Sydney-based husband and wife duo Goldfynch have released their new single Brighter Day and it draws you into their world of pop/ folk/ soul. Gavin and Niyati Libotte formed the band organically creating their blend of alt pop/adult contemporary music with an international flair. Recording their debut album at Soundplanet Studios, produced by Emmy Award winner Sean Carey, and mastered by Grammy Award winner Helik Hadar release date is set for early June.
Niyati Libotte talks to Hi Fi Way about the new single and album on the way.
Your new single is Brighter Day can you tell us a bit about that song?
Brighter Day is an art pop collaboration that Gavin and I wrote whilst we were in Bright Victoria on our babymoon! We were actually chilling and having a relaxing time when we got a phone call from Gavin’s mum saying essentially that his dad who was ill with cancer and on his death bed. We were told to be on hold and jump on a plane at a moment’s notice. So, we were in this holding pattern because we didn’t know what to do and we couldn’t relax or go anywhere until we got the call. We were sitting there in this funk and I was trying to find a way to lighten the mood or bring an element of hope to the situation. So, I went outside to the garden, blindly searching when I found a four-leaf clover and I said to Gavin “it’s a sign, we’ll make it through and things will be ok.” We sat down and started nutting things out on the guitar and this song just formed ‘A Brighter Day’. It’s a testament to having hope, faith and sticking together supporting each other through the tough times.
Do you write the lyrics and Gavin writes the music or do you write it all together?
I write the lyrics and we write the music together. I remember we were sitting on the couch in that BnB in Bright and Gavin started working on this riff when I came up with some words for it and it then just evolved. We’ve been performing together for a number of years mostly for bread and butter gigs, weddings or corporate gigs and we had a big repertoire of covers that we did but hadn’t done any originals at that point. A lot of what we do in a working musician’s life is centred around Jazz, Foreign music like Latin events and singing in different languages so we thought we’d write something in those genres but what came out was something a lot more personal and modern. It became its own thing and we mostly work in that capacity where I will write the lyrics and Gavin and I write the music together. Sometimes I’ll bring him a fully formed song in my head or sometimes he say “I have this lovely riff do you think you can put some words to it?”
What kind of sound will the new album have that’s coming out soon?
Interestingly a lot of the songs have come out that are reflective of what we listen to and the things we like. It’s very eclectic. the album that will be released in June is an interesting palate of things we are into like elements of Jazz, Folk, Classical and Art/Alternative Pop where essentially the album sits in that genre.
What’s is like working with your husband? Is it fun or challenging? Do you have a chemistry working together?
Great question! (laughs) it’s the funniest thing. You have no idea until you do these things how it’s going to roll and because we were in a ‘feeling’ moment when we started this it was never something that was conceived in the forefront of our minds. We were just being creative together and trying to work through some heavy stuff in a way we felt we had a little bit of control and it proved cathartic for us. So having said all that it happened organically and really easily. It’s been the most amazing thing that I can’t quite understand it myself. It’s quite miraculous how well we work together (laughs). It’s very strange, you don’t know when you hang out with a person or even the person who is around you a lot how compatible your tastes are or how you hear things or what speaks to you until do things like this and it’s been really bizarre. We are very much in the same space. We appreciate, we see and respond to things in the same way. Thats extended into visual aspects as well because we also make videos. The music video we made for Brighter Day we self-produced, shot and edited it ourselves. So, there’s a lot of opportunity to be at odds (laughs) but actually it really doesn’t come up! We gel and see what it is we are after and work towards it.
Goldfynch is primarily a duo of yourself and husband Gavin. Who did you work with for the upcoming new album?
Basically, we perform in a number of alignments in a live perspective. When we went into the studio and started laying things down, we pulled in a bunch of our friends and colleagues to put the studio album together with us. There are a number of amazing instrumentalists that were playing on the album. We’ve people like ARIA award winning bassist Jonathan Zwartz and James Hauptmann who has been playing drums and percussion in the Sydney scene forever. Then we have some amazing young contributors who are the next wave of artists who are going to be big in the jazz scene like Violinist Ben Adler, Thomas Avgenicos and his brother. Also, a lovely young man, a South Indian gentleman Venkhatesh Sritharan who plays the Bansoori which is a traditional Indian bamboo flute because there were a couple of songs on the album where I wanted to pay homage with that instrument. It’s my favourite as far as Indian sounds go and some of our songs fuse different instruments. I actually play harmonium on one of the tracks which is in French. It’s an interesting amalgamation of amazing musicians and sounds.
When will the album be released?
The release date is 11th June and its self-titled Goldfynch. We’ll do a couple more single releases before the album comes out.
How did you come up with the name Goldfynch?
Gavin and I really laboured over this one. In the beginning he called it my nickname which is Contessa and we planned to call it that and as time passed on the album sat half-finished on a shelf and by the time we got back to it we realised Contessa was going to be used by a well-known singer in LA to release an entire project by that name. So, Gavin and I really scratched our heads and went through a bunch of ideas but the reason Goldfynch resonated with us firstly it is kind of an anagram of both our names and secondly, it’s a bird and we loved the symbolism of the bird. In fact, a lot of the songs I write and the imagery I have is nature based and around the idea of freedom. Freedom from concepts, freedom from being stuck in a particular mode of living and the idea of a bird really resonated. The goldfinch has a rich history; it’s a songbird and it’s often been caged because it has a beautiful song. The do exist mainly in India and Europe which is essentially our homeland. Finally, it’s a traditional symbol of hope so for us it had a lot of meaning.
Do you have any plans to play some live shows?
Absolutely! We are just organising our album launch concert which will happen in late June. We will be doing a couple of shows around the album release. We’re based in Sydney and since travel has be fraught so at this point, we are starting with our home town at The Manly Fig on the 30th July, The Shack Narrabeen on 4th September and the Northern Beaches Festival in the first week of November.
Interview by Anastasia Lambis