Brisbane funk honeys Kurilpa Reach have dropped their very first single Intermittent Healing not a week ago, a lax cut walking a fine line between their usual psych/reggae leanings and a more subdued, soulful tone. Whatever you wanna label it as, it’s a damn hit.
Between hot hot jams at band practice, the lads of Kurilpa Reach sat down to answer some burning questions we had about Intermittent Healing, their last show of 2017 and the new music they’re about to jump into the studio with.
Sculpting a scintillating amalgam of reggae, rock and soul, Kurilpa Reach are the Brisbane 5-piece you’re about to hear a lot more about.
HAPPY: Hey guys, how’s things? What are you up to at the moment?
KURILPA REACH: Hey mate! Pablo (bass), Will (guitar/vocals) and Vicente (drums/vocals) here, currently taking a break at band practice, it’s really hot and we practice in a tiny shed so it’s like playing in a sauna.
HAPPY: Intermittent Healing is out there. How’s the world taking it?
KURILPA REACH: The feedback’s been awesome! We are currently sitting at number four on the Unearthed charts which is crazy, we were hoping for top 30 so that was a big surprise for us. We were sitting on it for a while, and we actually had it recorded before we released our demos but we got really nitpicky with how we wanted it to sound which held us up. Feedback from our friends has been really supportive, Luke (sax/vocals) reckons one of his mates was brought to tears by his voice but we don’t really believe him cause he’s always lying haha.
HAPPY: What’s the song about? I’m getting the vibe that someone’s been through some rough times.
KURILPA REACH: It’s a pretty personal song, Luke’s not here today but from our own understanding it’s about the breakdown of a relationship which we can all relate to. The song addresses the muddiness, uncertainty and conflicting thoughts when you’re not sure what’s best for you, you tend to have those doubts, like “was that a mistake? Did I make the right decision?” Intermittent Healing isn’t really about the first break up but more about the second, third and fourth one, and learning that sometimes you just gotta step out instead of plunging back in.
HAPPY: It can be pretty tough getting something so personal out there. Was there some nervousness in that regard?
KURILPA REACH: Not really haha, we’re all pretty sensitive boys so we didn’t really think about how people would receive the intimate subject matter. The only hesitation we had was how different it sounded to our other material.
HAPPY: I was going to ask about that, can you talk about why you chose this one to be the debut?
KURILPA REACH: Around the time we were writing it, Vicente bought a 12 channel mixer and we set up a dodgy as studio in his shed. Having that, it was the first time we were able to demo our own music as opposed to just jamming a song out. It allowed us to experiment with different ideas so we just went with it and ended up with something that was a lot softer and smoother. We really loved how it was sounding, and taking influences from pop and soft rock made it a more accessible song, so it felt right to release it as a single.
HAPPY: Gear question now: what are you running your lead guitar through to get these tones? It really stands out.
KURILPA REACH: We’re always telling Will to turn his bloody guitar down, but he was in his zone for this one so were screaming “turn it up!” In terms of gear it was played on Will’s American Strat through a Fender Champion 100 amp (we love Fender). To tell you the truth we just used the amp’s distortion, nothing special. We just let [producer] Cody do his thing, he added a bit of tremolo and it ended up sounding great. A Mooer Reecho delay pedal was used in the first half of the song, which adds an ambient element to it.
HAPPY: You worked with Aisle 6 Studios on the single. What was that experience like?
KURILPA REACH: Cody from Aisle 6 is a mad dog! It was our first time in a proper studio and he really helped us feel comfortable. It was nice to have someone else put their own touch on our music and foster creativity in the studio. We went in with a good idea of how we wanted it to sound, and came out with something completely different. A lot of the sax and backing vocals were actually developed in the studio.
HAPPY: First time in a proper studio? Where did you lay down the demos?
KURILPA REACH: No, our demos were recorded in a Uni studio, but we invested more energy and money into this one so it felt like a step up.
HAPPY: The single launch is your last show of the year. Any special surprises in store?
KURILPA REACH: Pablo just bought a spanking new bass so expect a phat tone. We have some new material we’ve never played live before so we are very excited to play that. Apart from that we don’t want to reveal too much.
HAPPY: Lastly, it may be a little early to ask but… when can we expect more new music?
KURILPA REACH: We’re actually hitting the studio a couple days before the gig, we loved working with Cody so we are returning to Aisle 6. This one will hopefully be the leading single off our debut EP, so you can expect to start hearing things early next year. We’ll be returning to a more dub, reggae sound and we’re super excited to mess around with a fan favourite!
Catch Kurilpa Reach live at their Intermittent Healing single launch, this Friday December 15th at The Flying Cock in Brisbane. Find all the details here.