An effervescent ode to new beginnings and positive motivators, driving Sydney duo Abroad return with a fresh and frothy new single, Coffee. An ongoing favourite for the indie-electronic team-up between Jack Dawson and Will Cruger, Coffee marks the first new music for Abroad since the pair’s 2021 EP Sydney charmed airwaves and further established a grounded sonic amalgamation of the likes of Foals, Hayden James, Flight Facilities and beyond. Self-produced and mixed by Abroad’s very own Will, with mastering courtesy of Dale Becker (Rüfüs Du Sol, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez).
Coffee simultaneously adheres to and breaks free of its caffeinated moniker, bubbling with hypnotic synths alongside dark and moody drum and bass, flitting between emphatic choruses and sparse instrumentation. Gifting a track that would equally fill a dancefloor or blissfully soundtrack a cosy afternoon chill, Coffee also sets creamy vocals over proceedings, detailing an analogy for motivation that sparks excitement in your day. Will answers a few more questions about new single Coffee.
How has the build-up been leading up to the release of the single Coffee?
It’s been great! Coffee is the first single from what will be our debut album, so it’s been a lot of work on our end to make sure it feels like a cohesive journey.
Was the process of making your single as challenging as you thought?
I wouldn’t say it was challenging, but it certainly wasn’t what we had planned. This time around, we were looking externally for production and mixing so that we could focus on the writing, but of course, Covid had other plans. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it allowed us to write, record, produce and repeat until we landed on exactly what we wanted.
Sonically, how would you describe your music?
To me, our sound is layers of synths that set the atmosphere, beats and bass that provide a groove, and floating on top are our voices that bring everything together.
Who would you consider to be the biggest influence on your music and why?
I don’t think I could land on one band or artist above any other. The juxtaposition of mine and Jack’s musical taste has had a huge impact on Abroad’s sound. The guitar sounds from bands like Foals and Bloc Party, the groove and production of Calvin Harris and Flight Facilities, even the polyrhythms of Karnivool, (which I wouldn’t expect anyone to associate with our music) all influence me.
Best piece of advice you have been given?
Keep it simple stupid. Great advice, hurts my feelings every time. Seriously though, I think it was my good friend and producer Nathan Sheehy that told me to strip everything back and give every track the “campfire test”. If your track works with just the vocal and an acoustic guitar, it works.
What is the Abroad life story?
Jack and I have been friends for a long time. We cut our musical teeth when we were at uni in Wollongong, but we weren’t in a band together. By chance, we both ended up moving to London around the same time, and we were both looking for a new music project, so it was a no-brainer. Even naming the band came easily – we were just two guys living abroad.
Are you looking to tour more broadly?
For us, touring and playing live is the best part of being a musician. There are a few shows planned over the next month, but we’re hoping to hit the road closer to summer and hopefully jump on a festival or two!
What’s next for Abroad?
We have a couple of singles on the way, ahead of our debut album in July. This has been a big journey for us and Jack and I are so excited to share it with everyone!
Interview By Rob Lyon