Gentle, philosophical and lush, Melbourne-based indie folk group The Redwoods have unveiled their new single I Wrote A Letter. The track acts as a loving obituary of sorts for a band no longer together; a collage of memories and happier times. The Redwoods have also released a stunning video to accompany I Wrote A Letter, directed by Tomas Busby (Millar Jukes) and starring Jessie Oshodi.
I Wrote A Letter has a reverie to it that is deeply compelling – temperate, rambling percussion assuredly drives the story forward as soft acoustic guitar strums along underneath lead vocalist Joshua Moore’s idiosyncratic voice. Recorded at Sing Sing Studio and at producer Callum Edwards’ home studio Sloth Studios, I Wrote A Letter evokes influences such as Fleet Foxes, Mumford and Sons and even iconic troubadour James Taylor and the video for I Wrote A Letter is as compelling and powerful as the track itself. Footage of The Redwoods performing the track amongst an actual forest of redwood trees is interspersed with footage of a young woman scrambling for answers amongst a steadily growing influx of letters, appearing as if from nowhere. Lead vocalist Joshua Moore reveals more about the single.
How has the build-up been leading up to the release of your single I Wrote a Letter?
The build up for the release was very challenging and insightful for me. Going through personal challenges as well as the state of Victoria and the world obviously got in the way of things going ahead as soon or as smoothly as I would have liked, but it was very reassuring to witness that as long as I followed my creative direction and intuition, the results and joy of the music followed along with it. That is something I will take with me into every release.
Was the process of making your single as challenging as you thought?
It’s a little hard to say as I just sort of leaped into everything without too much thought. The studio time, the rehearsals, the video shoot. I was winging it the whole way and just hoping that the work and experience I had done and gathered in the past would help me assemble the right people and make the right decisions. So I didn’t really consider whether it would be challenging or not because I just knew I had to get this song out into the world. It would have been more challenging to suppress that vision.
Sonically, how would you describe your music?
Indie rock/folk? Pretty vanilla description but I think most people can understand what that means to a point. Someone years ago told me that it was important to be able to describe your music to someone in the same amount of time that you might share a ride in an elevator with them. So I try to keep it simple.
Who would you consider to be the biggest influence on your music and why?
As a guitarist, it might be odd, but I would say a mix of Jimmy Page and Albert Hammond Jr. As a singer, listening to Tom Petty and Neil Young gave me the confidence to be myself, while James Taylor really helped me be more aware of tone and diction. And as a songwriter, definitely the Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen. Thunder Road is one of my all-time favourite songs.
Best piece of advice you have been given?
Someone once told me to play every note as though I was spending a dollar on it. I think that is bloody awesome advice and I wish I remembered it more often.
How did the band get together?
I actually played some session work in another band called Blooming before I started putting together the Redwoods and felt a really good synergy between the guys in that band, so when it came time to go into the studio, I hit them up and it was as simple as that. Not very romantic, but if it works, it works.
Are you looking to tour more broadly?
Right now, I would love to be able to tour beyond 5km of my house. So I would say yes, but presently, the bar really isn’t particularly high!
What’s next for The Redwoods?
I have some exciting ideas for the next video clip, and then the next and the next. It’s a slog to get projects underway when the country is in and out of lockdown, but I am definitely enjoying putting all my ducks in a line.
Interview By Rob Lyon