Local youth-music mentors, musicians and new mothers Scarlett Affection are about to launch their much-anticipated new album Forever is a Long Long Time, produced by Dave Symes (Sarah Blasko, Missy Higgins).
Mandy Nolan caught up with the girls in the lead-up to the launch, which sees one of their first shows in the area in some time.
How has becoming mothers changed the way you both work? We have far less time! No long afternoons of jamming and singing our heads off! We have become much more efficient.
How are you overcoming the challenges? We do a lot of phone conferencing, emailing, and thank god for voice memos to quickly capture song ideas while holding the baby!
Do you still feel as driven to perform and create music or has that moved to the backburner? Yes, even more so, which does seem curious. We both have song ideas pouring out of us; locking down time to flesh them out and expand on them is our current challenge. Obviously, things like excessive touring won’t be happening – can you imagine, we’d have to travel with nannies, a trailer, a whole entourage! Someone like Clare Bowditch is quite inspiring (did we mention we are supporting her at her Bangalow show in October?). She has twin boys, for godsake, and tours with family support. All this is possible of course but we are quite content to play locally for the moment.
Tell me a little about your new album. Why did you choose Dave Symes to produce? We are really proud of it. It sounds like us. We recorded the core band live so there’s a really lovely honest feel to the songs. Glenn from Vitamin introduced us to Dave Symes, who is a fabulous musician, arranger and producer. He was the musical director for artists such as Missy Higgins and Sarah Blasko and he has a great ear for harmonies. He was a delight to work with and we think the product sounds beautiful!
Melia, you were a finalist in the Telstra Songwriters competition. How has that recognition helped Scarlett Affection or your songwriting? I was a finalist in the Telstra Road to Discovery as one of the top-four songwriters in the country – which meant a serious songwriting bootcamp, a trip to Sydney and a guitar! Four of our songs have reached the finals in the USA Show Me the Music competition, which is really thrilling… first prize is a trip to the States but we haven’t heard the result yet… fingers crossed! There is a bit of ‘country’ vibe on this record, lots of dusty roads and big paddocks. We’d love to get back to America; we’d particularly love to visit Nashville… we’ll keep you posted! But all these acknowledgements and achievements serve as a great affirmation from our musical peers and the industry at large that we are making music that affects people, which is what we are setting out to do!
What do you think are your songwriting strengths? I think we can write big ballads with emotive heart. I love songs that affect me and make me feel something, lyrics and stories with meaning and a melody that can break your heart or make you feel uplifted. As a songwriting team, we are really enjoying the collaborative approach
Tell us what to expect for the local launch. The Forever is a long long time album launch will be a celebration of the creation and completion of Scarlett Affection’s new album. There will be some stunning musicians on stage, tinkling on the centre’s grand piano, great original songs, costume changes, their very first film clip, and there’ll be lots of harmonies and stories!
And a brand-new album for sale in the foyer… a fun and fabulous night of sisters in song! Byron Community Centre on Saturday. Tickets from the venue www.byroncentre.com.au. More info from www.scarlettaffection.com.