Premiere: Meet Elizabeth Fader, and the video for her debut single, Encore
As one part of Phantastic Ferniture, Elizabeth Fader knows her way around an indie-pop melody, and with her solo project, she's showing it best.
Elizabeth Fader is already a highly-regarded musician, even if you aren't too familiar with the name. She's a member of Sydney indie group Phantastic Ferniture alongside Julia Jacklin, someone who has blossomed into a musician in the upper echelon of Australian indie songwriting - somewhere Elizabeth Fader could very well soon tread with her solo project too - and over the last few years, has become a go-to collaborator in a music scene rich with intertwining collaboration and friendship; something Fader has really strived amongst.
Her new project, however, is completely solo and features Fader enter the spotlight on her own accord, armed only with her guitar and the mannerisms of impactful indie songwriting she's learnt and grown upon over the last few years. Her debut single, the today-premiering Encore, is not just an introduction to this solo project and the music within it, but an introduction to Elizabeth herself - the musician's knack for storytelling giving a deeper introduction to the musician than anyone else could bring as she - clichés aside - wears her heart on her sleeve through the personal, intimate project and its debut offering.
If Encore is indeed an introduction to Elizabeth Fader's music as we just mentioned, then this is a project to become excited about. It's a flurry of indie-electronica that places rich guitar melodies side-by-side with dancing synth, forming a joyful underlay for Elizabeth Fader's vocal to swirl and move amongst as she intertwines the worlds of indie, electronica and pop. It's joyful and uplifting, but you also get the sense that there's something darker looming underneath - a songwriting style characteristic of musicians like Stella Donnelly and even Robyn who, somehow, both find similarities with Fader's work.
"I cheer for encores like I want them, when really I just want the show to finish as the performer planned," she says on the track. "But sometimes you meet someone who you will stay for, who you will stay up all night for, who you will go out of your way for. But it’s like, no matter how much you want to intertwine your life with someone else's, there will always be a separation in the same way the stage separates a performer from their audience. If it’s not practicality stopping you from being together, it’s your own desire to be alone."
The single is out today, but we're here to premiere it alongside its official video clip, which really highlights that darker tone that underpins much of the track's light grooves. Directed by close friend and collaborator Cate Hartmann, the track's video almost feels like the unveiling of Elizabeth Fader as a solo musician, and everything that goes into the music and stories she writes. It features her in the spotlight - much like the project does the same on a larger level - and it really allows you to better get to know the details of the single and where they come from, even if they're indirectly explained.
"Because Encore is pretty upbeat, I wanted to grunge it up a bit with the music video," she says. "I decided to create really strict parameters to see how engaging I could be with one shot, black & white, in one space. I had to focus on the subtleties of my performance, and work out how to keep the viewers' attention with these subtleties as the video unfolds."
Dive into the clip below, and better introduce yourself to Elizabeth Fader while you're at it:
Tell us about yourself?
I’m Elizabeth Fader: Songwriter, guitarist, singer. I cut my teeth in the indie rock scene as one-quarter of Phantastic Ferniture - a garage-pop band. But I’ve always had a yearning to make something different. Something slick, stylised... more like... fashion meets music meets art.
What’s the vibe music-wise?
Genre-wise, it’s kind of like glam goth-pop or something? Themes? Usually, each song has an upbeat element and a bummer element. Encore is really upbeat to listen to but it has kind of melancholy lyrics. But it’s also about really beautiful deep love, but how it can never be fully satiated and if it is then that’s when you need space.
What are your production and writing processes like?
Production-wise, I recorded a bunch of songs with Ben Edwards in New Zealand at his studio in Lyttelton. That was a really cool experience. I was there for three weeks and just became so lost in the world of recording. It was kind of a mess, in a way… I was so excited and enthralled by the whole thing that I felt like hyper inspired the whole time. I’d just wake up and write and go to the studio and write and then record these old songs but then also record a song I was like literally writing on the spot in the studio. And Ben was amazing, he totally rode the wave with me and was just as excited as I was.
Then I came back to Australia and kind of settled back into my life here and started getting ready to put some music out. Since then I just kept writing and gigging all the time... until I decided I wanted to record some more music so I got in touch with Burke Reid who produced Encore and another track off the album. I’m doing some more recording in April and this time my drummer Nick Meredith and I are going to produce it together. Nick really gets it. His musical perception contains this weird element that my music really needs. I have a propensity towards cheesy lyrics and nice pop songs and he knows how to grunge it up.
In terms of writing, I have a pretty solid method going at the moment. Basically it involves me writing something and then taking it to one or two people to get their input. Or sometimes just improvising with someone in a room to see what happens. Then we just demo the crap out of it at various studios and rooms across Sydney until we are prepped to go into the studio. I’m super into co-writing, it’s like a breath of fresh air to me after I’ve been locked away in my bedroom by myself. Right now I’m into finding as many ways to cram hooks into songs as possible. I used to think hook = chorus, I was wrong. Hooks can be everywhere.
Can you tell us about your new single, Encore?
It started as a slow ballad type thing and then I took it to my friend Sean who suggested a Bruce Springsteen backing beat. It really breathed life into the song and was like this ‘ah ha’ moment. I sent it to Burke Reid at like 2 AM one night and it turned out he was into it, so we recorded it with him at The Grove around November last year. I made the video with my mate Cate Hartmann, she’s amazing. She’s basically my sole visual content producer - she’s taken pretty much all my press shots and made two videos for me. She also really gets it and we are super close friends so I feel like I can totally be myself around her and try any stupid idea. She puts up with a lot of emails from me.
What does 2020 have in store for you?
I sort of need to be doing a million things all the time or I get a bit bored. I spend a lot of time writing and recording and gigging in my band but also I like to play lead guitar in other bands from time to time. I’m also working towards a psychology uni degree and I work a day job too.
I'll be releasing more singles leading into an album, and doing some shows eventually. Mostly writing, that’s my favourite thing to do.
Where can we find more of your music?
Well, Encore is the first single. More will be out soon!
Follow Elizabeth Fader: FACEBOOK
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