Described as a mix between perfectionism and slapdashery, Younger Than Me, sees Annie McKinnon’s design background and unique and exploratory handling of sound, offset by Emma Davis’s melodic sensibilities and ability to finesse an idea down to its core.
If there is anything the self-produced pair have learnt from each other it’s that there’s no right way of making music. No one way for a song to be arranged or story to unfold. There is only what happens when the two are together, listening without judgement, giving every idea the space to be heard.
It is these golden moments of weirdness; the warbling trumpet solo that somehow embodies Annie’s infectious laugh, the joyful plucks of Emma’s ukulele, and disjointed strings over a hiphop beat that form new single Right Way– A conversation built over time, trading vocal loops and orchestral samples to feed into this anthem celebrating the difference between us all. Annie answers some questions about the single for Hi Fi Way.
How exciting was the build up to the release of the single Right Way?
Very exciting! We hadn’t released a track since last year so we were itching to get this one out. It’s probably the track that we’re most proud of so far, as it’s the point where our production style really felt like it started to take it’s own shape and we removed any expectations of what our sound “should be” and allowed it just to “be”. It’s an odd one. It takes the listener on quite a journey, so we were interested to see how it would be received.
Can you believe how much work goes in to a new single?
We’ve both had a bit of experience with this from our solo projects, so it definitely wasn’t a complete surprise, but yes it’s an awful lot of work. It’s important that on top of the creating, recording, self-producing, we don’t fall behind on the admin side of things which often feels like it takes the most time. The scheduling, press releases, emails, social media, videos, photos. We do all of it ourselves so it takes some solid planning and effort. We’re in it together which makes it easier!
What’s the story behind the single Right Way?
We recorded Right Way between our studios. Annie sent me a sample, and I added the uke and percussion and from there we had a loop that we kept building upon. We recorded some of the layers with our friend Brian Campeau who was definitely the genius behind the reversed string section and hiphop beat, and then we brought it all together in our blue mountains hideaway with some additional samples and percussion. Right Way is an ode to being different, and not being afraid to just go your own way (yes, we owe that one to Fleetwood Mac).
Sonically, how would you describe Younger Than Me?
A small party, where you sit around with friends listening to music and occasionally break out into a weird crazy dance to blow off some steam.
How did the band meet?
We were on the same lineup for a Finders Keepers Market here in Sydney back in 2011. We loved each other’s sets. We then later bumped into each other at the pub and started nerding out over mutual loves of synths, animation, and food.
What was the energy like in those initial jam sessions?
I think we just felt really comfortable with each other early on. It felt like a safe space for us to try new instruments, to make idiots out of ourselves without judgement and to just play for playing’s sake. At the beginning we never set out to start a band, we just wanted to learn from each other and be able to try things that we’d never felt comfortable doing in our solo projects.
Who are some of the biggest musical heroes for Younger Than Me?
Tuneyards, Flock of Dimes, Wye Oak, Sharon Van Etten, Sohn, Sylvan Esso, and most recently Fred Again…
How did you come up with the name Younger Than Me?
Well, for a long time it had been a bit of a running joke that there was such a big age gap between us and that Annie was listening to my music in high school. We didn’t really care, in fact, Annie is such an old soul that it really doesn’t feel like there is a gap, but I think that’s what we wanted to point fun at. We’d been throwing lots of names around and one night we were in the crowd dancing at a Courtney Barnett concert. I turned to her and said “You’re Younger Than Me!” “Younger Than Me!” and that was it, it stuck.
Is the band working towards an EP/album?
Yes, we have a couple more singles up our sleeve and we are steadily gathering and recording more so that we can be ready for that bigger release on the horizon.
Are there plans to tour around the country?
Yes, we’re currently working on our live set trying to work out how that might look, but we plan to start doing shows before the year is out!
What’s next for Younger Than Me?
More music! Keep your ears open and your eyes peeled for another single coming soon. And for everyone out there supporting us – thanks for listening, it means the world.
Interview By Rob Lyon