It’s been a few months now since we first laid ears on the alt-rock balladry of Sydney-based multi-instrumentalist Adrian Deutsch. For that entire time, we haven’t stopped listening. His music is heartfelt and dynamic—simultaneously grounded and cinematic.
So, we caught up with Deutsch to chat all about his latest album Do You Remember?, the evolution of his sound, and what the future holds.
A few months removed from the release of his fourth solo album, we caught up with Sydney artist Adrian Deutsch for a chat.
HAPPY: Hey Adrian, how’s it going? What are you up to at the moment?
ADRIAN: Right now? Recovering from laryngitis. So now I’m planning an instrumental album. Halfway between Bowie in Berlin and acoustic Bert Jansch 70’s folk. It’ll make sense, promise.
HAPPY: We’re loving Do You Remember! How does it feel having the album out there in the world?
Satisfying! Making music is fun but so is sharing it. So I used to be in this Sydney band, Red Riders. I assumed making music was more a “just for me” thing since then but this time I thought “actually fuck it, there are some great emotional sing-alongs on this album – I wanna tell people about ’em!” So here we are. My dream is that a handful of you, or a few handfuls of you, get these songs stuck in your head while you’re doing the dishes or driving to the park y’know?
HAPPY: This is your fourth solo album, and we feel like there has been a significant evolution in your sound. How important is it to you to keep growing with your sound? Is this something you’re conscious of?
ADRIAN: Definitely. It’s actually just as much to do with personal development as it is about being an artist. Making music is just public therapy with chords and melodies. I go into phases of inspiration too. Music that lives with me and soundtracks life. I’ve been like that ever since I was a kid. I hear something I like and has meaning and think “I wanna make something that makes other people feel like that.” Also, I remembered how much fun guitars are!
HAPPY: Did you approach the writing/recording of this new album differently at all from past releases?
ADRIAN: Last few things I’ve done I pretty much did it all myself. From the writing to the recording even mixing them myself. Real nerd stuff (but fun). This time I wanted to step into a room, preferably a vibey room in a studio in Highland Park in LA with heaps of vintage gear, great musicians, a dear dear friend behind the desk and experiences and growing up in my soul. It felt great.
Funny story actually. I was driving back from basketball one Sunday morning thinking “I gotta say hey to Tony (Buchen) and suggest we work on an album together again. But ahh, it’s probably too hard logistically… ahh, it’s probably too expensive, ahh… etc etc.” Literally, 5 minutes later my phone lights up with a message from Tony saying “hey, let’s make something together again. Come to LA, I know some great players and a great studio.” It was literally telepathy! Booked my tickets a week later and we made it happen.
HAPPY: Run has really grown on us a standout track. Could you tell us a bit about this song?
ADRIAN: Yeah I had the idea a few years ago already. The first demo was more electro with the double-time hi-hats kind of like new order of phoenix. But it felt a bit forced. Then I just started playing everything on acoustic guitar (even the bass on the record is acoustic bass with chorus on it for a cure type vibe). Felt more sincere like that.
It’s about trying real hard not to give in to fear and just be in the moment with someone. Mindful, sincere, a bit dumb and preferably dancing around the room!
HAPPY: Did you have any favourites from the album?
Lonely Night is a fave. A dear friend thanked me for writing the song. It’s healthy to admit to yourself, sometimes in the depths of a Tuesday night that you feel a bit crap and then write a slinky sincere song about it. Also, need to shout out to the hit the mark backing vocals sung by Appleonia on Don’t Cry and Do You Remember. They’re sweet moments!
HAPPY: Are there any particular artists you’re loving at the moment?
ADRIAN: Oh gee. Yes always! I’ve been on a real Bert Jansch vibe the last year. English folk person. Influenced Johnny Marr for example. I listen to what I would basically call Old Indie haha digging the new Cass McCombs. This 80’s “sophisti-pop” band called The Blue Nile. Keren Ann’s new album all in French. Bit of a Ricki Lee Jones thing too.
HAPPY: What’s next for Adrian Deutsch? Any other exciting plans in the works?
ADRIAN: I’ve started playing folky gigs. Just voice and guitar. Want to do that more. Bought myself a beautiful 1970 Martin D35 acoustic dreadnought so gotta get that out. Just keep making music really and put out albums on the reg. It’s part of life. Eat, breathe, make music!
Do You Remember? is available now. Listen to the album above.