Nana Klumpp takes us on a guided tour of each track on their latest sophomore EP Tea For One.
Earlier this month, fans were treated to Tea For One, the sophomore EP of Newcastle band Nana Klumpp.
A six-track collection of definitive rock and roll and alternative pop, the EP arrived drenched in rhythmic basslines and ethereal guitar strums, with a track list comprised of everything from feel-good anthems (title track) to screechy love songs (Selena).
While a skim-through of Tea For One goes some way in explaining the EP’s creation, it never hurts to hear about the artistry from the source itself. Below, we caught up with Nana Klumpp bandmates Jesse, Aaron, Ronan and Robert for a track-by-track guide through Tea For One.
From the “pressures and expectations” that birthed EP opener Playing The Game, to the “very rewarding feeling” that arose from Heaven, the band breaks down each entry on their latest studio effort exclusively for Happy Mag.
Go track-by-track with Nana Klumpp through Tea For One below, and head here to listen to the album on Spotify.
Playing The Game
We’ve been playing this one live for quite a few years now and we’ve pretty much closed every show with it in that time. This song was written back when we were still in high school, and the lyrics are a loose representation of that time in our lives.
The original concept, even after being toyed with a lot and developed over the years, was about school and the pressures and expectations to be a good attentive student when all we really wanted to be doing was going to gigs and playing music together.
It also applies everywhere in life, the societal pressure to go to school, go to uni, get a 9-5 or earn money is so high. Both verses allude to that a bit, school was a place where you spend so much time and energy and the majority of stresses come from assignments or classes.
Some (not all) schools struggle to encourage and accommodate the kids who don’t fall into that sedimentary orthodox way of learning. You can either listen to it with that mindset or just rock out to the wild noises going on and sing along to the belting choruses.
Tea For One
As the title track, Tea For One, we, in the band, feel it encapsulates the sound we’re aiming for. Not to say we’ve reached it, by any means, but, like any song, it is a snapshot of where we were as songwriters at that point in time.
We couldn’t be more stoked with how this one turned out on record. It definitely feels like a step in the right direction for us in terms of our recorded sound, as in the past we’ve found it a little difficult to get that “live” sound on our recordings, while trying to maintain the definition that the studio brings.
A fun fact about this one is that every single guitar track on this song was recorded in our producer Caleb De’athes apartment using a volume attenuator on the guitar amp and just cranking the gain to get that saturation on the guitars.
racking at home just gave us the creative freedom to layer parts without feeling the pressure of running out of time at the studio. Proper frothing on this one.
This one is Jesse’s personal song about an unrequited attraction. We’ve never done a head-over-heels falling in love song before. Jesse’s kind of crooning over the chorused guitars while the rest of us are just cruising along. A sunny upbeat song for a happy morning. Or anytime for that matter.
Are You Happy
There’s some songs where you know which direction you want to take it from the beginning of the writing process, and there’s some songs that take shape throughout the process. This is one of the latter.
The main riff was basically my attempt at playing like Keith Richards, with the little hammer ons on top of the chords in the verse.
Ronan came in with the chorus. The rest was just jammed out full band style. The verses were Jesse’s take on the ceremony of live music and the collective joy it brings to all involved.
Back On Track.
Back On Track describes the sense of feeling out of place as a young person in this world, and questioning if you’re the only one struggling or if it’s something everybody goes through.
Jesse brought this one with the verses and choruses completed, the rest of us just worked out our parts and away we went.
We recorded Heaven in one day, the same week as Are You Happy. Jesse had played the rest of us the demo, which was a GarageBand loop, but we’d never actually learnt it on our instruments. When we found ourselves with an extra day of studio time we decided to knock it out.
It was a very rewarding feeling to work out a song and record it in the same day. We didn’t really think twice about the parts we laid down on the day, but listening back I don’t think there’s much we could change. Again, it’s a snapshot of that day of recording, Caleb worked his magic to bring it all together, that was it.