Setting Sail: ‘How I Missed Home’ by Max Aurora & The Southern Lights

Sail away with Max Aurora & The Southern Lights as they pay homage to a remarkable solo sailing journey in ‘How I Missed Home.’

In August 2010, the New Zealand-born Dutch seafarer Laura Dekker set out on what would become a famous two year, 43 452 km voyage upon her yacht, Guppy. Travelling from the bottom of Spain to her final destination in the Caribbean, Dekker was 14 when she started her trip – the youngest person to ever sail solo around the world. 

Thirteen years after Dekker first began her epic and controversial journey, Melbourne-based indie rock quartet Max Aurora & The Southern Lights decided to pen a song inspired by her, which has now been released as the single ‘How I Missed Home’. 

Max Aurora & The Southern Lights

The song was inspired by Maidentrip, an 82-minute documentary about Dekker’s voyage, largely shot by Dekker herself. As Aurora explains in reference to the track, “the swelling riffs mimic the waves as the song tells the story of Laura’s longing to divert from her planned path and return to New Zealand.”

“On advice from my mentor in the Women [and non-binary people] in Music Mentor Program, I emailed an unmixed version of the song to the Laura Dekker World Sailing Foundation asking for permission to use some of the footage from her trip [in our music video]”, explains Aurora, who identifies as a non-binary artist. “In a lovely surprise, Laura replied ‘yes’ and said that she was honoured that I wrote a song about her”. 

The crux of the song’s topic is Aurora’s creative tendency to write songs from other people’s perspectives. This leads to heart-gripping songs that often involve characters who overcome adversity while travelling.

With hints of Split Enz era in Melbourne, where the Finn Brothers crafted their finest work, Max Aurora & The Southern Lights deliver a classic indie rock gem. Opening with an elegant guitar sequence, that leads to a captivating blend of melodic perfecti, and infused with hints of Placebo’s dark allure, the song creates a mesmerizing sonic journey that intertwines nostalgia and indie rock brilliance.

Max Aurora & The Southern Lights effortlessly weave together influences to create a captivating musical experience that resonates with authenticity and allure.

To fulfil the depth of the song’s meaning, ‘How I Missed Home’ has a rich and tender sound, after being recorded and produced by Jon Grace, a collaborator with Bakers Eddy and Dear Seattle.

The aforementioned music video for ‘How I Missed Home’ gave Aurora the chance to get nautical themselves, in a boat cabin set that was constructed at Melbourne’s Bakehouse Studios. The resulting video is dreamlike and quaint, with a few visual references to the work of auteur Wes Anderson.

The single will be launched at Fitzroy’s Bar Open on July 15