, international cinema, documentaries.. I love it all. I also enjoy the Skyline Drive-In out at Blacktown. There’s something undeniably cool about watching a film in your car. What else do I do with my time?? I trawl Facebook marketplace for equipment I don’t need, I eat Ramen, take long walks on the beach, drink way too much coffee.
Bec Sandridge's new EP Lost Dog is out now.
LOST DOG EP LAUNCH
Vic on the Park, Marrickville
With special guest Twine