If you haven’t already immersed yourself in the sprawling electro-pop sounds of Sundown, the debut EP from West Wind, stop what you’re doing and go listen to it now. The EP is a four-track collection of brilliantly produced indie-electro gems and we’ve had it spinning ever since we first laid ears on it.
So fresh off the EP’s release, we caught up with the band to chat all about it, musical influences, and what the future holds.
With an amazing new EP hot off the press, we caught up with Ulladulla-based groove masters West Wind to chat all about it.
HAPPY: Hey, how’s it going? What are you up to at the moment?
WEST WIND: I’m great. Just sitting at home relaxing. Nothing special, but after this summer’s bushfires it’s good to breathe some fresh air.
HAPPY: We’ve been loving the new EP! How does it feel having it out there in the world?
WW: A little relieving actually. Earlier in the year, I had my laptop stolen on a bus in Bolivia and I lost a lot of progress. Sucked at the time, but in hindsight, the EP took a much better direction and shape on rebuilding it.
HAPPY: I know it’s a tough question, but do you have a favourite track off the EP?
WW: I would have to pick the single River. Although, since we have started playing live shows with the new material we have extended the outro of Perfume so we can jam and it’s super fun to play.
HAPPY: How did you approach the writing and recording of this new release differently to past material? If at all…
WW: In the last two years the whole process has evolved a lot. In early 2018 I was only producing as a hobby and decided I wanted to get some of my stuff out there. I wrote some lyrics and asked our vocalist Mitch Fa’oa if he was keen to sing over some tracks. He’s been a friend for a long time and was keen so we literally recorded and finished 10 tracks over two weekends in my bedroom, which we released as Visions of Her.
We got a good reception from mostly friends and decided we wanted to pursue it. Since then we brought on Mark Beasley (Bass) and Zack Lucas (Keys). Mark is a wizard on almost any instrument and Zack produces as well, so when I was struggling with the EP the boys collaborated and it was pretty organic. After the last two gigs we are all really excited about the future.
HAPPY: You only started putting out music pretty recently, but it feels like you’ve got a very strong direction of your sound. Was this something it took a while to develop? Or did you land on it quite quickly?
WW: I guess it’s taken years dabbling with different genres to find a reoccurring sound, but honestly I make some stuff that is super out there that never see’s the light of day, so I’m lucky my favourite tracks blend together.
HAPPY: I’m really curious how you guys pull this off live. What’s your setup look like?
WW: The set up is pretty tailored to each track. Me and Mark both play guitar and bass, and sometimes two guitars. Zack plays the keys and Mitch is on vocals. We made a point of doing as much live as we can, but the drums are backtracked and I’d be lying if I said we were playing a couple of the sneaky sax samples.
HAPPY: Were there any particular artists you were all really loving while writing and recording Sundown?
WW: Definitely. Parcels, Elder Island, Winston Surfshirt, Tora, Franc Moody. A lot of music is made on computers now and sounds amazing, but to watch and listen to a band jamming something super crisp is hard to beat.
HAPPY: What’s next for West Wind? Any other exciting plans in the works?
WW: We have some new music in the works, and potentially a music video. At the moment we really just want to nail our gigs in Wollongong to try and throw our hats in the ring for Yours & Owls Festival in October. Why not aim high, right?
HAPPY: Cheers for the chat!
Sundown is available now. Listen above.