Building upon a shared love for music, storytelling and exploring the human experience through art’s different mediums, Sydney indie group FVNERAL make their debut with GOD DAMN LEDS. The first single from the seven-piece collective lands with instant emotional impact and it’s no surprise when discovering the sonic body of work the members have already helped produce.
Having already spent years writing and producing with Australian favourites including Birds Of Tokyo, Middle Kids and Stand Atlantic, and collaborating on creative projects with international powerhouses such as Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, The Struts, Neck Deep and many, more FVNERAL’s debut offering is a strong and confident step forward into a spotlight all their own.
GOD DAMN LEDS is an expert blend of heart warming and melancholic indie-folk sounds, and speaks to threads of optimism and hope that can keep us going, even in the hardest of times. The song sets a stunning scene within which FVNERAL’s forthcoming music will continue to thrive. From the jump, listeners can be soothed by the vocal dynamics of vocalists Tim Blunt and Ally Turner. Their voices provide the beating heart of a song like God Damn LEDs, which at its core, is about finding safety and relief in the help of someone else. The band gives Hi Fi Way more insight to their new music.
How has the build up been to the new single God Damn LEDS?
Honestly the build up to releasing this first song probably really started around two years ago, when the first songs that would eventually become FVNERAL songs started getting penned. It was genuinely terrifying to put out the first song and first video after the entire project spent so long formulating and crystalising in our minds.
What is the background behind the single?
GOD DAMN LEDs is speaking directly to someone who makes you feel seen, heard and important enough to stay alive. The lyrics in the pre-chorus describe the moment you lower your guard and let this person take the emotional driver’s seat when you feel like it’s not safe for you to drive. It’s as desperate-making as it is cathartic to realise that someone else has taken the responsibility for your own wellbeing onto their shoulders. While it is an incredibly unfair and ultimately unsustainable expectation to put on someone, there’s still something beautiful about feeling safe enough to let it happen, even if only for a moment.
What has the fan response been like so far?
It was such a vulnerable feeling to put the song out there to exist in the world outside of our laptops. Now that it’s out there, it’s genuinely so lovely that the song is resonating with some people.
How would you compare it sonically to some of your other music?
LEDs is definitely more on the rock-y side of things. A lot of our stuff leans more into the folk realm, but the common thread that ties it all together is a build-up of tension and release into something expansive and atmospheric.
Is the band building towards an album or EP?
Well, all will be revealed in the months ahead but yeah, LEDs is the first piece of a much bigger body of work that we’ve been working on. It’s been a long process of bringing the whole thing to life and we’re really excited to start drip-feeding it to the rest of the world!
What was it like and how did the collaborations with The Struts, Neck Deck and Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes come about?
I (Jay) was lucky enough to link up with these wonderful artists throughout the UK, EU and here in Australia, helping create content to elevate their online presence. It was a chance to intimately document the lives and times of some of the world’s most exciting alternative acts, right as they began to skyrocket into the mainstream. From weeks together on tour-buses across Europe to Maida Vale sessions in the UK and the Enmore in Sydney, from stage dives in Amsterdam to dive bars in Melbourne, from hotels we paid for and hotels we snuck into, from soggy festival tents to old bank vaults in Switzerland, it was all part of chronicling their different stories.
Who would you say is the biggest shared musical influence/ inspiration for Fvneral?
A couple weeks back we decided to make a playlist with a few of each of our favourite songs that we feel inspired by, and it was wild to see what an array of music we all draw upon. I think sonically the biggest shared influences come from bands like Arcade Fire and Oh Wonder, and in a broader almost ideological sense, from a collective like BROCKHAMPTON.
Is there a story behind the band name?
FVNERAL was the working name of the project for a while, but we slowly realized that most of the songs make some reference to death, after a period where it seemed to be ever-present in a few of our lives. We really want to be flipping dark moments and ideas upside down, and started to feel like keeping it was a way to try and demystify all of that. Also, in complete truth the first thought of it did come from that first Arcade Fire album, which is obviously one of the most perfect debut albums ever.
Are you looking forward to being able to tour more broadly over the summer?
Well, while we would genuinely love to be touring right away, we know that there’s only going to be one single chance to play our first ever show and we want to be able to make it as perfect as we can. We’re going to be spending most of the next few months tucked away in a rehearsal room, figuring out how to translate our songs into a live setting, ready to burst out strong early next year.
What’s next for Fvneral?
Honestly, we’re just really excited at the prospect of all being in a room together again after being trapped away in our houses for so long. Alongside having new music to share early next year, we’re working through how to best bring our live set together, as well as writing and recording our next batch of songs!
Interview By Rob Lyon