A bedroom flooded with memories, an ink-stained diary by the pillow, Fritz has an incredible talent for replaying our memories back to us.
Bedroom pop is a genre raise on cult cinema and the nostalgia of teenagehood. The melodies are cloudy and gossamer yet stretch as far as the eye can see, romanticising youth under the soft focus of a budding adulthood. Newcastle’s own Fritz uses her music to sharpen this nostalgia into unity.
Cut from the cloth of home-bound boredom, heartache, and midnight singalongs, Tilly Murphy’s lo-fi noise pop sketches itself a home in relatability. A few weeks before the release of her sophomore album, Pastel, we were lucky enough to have her join us in the studio.
HAPPY: Did you drive down today from Newy?
FRITZ: No, I caught the train yesterday. My boyfriend lives in Sydney, so he dropped me here.
HAPPY: Easy, that’s so good! Are you staying down here for a while or are you going to head back up?
FRITZ: I’ll probably head home tomorrow.
HAPPY: Have a day to chill.
FRITZ: His house doesn’t have aircon, I’d rather have aircon than a boyfriend [laughs]!
HAPPY: I forgot about the heatwave [laughs]! How was the Live at Enmore session, by the way?
[Editor’s note: Fritz Live at Enmore session will premiere in the coming weeks]
FRITZ: Yeah it went well!
HAPPY: What song did you play?
FRITZ: Die Happily, it’s my latest single.
HAPPY: Can you tell us a bit about the song?
FRITZ: Overall, it’s just about adolescence, growing up and having good friends that you like spending time with. It really is such a simple song. I wrote it when I was 16 and I’ve always been very sentimental, so I just wrote a little tune about good memories. It’s a very happy song, probably my happiest song that I’ve written which is good. I should write more happy songs, honestly!
HAPPY: It’s a struggle though!
FRITZ: It actually is hard to write happy songs. I don’t know why. I think I like the sound of sad music so if I’m writing music that sounds a bit sad then it’s easier. I suppose it doesn’t have to sound sad but that’s just what I think when I’m writing.
HAPPY: Totally! Why the decision to release it now?
FRITZ: Yeah, good question because I don’t know why it’s taken me so long. I don’t think I ever wanted it to be a single only because I didn’t really see it that way. I was going to save it and put it on an album. I feel like it was a good album song, I didn’t think I would put it out as a single. I think it’s the oldest Fritz song because I wrote it when I was 16 and I’m 21 now and we’ve been playing it live as a band since I was 17, so it’s so old. I’m still not bored of it which is a good sign. It’s been a favourite of ours.
HAPPY: Yeah, it’s a really good sign! I read a quote that you don’t think the phrase “die happily” is used enough, could you tell us a little bit about that?
FRITZ: I suppose I think it’s kind of powerful and it’s kind of deep for a 16-year-old to be singing about. When you’re having a really euphoric moment with a good friend, and you’re a teenager and the whole vibe of a happy adolescence, it’s like you actually have that deepness where you think your life is complete and you can die happy. Although with teenagers, it’s up and down constantly, either extremely happy or extremely sad so this song is like extremely happy but also nostalgic.
HAPPY: The new album seems to be very rooted in nostalgia. Is this a particular influence for you?
FRITZ: Yes because, as I mentioned, I’m super sentimental and I always really hold onto memories, even really insignificant things. I could write a song about a certain day or something that was random but significant somehow. I think about my childhood a lot, it was a good and bad childhood, but I write about that a lot because I think about my past a lot. I’m constantly writing about the past which sounds like such a drag but that’s how it is. I’m always writing something that’s nostalgic because I’m always thinking about memories and I find that easiest to write about versus what I’m thinking about a lot of the time. A lot of my songs are about childhood and adolescence and that’s what the whole album’s about. I wrote as I was growing up because I started writing it when I was 16 and I’m 21 now so it’s literally like an album depicting my growth as a person, an artist and everything so it’s pretty cool that way.
HAPPY: It must be crazy looking back on all that and being like “oh my god, I’ve come so far!”
FRITZ: Yeah, it’s really cool! It’s nice!
HAPPY: You must be so excited for it to come out!
FRITZ: I’m so excited because it’s taken so long to pull together so it’s really exciting.
HAPPY: I read that you guys swap in between recording demos in your home and recording in the studio. Do you find that recording in your home is more of a convenient thing for you or do you find that you are more creative in that space?
FRITZ: I really just record my demos at home. My very first release was home recordings that I called an album but since then I’ve just been recording in the studio. I still record demos at home. It was good because even though I’m used to recording in a studio now I still am most comfortable by myself so I could really figure out what I want to do. If I’m by myself, I just use my computer so it’s just easier to do it that way from all my own ideas and then I can take it in the studio.
HAPPY: And it’s your childhood home?
FRITZ: No but it’s the home I’ve lived in and is basically my childhood home. Not my first childhood home but I’ve lived there since I was seven, so it is.
HAPPY: That sounds so beautiful and poetic writing about your childhood and teen years in your home?
FRITZ: Yeah it is like that.
HAPPY: You’ve got some really amazing influences in your music that you’ve mentioned like The Strokes, The Vaccines, The Pixies. What is it that draws you to these artists?
FRITZ: The Strokes is mainly just because of memories as they were the first band I discovered when I was 14. I love their music but it’s more so about the moment of discovering them that’s so important to me because from there then I discovered more and more music. The Vaccines is kind of the same. For me, that was the start of my indie-rock progression where I found more and more bands so they’re two huge staples for me but from there I came across dream-pop music and that’s what I’d say I’m more inspired by now but I owe it to bands like The Strokes and The Vaccines.
HAPPY: Like you’ve said, your sound has progressed so much throughout the years. Is that a conscious decision or was it just a bit of a natural progression?
FRITZ: Just a natural thing because I just constantly listen to different artists and I’m always changing my taste in music, so I just write what I like at the time so it’s very natural.
HAPPY: What are your plans for after the album drops? Are you back in writing?
FRITZ: I think I might just take some time to see what everyone thinks and just get a vibe check. I’m already writing music, so I don’t have a solid plan but I’m just going to see how the album goes.
HAPPY: Thanks so much for the chat, lovely to talk to you!
FRITZ: Yeah you too!
Pastel is available now on all platforms. Grab your copy here.
Photos by Charlie Hardy