Exceptional young songwriter, producer & multi-instrumentalist Alex L’Estrange has today announced his new single Nothing To Hide, a gritty mystery of a track lifted from his debut EP, Auchenflower, both set for release on December 16. Following several vibrant singles which have gained the attention from a bunch of large tastemaker blogs including DIY (UK) and Hilly Dilly (US), L’Estrange’s debut EP Auchenflower is a clear, confident collection of songs, named for the sleepy Brisbane suburb in which they were written.
L’Estrange has just finished traveling around the country supporting Holy Holy on their Darwinism national tour and will launch his EP with a hometown show at Black Bear Lodge’s Last Party Before Lockout on January 28. Alex did a quick Q&A with Hi Fi Way The Pop Chronicles to discuss his new single.
How busy a time is it leading up to single release for Nothing To Hide?
There’s a lot of admin type work that needs to be done that I always forget about.Writing the song is actually the easy part, getting it in the right format with the right artwork etc. can be deceivingly time consuming.
Is this the most exciting period for any artist?
It’s definitely a thrill to know that something you made is about to be given to the public. Once it’s out it’s no longer yours. But for me it’s very important to be always looking forward, the next creative endeavour is what excites me the most.
Is there a sense of relief that a single has been released and there is an EP launch coming you can really build from?
Definitely. And very much looking forward to the launch on the 28th of Jan at Black Bear Lodge in Fortitude Valley!
Interesting name for the EP? Do the lock out laws frustrate you?
Auchenflower is the suburb in Brisbane where I wrote most of the songs. And yes, I think the lockout laws are futile and incredibly condescending. I wrote a public letter to our premier about them for Work Shop. It’s on their blog.
How do you plan to maintain the momentum after the single release?
Just keep writing and doing what I do. I haven’t thought of any Earth-shattering gimmicks I could use yet.
Is that the tricky part?
I’m not sure, I’m only really new at this whole ‘releasing my own music’ thing.
Nothing To Hide is a great single – is there a story behind this single?
Thanks! Yeah, it was written on one of those strange days that felt more like a dream. I’d been working away at this tune, I knew it had something about it, a feeling, a texture that I’d never felt before, but I didn’t find out about what it really meant until later that night.
That evening a stranger visited me at the house I was living at in Auchenflower. I ended up going back to her mansion that she lived at alone. She divulged her life story. When I finally got back home, the song made sense. It was for her.
Did you get to make a film clip or plan to make one?
I did! With Corey Donaldson! I’m really proud of it. It takes the song to another place, it was amazing to see Corey’s visual interpretation. You can check it on YouTube.
Do you find the process of writing and recording, particularly the single, challenging as you thought?
I’ve been writing music since I was very young. I try not to write with that kind of purpose in mind. Writing and recording is always challenging, but I think anything worth anything is.
Does it feel a bit like trying to win the lottery in terms of coming up with a song that will get noticed?
I think the irony is that the more you think about the commercial aspects of a track the more contrived and inauthentic it becomes, giving it less of a chance to actually resonate with anyone.
Is there anything that you learned that you would do differently next time?
I’m constantly learning, and I’m always afraid of repeating myself. So next time I’d like to do everything differently if possible.
How would you describe the EP to someone who hasn’t heard of your band before?
Shoegaze / Dream Pop / Alternative / ???? I don’t know that’s so damn hard. I feel like once kids started making music on computers the idea of genre became very vague.
What would you say are your main influences and why?
That’s a question worthy of an essay.
With the digital age do you think the concept of an album is lost?
Not the concept, but perhaps people aren’t listening to full-length albums as much with the advent of streaming. I still do though. It’s probably up to the individual.
Are you looking spread your wings and tour internationally at some point this year or next?
Yes! Hopefully next year I can do some touring in the UK.
What’s the plan for the later half of the year heading in to summer?
Treating my pasty skin to a beach tan.
Check out the video for Nothing To Hide
For more info on Alex L’Estrange follow him on Facebook
Interview by Rob Lyon