Could you tour with your little sister? Joshua Dowdle talks Lastlings, and how they’ve made it work through a fiery first year

Lastlings are the brother/sister power combo that’s had possibly one of the fastest rises in Aussie music this year. Since their debut performance at Beyond the Valley 2015, they’ve shot straight to the stratosphere with a string of dreamy releases and spellbinding gigs.

With the anniversary gig at this year’s huge BTV on it’s way, we caught up with the pair’s multi-instrumentalist Josh Dowdle to chat the festival, how far the two have come, and what it’s like making tunes with his little sister Amy.

joshua dowdle

Few artists get the break that Lastlings has had. With their first year on the Aussie stage coming to an end, we take the chance to sit down with Joshua Dowdle.

HAPPY: How’s the EP coming along?

JOSH: It’s coming along… this EP has been taking us some time to finish and it’s super different to our first one. We only have a few songs left, but with Amy in school still and myself at work it’s hard to find time when we can both work on things together. We’re working a bit more collaboratively on this EP with our friends, so each song is a little different to the next which is kind of challenging to keep things consistent, but it makes it really fun and interesting for us.

HAPPY: You and Time seem to be heading in a more dance-friendly direction, a bit more kick. Is this where Lastlings is heading?

JOSH: Hmm, yes and no. The new songs definitely have a little bit more movement in the production. You was definitely a dancey track from the get-go and was intended to go in that direction. Time was a really fun track to make. It wasn’t really intended to be a dance track and doesn’t have that consistent four to the floor beat that You has, but the guitar, arp sounds (à la GXNXVS) and vocal melodies as well as other underlying sounds kind of carry the pace of the track.

We love making songs that people can dance to, but we also love making music that challenges us and uses different instruments, sounds and samples that are interesting to our ears. Hopefully they can be songs people can dance to at shows and also listen to in the car, at home, or anywhere they can take us along.

HAPPY: You haven’t been playing live for too long, how has the past year of touring influenced your production and songwriting?

JOSH: It’s been about eight months since our debut at Beyond the Valley and it’s been crazy. We’ve been thrown into heaps of situations and support slots that kind of forces us to continually keep working and getting better at producing our music. Writing while on tour has been really difficult because we’ve been so focused on the songs we’re playing and working on the current live set, but we work on music at any chance we get. Talking to other artists and hanging out with them on tours really inspires us too and picking up little tips from them is always invaluable.

HAPPY:What’s your secret to keeping it together as brother and sister? I know plenty of people that would go nuts touring with their siblings.

JOSH: We fight like any siblings. We always seem to end up laughing about it in the end though or randomly start laughing at something like a dumb meme or joke and forget about it. The age gap does get hard sometimes and we’re both pretty stubborn, but we both have a huge respect for each other and we love making music and we love what we do so that kind of trumps everything at the end of the day.

HAPPY: Your appearance on Golden Vessel’s EP was stellar. Are there any other collaborations in the works?

JOSH: Aw thank you! Yeah we do have a few that we’re desperately trying to get onto, but we’ve been prioritizing our own songs at the moment for the EP.

HAPPY: Beyond the Valley is coming up. How will you be adapting your show for such a huge crowd?

JOSH: We’re going to have a drummer! So that’ll be fun and he’s a legend too so we’re excited for that.

HAPPY: As the one year anniversary of your live show, do you have anything special planned?

JOSH: The show in itself will be really special for us, especially playing to a larger crowd on a bigger stage. We’ll have our drummer, our new songs to play and some nice visuals our friend is working on so yeah, super excited for everyone to catch us!

HAPPY: Who are you looking forward to catching at the festival?

JOSH: That’s a hard one, there’s so many! Chance the Rapper, Skream, JME, Big Words and we’re excited to see Vera Blue, Emma Louise and Kllo again, who we were lucky enough to support this year. If we keep going, we’d probably just list the whole lineup.

If you’re keen on Beyond the Valley, your time is running out. They’re fresh out of four-day and two-day admissions, but you can still get in there with a three-day pass, or the huge one-day New Years Eve ticket.

Don’t miss out; take a look at your options right here.

For more of what is happening in your city, check out our gig guide.