This article originally appeared on Noisey Australia. Workhorse come from good musical stock. The Adelaide band, led by primary songwriter Harriet Fraser-Barbour, who plays in Wireheads and Fair Maiden, also included members from Old Mate, Rule of Thirds, and Hydromedusa. Their debut cassette, released later this week on Brisbane label Tenth Court, contains seven songs of pretty and honest pop that flit between despondency and hope. Taken a listen and read a brief chat we had with Harriet.
Noisey: You just played an artisan wine, food and music festival. What was the nicest wine you had?
Harriet Fraser-Barbour: I had a lot of really nice wine but who knows what they were. It was a sunny day so I was aiming for those that are neither red nor white, and not a rose, more of an orange you know? Amber even. I obviously have no idea what I'm talking about. I'm not a big drinker, or at least I didn't used to be, but I'm certainly consuming more regularly these days, maybe I'm becoming an 'adult'.
A workhorse is usually steady and dependable rather than exhibit flair or show. Is this your approach to music?
Sure, that sounds nice doesn't it? Dieter plays some pretty flashy guitar solos sometimes, but for the most part we are very content just plodding along.
How different is to be the band's primary songwriter?
It's heaps different! I'm still figuring out how it works. I feel very responsible for the other band members, making sure it's enjoyable for them etc, because I'm endlessly appreciative and grateful for their time and input. As well as this, it's easy to forget how much work actually goes into having a band when your just another member tagging along for the ride. So many messages to organise band practises, booking shows, twist everyone's arm to pose for the one photograph we have together, let alone a video clip that is coming soon.
What is your favourite track from the tape?
My favourites are the slower numbers. I wrote "Defeat" after a New Years trip up the coast. Everyone took lots of drugs and frantically ran down to the sand before midnight to see the fireworks. Nobody brought torches but we had this weird star projector laser thing and it was very disorienting. We all had bleeding feet from the sharp rocks. After the customary moonlit swim, I found this little white fluffy dog that was covered in thistles and thorns.
It collapsed in my arms as though it had been out there for days. As my friend and I carried it home, an apocalyptic like storm hit. She was holding this swinging lantern, illuminating the path David Lynch style flashing light, and in her other hand she held my own, as I clutched the warm scraggly dog to my chest. We both fell asleep cuddling the dog and when we woke up it was gone. Mysterious visitor. TBC.
Some of the album was recoded by Patrick Lockwood at Holy Rollers Hall. Where is that?
It's a big old church in the Adelaide suburb of Prospect. It's mostly used as artist studio space, but it also has a big old hall available for hire, Wireheads have played a show there before, and I recently hosted a New Year's Eve party to celebrate Patti Smith's 70th birthday! It's a very beautiful space, so things feel a bit special there. Big stained glass windows and a baptism bath on the stage. Pat has his music studio out the back, Fair Maiden recently recorded their newest album in there with him and the natural reverb makes you feel less terrified.
'No Sun' is available April 13 on Tenth Court.
Image: Mel Waters