Singer-songwriter Austen just dropped her debut EP, Passenger Seat, and it’s an absolute dream! We were lucky enough to grab five minutes with the Brisbane artist, just before she heads out on tour with Love Fame Tragedy next week.
First of all, congrats on the EP release! How does it feel to have your debut out in the wild?
It feels awesome! It’s been a long time coming. It feels like I can finally put this project out there to show people who I am as an artist, and also put a full stop at the end of the chapter in my life that the EP was written about. It’s a really nice sense of closure.
What was the process like for you? Who did you work with, and how did you go about picking tracks to feature?
The process for tracks “Young & Numb” and “Passenger Seat” started from beats which producer Archy Stranger was working on, and the rest of the songs started just guitar and vocals. I worked with Archy on every track, and “Money” also has input from James Angus (producer) and co writing from Neal Sutherland and Matt Sorenson. All other tracks are me and Archy. For the intro and “Young & Numb” we did a string arrangement which I played on violin which was sick.
When it came to choosing the songs I really just wanted to choose the ones that felt most personal to me and where I was at at the time of writing.
Passenger Seat showcases a gorgeous, brooding electro-pop sound. Who or what inspires your music?
Thank you! This EP is inspired by a road trip, late night drives, outer space, 3am walking home from the club by yourself with your headphones in. I think my writing is inspired by trying to make sense of people and relationships, and musically I’m kind of just drawn to sounds that give me a sense of escaping.
Do you have any favourite tracks from the EP? Anything you particularly love to play live?
My favourite track is “Passenger Seat” for sure. It’s definitely a fave to play live too! I’ve played it a bit this year before the EP has been out and it’s my favourite to see people react to and get in their feelings over the course of those 3 mins. It’s the song that means the most to me, I’m not 100% sure why. Lately I’ve been closing my set with “Money” which is a vibe too.
You’re about to support Love Fame Tragedy on tour. What can audiences expect from an Austen set?
I can’t wait for this tour! I guess they can expect a lot of big emo energy. It’ll be the first time since the EP has been out that I’m playing it live so I am really really keen for these shows.
You’re a Brisbane local – what are a few of your favourite venues around the city? Any certain spots you’d love to play one day?
I’d love to play the Fortitude Music Hall that just opened! It’s pretty beautiful, I went there for the Bigsound afterparty and walked around upstairs feeling like I was a Bond villain. My fave is probably the Triffid, or Black Bear Lodge which I’ll be playing pretty soon.
And last question, what’s next after the Love Fame Tragedy tour?
My EP tour is coming super soon after that!
Austen’s debut EP Passenger Seat is out now! Read our recent review of it here!
You can catch her on tour with Wombats’ side project Love Fame Tragedy from next week:
8th October: Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
9th October: Howler, Brunswick
10th October: The Zoo, Brisbane
For more info and tickets click here!