‘Looking Past the Pandemic’ with Elme from Melbourne, VIC

Keeping travel dreams alive and setting goals has never felt more important. We can all agree that 2020 has been an unfortunate year so far, and almost every facet of daily life has been wrought by this ongoing global pandemic, the start of which now feels like forever ago. The arts has been one of the hardest hit areas, so The AU Review has kickstarted a Q&A series “looking past the pandemic”, encouraging creatives from around the world to share their travel hopes, dreams, and the thoughts or things that are getting them through 2020, while also highlighting essential experiences in their own country.

Elme (Melbourne, VIC)

Having just released his new single “Somewhere” and trailing the path to new EP Departures, alt-pop wunderkind Elme is certainly positioned as a force for Australian music in 2020. The single, bubbling with a slight UK-tinge the production, is a strong entry for the young songwriter, both deeply reflective and hopeful in its tone, which easily pits the forthcoming EP as one of the most exciting releases in Australian music right now.

We caught up with Elme to look past the pandemic.

When travel opens up completely, the first place in Australia I’m going is…

King Island! My brother has a house out there. I love how the lifestyle in “KI” is so connected to nature and forces you appreciate the simple things in life. When I go to King Island, I will certainly be eating my weight in cheese, snorkelling and going on lots of beach walks.

Monkey Mia is well worth the visit.

Three spots in Australia I think everyone should visit at least once in their life…

1) Inverloch – It’s a nice quiet spot to write music and visit the sea caves nearby.
2) Chinatown (Melbourne) – It obviously has great food and some cute little bars nestled in the surrounding alley ways. I love that they’re almost hidden in plain sight.
3) Monkey Mia – It can be pretty touristy but the red dunes against the white sand and the dolphins are worth it.

Whenever I have a visitor in my city and I want to show them a good night out, the first place I take them is…

“The Spaceship Bar” or as it is formally known, Troika Bar on Little Lonsdale street. My friends and coined the name “spaceship bar” because the walls are covered in this silver insulation type material that definitely has an intergalactic feel and always makes for an interesting night. The music there is so awesome, and the owner often spins his curated dream pop vinyl collection in between pouring drinks and having a chat. I always leave this place in the best mood.

We’d end the night at…

A place with plenty of room to dance! There are so many fun places to dance in Melbourne but I think the best way to end a night out is dancing shamelessly to fun music, with good company and something pink and bitchy to drink in hand.

Most memorable thing I’ve eaten on the road…

When I was touring as a dancer in Europe, there was a leg of the trip where it felt like the only food I had eaten was chicken, brown rice and cauliflower. I can remember when I got to Hamburg in Germany, I ordered the HUGEST burger with an insane amount of fries. I felt like the “Hamburg-lar”!

The Academy in Dublin

The one international venue I’ve always wanted to play….

I have always wanted to play at The Academy in Dublin. When I was about 11, I went to Ireland with mum to visit family. We watched a fair bit of live music when we were there. The Dublin audience left such a lasting impression, interacted so beautifully with the musicians and were so involved in the show. It was a special thing to watch. Even since then I have always wanted to return to Dublin for some live shows.

The one international destination I’m yet to visit but have always dreamed of…

Iceland! I became so fascinated with Iceland when I was introduced to Bjork as a child. Ever since then I have always wanted to go and have such an affinity with the landscapes.

The three things or thoughts that are getting me through this pandemic….

1) The spinning LED light show gismo that my housemate got for our stay-at-home dance parties.
2) Blitva, which is a Croatian potato dish and is definitely one of my new favourite comfort foods.
3) Writing music. In a lot of ways this pandemic has given me time and space to reflect on what’s been a pretty big year and I am grateful for that. I have been also experimenting with new production techniques and started working with session musicians remotely which has been exciting and helped me feel connected to others creators.

(Aside from the tremendous support from my friends and family of course).

Chris Singh

Chris Singh is the Deputy Editor of the AU review and a freelance travel writer. You can reach him on Instagram by following @chrisdsingh.