Naarm-based bedroom Pop Artist The Gaze is hot off the release of their debut album Green Mansion, an ode to Australia, mother nature, and self-exploration.
Since first releasing tunes in 2018, The Gaze has been enticing audiences at clubs and festivals all across Australia, New York, and Japan. Known for their collaborative process with other queer artists, The Gaze has worked on some hella catchy tracks with the likes of international acts Big Dipper, Robyn Banks, and Satsuki, as well as local legends Yokelust, NIK NAVY, and boigod.
2022 has seen The Gaze come back with the heart-filled indie-pop-banging debut Green Mansion. Never has the dance floor worn its heart on its sleeve so intimately.
Getting a little more introspective, The Gaze walks us through the creative and meditative journey behind the moody, memorable, and utterly danceable Green Mansion.
The opener for the album kicks us off with a bang. Curtis Hatton, who mixed the record, provided the guitars which was a starting point for a pop/punk track capturing my teen angst. I wanted to play with different genres in this album, so this track is kind of an experiment for me, but it felt right. I have many pleasant memories of playing with the neighbours on the nature strip outside my family house as a child and I wanted to celebrate this experience, and my spatial upbringing. The lyrics also refer to the meditative aspect of being alone in nature, a strong theme of the album.
Eucalyptus was the first song I finished when working on the album. It embodies the idea of a weekend away in the bush as a way to recharge your mental batteries, but also nods to the ‘tree-change’ exodus post-COVID.
I made this cute little music video on a weekend away with some friends (Actor/producer Maria Angelico and drag queen Lemon Chiffon) which captures the camp retro vibe of the song and was a great outlet for our creative frustrations from over the lockdown.
My mate Yokelust also did a sick dancey remix of this one too:
7 Beach Road
This one is special! Named after the address of my Nana’s beach house which withstood the Ash Wednesday fires, I wanted to capture the feeling of staying down there in a song. The chorus is full of positive affirmations which are like the warmth of the sun and the freshness of the air, reflecting the restorative nature of a weekend down the coast. The house was sold in 2021 so the track is a lasting memory of all the fun and memorable moments spent there over the years.
SATSUKI and I met years ago when she stayed at my place as an AirBnB guest. We hit it off and stayed in touch ever since. It was great to collaborate after all these years on a fun jam like this.
Monstera is the first love song I’ve ever written. My partner and I spent so much time inside together during the lockdowns that we normally wouldn’t but there were positives to this and I wanted to celebrate these. While ‘Eucalyptus’ was about being wild and free, this one is about being contained and content. We also often spend time up on the Murray River in my partner’s hometown and this track refers to these experiences also as a space to retreat and be with family.
Deepdene is the suburb in Melbourne which my dad grew up in. While I have no personal connection to this place, I wanted to explore how intergenerational trauma as well as one’s surroundings can influence a person. This is accompanied with lyrics about my own childhood and the pressures of masculinity on a young boy, growing up exploring my queer identity. It’s a heavy one but I’m really proud of it. I wanted the instrumentation to be reminiscent of an Aussie rock ballad from the 90s/00s.
A Grey Rock
The ‘grey rock method’ is a way of responding to an aggressive person by giving them little emotion in return. That was the starting point for the writing process here, but it expanded into a piece about relationships that fizzle out, particularly if they are uneven in the effort being put in. This is the start of the second half of the album, where the mood begins to transition from day to night.
Frog Shrine is a nostalgic exploration of my time in Japan. I spent 12 months living in a rural area on my own which was perfect for self-reflection, but also rather isolating. The way Shinto shrines celebrate nature was really inspiring to me, and this track explores this as well as some of the relationships I formed in this time.
Sitting in a beer garden with a jug of beer, some good friends and a bowl of chips is pretty much my idea of heaven. I wanted to capture this feeling in a song whilst also reminding myself to spend time with the people who matter most. Relationships can be like plants you have to water and I liked this analogy being the basis for a cute rap track.
Playing lots of video games over lockdown inspired this one initially, but then it evolved into an empowerment anthem. I liked thinking about how Pokemon evolution is similar to different stages of my identity, continuously evolving. Also I’ve always chosen the grass-type starters. Venn X produced the beats and co-wrote this one.
Friend and collaborator NIK NAVY produced this one, his slick synth skills are the perfect moody backdrop to a banger about climate change dread. We began working on it remotely in 2020 and then revisited it in the studio in 2022. I wanted to explore the idea that my life is just a tiny speck of dust in a much larger universe, both a comforting and terrifying place to go. It’s a dark and powerful way to end the album.
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