The Gossling Goss30 November 2013
Gossling isn’t a name that would be foreign to anyone with half a thought for the Australian independent music scene. With a trio of EPs to her name, plentiful festival appearances, and a debut record about to be released, Helen Croome has got it all going her way.
Farrago: Let’s talk about the record for a minute. How’d you find the recording process of Harvest of Gold?
Helen: This is my debut album, and I’ve kind of been a bit nervous about making an album for a while. I’ve done three EPs and it’s taken me a while to get around to doing an album. For this record the music’s kind of changed a bit. Just in the instrumentation, there’s a bit more electronic stuff going on. We’ve kind of had a bit of a mixture in the studio, with me a bit tentative about the progessions but also really excited about moving on from folk sounds to more electronic stuff.
F: I read that you exiled yourself to Tasmania to write the record. What kind of impact did that have on the sound?
H: I thought being away from everyone and going down there for three weeks by myself to get lonely and depressed would be a really good way to write music. But when I got there it wasn’t really that productive. And I got lonely and depressed and didn’t write anything. So I ended up just kind of wishing my time away, and I wasn’t hooked up to the internet, and I wasn’t around my friends and I realised that wasn’t the right environment for me. I actually wrote more of my material when I was back in Melbourne and surrounded by people and had the internet and felt more connected.
F: Have any of the cuts from the Tasmanian sessions made it onto the LP?
H: Yeah, one idea. So I came away from Tasmania with three little sketches and one of the sketches made it into the album. It’s called ‘A Lover’s Spat’ and it’s the final song on the record. It’s probably a song that could be from an earlier EP, so for me it’s kind of a bridging song from the EPs to the album. It’s a bit of a ballad, the story is me in a hotel room eavesdropping on a relationship in the room next door to me.
F: I took a listen to the lead single ‘Never Expire’ and as you were saying there was a distinct change in style. There were noise elements seamlessly blended in to that folk sound you’ve been renowned for. Are genres something you’re playing with on this LP?
H: Not sure. The direction we went in with this record was just… the songs were written in a particular period, and for some reasons they were the songs that came to me at that time. So I kind of let the songs decide the instrumentation and the arrangements. The songs I was writing, to me sort of went to a more electronic sound, and I’ve always sort of had a fascination with that element so I wanted to bring that in. And John Castles was really good for that.
F: I found out that you had started a degree in sociology and psychology and then swapped over into a composition degree. Do you see yourself getting back into that field or is music the foreseeable future for you?
H: I couldn’t go back to that degree. I left it because psychology in high school is really interesting, but when you go to university you have to do a whole bunch of statistics and it’s just not fun. I didn’t love it. I wouldn’t go back to it, but I do still find psychology very fascinating. I just found this—oh, I don’t know what you’d call it—his name’s completely gone from my bank, but all of his magic is completely down to psychology, it’s really cool.
F: You’ve got an east coast tour coming up. Harvest of Gold will have dropped by then, so what kind of show can we be expecting?
H: It’ll be all the new material with a bit of a different lineup, because of the new sound, we need a new keyboard and we’ll be playing all that new kind of stuff. This is one of the hardest questions to answer, but I dunno! Songs?
F: And you’re finishing up this year’s performances at the Falls Festival, my favourite place in the whole world.
H: Yeah! I’ve only played Lorne before, but this time I get to play Marion Bay, Byron Bay and Southbound! Falls is a pretty cool festival, I’m looking forward to it.
F: What records have you been playing at the moment?
H: I recently got The Trouble With Templeton record, enjoying listening to their stuff. I found a guy last night called Hosier, he’s an Irish guy, he’s pretty cool. And there’s a Melbourne band called The Kiwis that I’ve been listening to a bit as well!