How did Egoism go from playing covers of the Arthur theme to festival stages? We chat to the Sydney 4-piece

From an adolescent ukulele duo, Egoism have come a long way, sprouting into project of personal and musical maturity.

The four-piece dream pop/rock band have just released their debut EP, It’s Wearing Off, a musical milestone as well as a lasting statement on their newfound identity.

Photo by Noah van der Veer
Photo by Noah van der Veer

From covering theme songs to children’s shows to performing at a feminist music festival, Egoism have put in a lot of effort to become the musically mature and innovative band they are now.

Olive Rush and Scout Eastment started jamming in high school as part of a “short lived” ukulele ensemble which regularly, and almost exclusively, performed “awful covers of the Arthur theme song” – a memory they now hope to repress.

As an “absolute blessing,” bassist Pat McCarthy and drummer Lucy Howroyd joined in 2016. Now, Rush presumes they are in the “top five Sydney bands most likely to get stuck in semi-coherent conversations about the finer points of queer gender identity at 11:17pm on a Wednesday.”

Their debut EP It’s Wearing Off  is as transformative as their live sets. Each song is a different interplay of grunge and pop but together they create a sentimental medley.

Take the first single, Sneaker, which begins with a heavily distorted cry from a guitar but then ascends into the nostalgic pop Egoism have built a reputation for.

The dynamics of Riding perfectly captures their genre defying essence. Gentle lyrics by both Rush and Eastment are complimented by soft psychedelic guitar, all held together by a crisp bass line and drum beat. Gradually, the track fades out with an invigorating guitar solo.

From the outskirts of the inner west, Egoism have played nearly every nook and cranny from small pub gigs to festivals such as Sad Grrrls. As a prerequisite for every new band, they’ve copped some weird gigs here and there, notably a mansion birthday party out in Bowral.

“We once played this crazy house party in Bowral along with Hunch, Mac The Knife and Cosmic Flanders (I think). But that was probably the weirdest gig we’ve ever done. We don’t really count it as a proper show. I just don’t think of it as a real gig because I can hardly remember it. We were all a little fucked – and there were like six people in the room.”

Earlier this year they ventured out to Melbourne to support shoegaze musicians/good mates Flyying Colours. While the hardest part was the “pretty challenging” road trip on limited sleep, it was all worth it for the unique experience the city had to offer.

“Melbourne was sick. There’s a lot more of a scene for bands in our kind of style down there. We got to hang out a lot with our beautiful friends from Flyying Colours (who are like one of the best bands in Aus right now, seriously). Plus finally got to see Dream Rimmy live for the first time.”

Egoism launched It’s Wearing Off  earlier in March at 107 Projects Redfern. They surprised fans with a bunch of new content while thrashing out classic singles everyone had grown to love. Most of the EP had actually been recorded in December 2015, so they had a lot of time to produce new songs and develop their sonic direction.

“We’ve kind of gotten to this point now where we’re quite certain of how we want to sound and how to do that. The days when we thought of ourselves as a ‘high school band’ are long gone now so it’s time to do everything bigger and better,” Rush says.

While Rush confirms there are already nine almost finished, unreleased tracks, whether they will make up a new EP or full album hasn’t been decided yet. This year, there will be a lot of home recording and fine tuning, as well as regular live gigs around Sydney.

You can buy their debut EP It’s Wearing Off  on their bandcamp.