Anthemic anti-pop has a new caretaker, in the form of Sydney quartet Sinclaire. The new project of Michael Cross (vocals), Lachlan McDonald (drums), Aiden Turner (guitar), and Jake Sheath (keyboard / synth) may seem far from the the metal and punk scene in which they initially made their start, however the result is an exceptionally polished and refined pop discography sure to shake the Australian music scene to its core. The Sydney quartet unveil their dreamy new single I Needed You. I Needed You is, conceptually, a mood ring – with lyrics that change their tone to suit different possibilities. Frontman and key lyricist Michael Cross tells Hi Fi Way more.
How has the build up to your new single I Needed You been?
It’s actually been really fun! We did this mysterious campaign where we wiped our socials and posted a photo saying “message us” with no context. Everyone who messaged us got a reply with what seemed like an arbitrary number. However, it was actually the amount of seconds until June 30. Which after a few more hints and Instagram stories became the date that we “leaked” our own single to every person that messaged us with a private soundcloud link. It was a really nice way to let our closest followers who want to engage with us a sneak peak at the single. We had hundreds of messages and so much unique & personal engagement with our fans which really felt needed after such a long break and we felt like just posting out of nowhere on our social media after almost a year of being quiet would have probably flopped hard..
Walk us through the making of the track.
God.. this one was a DOOZY. Since a few months back we have been writing loads of new music with our close friend and producer Nat Sherwood out of Love Hz. Studios in Leichhardt. We write one or two days a week there every single week and have really been pumping out tracks (Yes, more music is being release soon). Some bangers take one day. Some songs that get thrown in the bin (we like to call these “Binclaire” songs) take two or three days. I Needed You was more like two months… I think I wrote close to ten chorus melody alternatives and right at the end of one of the last sessions Nat muted the vocal besides the backing I Needed You line and the guitar just shone through so, so well. It is so catchy and danceable on it’s own it didn’t need a melody competing with it. It was a painful but relieving moment of realisation that sometimes less really is more.
Sonically, how would you describe your music?
Hm.. Our new stuff? It’s a bit dreamy with a darker undertone and has a bit of an “Anti-pop” vibe. Probably a term most people aren’t familiar with but essentially it’s a genre that takes elements of pop and mixes them with more emotional lyrics and unique soundscapes. We also like to ride the retro revival wave a bit. Dua Lipa and The Weeknd are big inspirations currently.
Who would you consider to be the biggest influence on your music and why?
Like I said above, Dua Lipa & The Weeknd are two of our biggest inspirations. They are pop with a big retro inspiration but somehow, they make it their own sound and absolutely nail it. Also for me personally, Lauv is a big inspiration too. His vocal tone, melodies and phrasing are all things I have been trying to learn from since he dropped his latest album ~how i’m feeling~ which is so iconic and catchy.
Best piece of advice you have been given?
We’re lucky enough to write out of the same studio as Birds of Tokyo and got to sit down and have a chat with Ian Berney a little while ago. He basically said to us “stop waiting around and sitting on songs. Release something and go, go, go”. It really stuck with me because I am definitely the type of person to mull over the finest details for weeks on end until I end up hating a song and binning it even though it likely was a banger. He told us that In this day and age being consistent and releasing good tracks frequently is probably the most important thing you can do so that is exactly what we’re aiming for. As I mentioned before, we have a bunch of tracks in the back and plan on releasing multiple singles before the year is out… I won’t promise any numbers but let’s just say we aren’t going to go quiet for a year like we did last time.
How did the band get together?
It was pretty simple to be honest. Three of us were actually already in the same band before Sinclaire. It was pop-punk and we all just outgrew the genre to a point where the band naturally died off and we began writing music in a different direction. This was when phase one of Sinclaire was born. We recorded our EP Now I’m Ready to Start, recruited my step-cousin Jake as our synth player and lost a guitar player shortly after releasing the EP. That was a big turning point as Jake stepped forward as a main songwriter and our material became a lot more synth focused. Fast forward to a year later we have progressed a shit load since the EP and think we’re officially in phase two of Sinclaire… But don’t worry, this isn’t even our final form.
What’s on your playlist at the moment?
Ahhh SO much music. YBN Cordae, Up Late, Cosmos Midnight, Joji, Cardi B, Dominic Fike, Lauv, Aminé, Twenty One Pilots, Hauskey, The Million, bbno$, Harry Styles…
There’s this playlist I was listening to through iso that was pretty sick. You can check it here (sorry apple music users.. Spotify is better tho):
Can you tell us a fun fact about each member of the band?
Michael – Singer (me) – I run social media and create content for one of Australia’s biggest and best gelato brands – Gelato Messina. It’s a super fun job and let’s me express my creativity in a world outside of music.
Aiden – Guitarist – Mans can straight up do the best grime/drill rap impersonation you’ll ever hear. If you ever come up to us at a show get him to recite “Man’s Not Hot” to you. You will be blown away I PROMISE.
Jake – Synth – Legit builds his own synths and guitar pedals?? I don’t know how he does it as it’s a bit over my head but he is working on this one currently which is in the housing of a Sega Mega Drive. Shit is insane
Lockie – Drums – Most played album of last year is the La La Land soundtrack… probably is this years most played too.
Interview By Rob Lyon