Lucy Cliche (Half High, solo, Naked on the Vague)
This year has been a bit of a haze actually… the measurement of time in my life is becoming looser…. years blend into each other and I have to think twice about what happened this year…not last year, or the year before… Generally the passing of time, the year closing to an end, actually fills me with anxiety… oh shit another year has gone and what the fuck have I even done…? Conversations at Christmas related events come to mind where I have to try to explain to people why I’m in my 30s and still playing ‘music’ (and no I can’t actually read music), am in a very long term relationship but no I’m not planning on getting married, not thinking about babies either… and as much as I DREAM of owning a small house with a small yard big enough for a dog, maybe down near Cook’s River, that definitely didn’t happen this year either. But these things did happen…
A few weeks at the beginning of the year was spent in Brisbane to do a NOTV collaboration with Blank Realm, as well as a Half High set at the Deadshits festival. On the way we drove up on the hottest summer’s day on record, avoiding bushfires that were popping up everywhere, then on the drive back down we got caught in major rain that caused flooding down the same coast. We had to stay overnight in a flooded Coffs Harbour. My 10 year old self who was obsessed with climate change was telling me ‘this is it, the end of the world is nigh’. Despite the somewhat tumultuous drive up north, the collaboration with Blank Realm went really well; Matthew got to live out his dream of playing electronics in a rock band, and Sarah Spencer and I got to double up on the glamorous longhair headbanging style of keyboard playing: it was definitely a highlight for the start of the year.
In terms of music I’ve been enjoying, I found myself turning to online digital mediums quite frequently, as our record player and amp was in and out of repair for MOST of the year. We recently just bought a new one and have been able to actually listen to vinyl again which has been nice. One album which has been playing a lot is Call Back The Giants’ The Marianne which was released on KYE. I love the strange, dreamy, other-worldliness of this music. Lakes’ Blood on the Grove has also been enjoyed on high rotation.
Actually come to think of it I think this year has been a year of enjoying music in a live context- I think I’ve seen almost every Four Door show, and they just keep blowing my mind- especially their set at Sound Summit- it was loud and intense. I like that Four Door play music to dance to, real stompers (ha), but it’s still got noisy and more harsh elements that provide a mental release. It’s not predictable either, every show feels different. I also enjoyed the sets of James Rushford and Joe Talia, Marco Fusinato, Flat Fix, Matthew Brown and Gareth Psaltis, as well as Heat Sick. Sound Summit was actually quite a highlight itself. Especially being able to curate and play at my own Intense Nest showcase alongside some inspiring friends Emma Ramsay, Sarah Spencer and Del Lumanta and Nina Buchanan.
Another event which was close to my heart was the recent Nihilistic Orbs showcase, which was presented as part of Melbourne Music Week. The death of the label owner, a national hero of underground music, the most kind, charismatic and talented Shaun South, earlier in the year, was extremely shocking and sad to say the very least. Shaun had built up Nihilistic Orbs over the last few years to become a real institution for the darker side of Australian music. He had an extremely strong curatorial vision which was executed with perfection, and the Nihilistic Orbs showcase, organised by his good friends and label assistants Andrea Blake and Ben Hepworth, exemplified this. Each and every band that performed was truly incredible, and a particularly touching moment was Primitive Calculators performing Chrome Dome covers. Life is so beautiful and intense sometimes.