Watch Heat Wave Tackle Australian Banality In ‘Dead End Town’
The Melbourne duo are the summer-goth-party band Australia’s been waiting for.
Gritty and poised, Heat Wave could best be understood as a byproduct of restlessness. Coming together in one of Brisbane's hottest summers, Kalindy Williams and Kurt Eckardt soon moved to Melbourne where the concept behind the band was simple: a single drum machine, synth and bass guitar, fledged alongside call-end-response vocals that tip into a hot, heavy boiling point.
Focusing their energies into a mix of synth pop, punk and doo-wop, the duo found themselves writing about horror movies, strange houses, and Kalindy's day-to-day experiences on staying safe in the streets. Celebrated as the summer-goth-party band the Australian punk scene has been waiting for, "Dead End Town" is the first single off their debut record Dead Beats, due for release digitally and on cassette in February 2017.
Known for chronicling the Australian music scene, Kurt's photography work arrives at the forefront of the visuals for "Dead End Town"; his film imagery capturing the lesions of Melbourne's streets, filtered through trash and empty scenes. A visceral experience, the video moves quickly, working its way between each beat to deliver a quick-lived burst of Heat Wave's causality.
Written and recorded over three months in their Melbourne home studio then mastered by Mikey Young; "Dead End Town" solidifies the duo's unapologetic intensity for dance—each sonic punch vibrating into a sharp and necessary call to action to get moving.
Noisey: How did the clip come together and what were your sources of inspiration?
Kalindy: It was mostly Kurt's photography, over the last year or so he has been taking street photos of trash and hard rubbish and every pile of rubbish is similar—we just thought that really captured the ideas in the song.
Kurt: Yeah and we wanted something that could match that constant hit of the snare, so we've cut a couple of hundred still photos into the two and a half minutes—one for each beat.
There's an ambiguity shared in the imagery. How were the elements of street photography and documenting an inspiration for the clip?
Kurt: I always have a camera on me. I guess everyone does now with camera phones and stuff, but I've become really obsessed with 35mm photography. There's some strange stuff around the streets if you keep your eyes open, but for the most part every town becomes the same. Everywhere starts to feel like a dead end town if you stay there long enough.
There's often romanticisation when it comes to the concept of a dead end town, but the track definitely cuts out the bullshit.
Kurt: Yeah our songs are pretty upfront with what they're about—it's the first band that I've been in where the words come first, then the music is made around them. Kalindy has written most of the lyrics and they're either about stuff we have to deal with day-to-day, like how unsafe our streets are for women, or feeling the need to get out of this country before it implodes, or silly stuff like Freddy Krueger and haunted houses.
Have you both always been drawn to making contrasts between the banality of Australian suburbia and the energies of punk?
Kalindy: It's not such a contrast for me because I think they're both connected. I literally grew up in a dead end town and luckily found punk and riot grrl music as a teenager, I feel like lots of Australians had the same experience as me and had punk music as a way to escape the dullness of suburbia.
Kurt: There's totally a parallel for me. So much awesome music comes from that frustration felt by people stifled by their environment—be it boring suburbia, or a political reaction to what's going on around us. They go hand in hand.
Was there a defining moment where you thought: fuck it, let's make music together?
Kalindy: We had been intending on making music together for a while but it all came about when we were living in Brisbane during what was for us the hottest summer ever—that's when Heat Wave was born. Although summer in Brisbane is too hot to actually do anything, so we didn't start making music until we moved to Melbourne.
Kurt: We also just really wanted to make something that was fun; the intention is to have a band that can play at parties or on any kind of bill, we want it to be fun for us and everyone else.
How has handling the recording process allowed you to vibe out your individual ideas around synth pop and punk?
Kalindy: Having control over our sound meant that we could change our songs from concept through to the finished product—lots started out as really different ideas to how they ended up.
Kurt: And it was great to have an idea and just be able to record it straight away and move on to the next one, but be able to go back and fiddle around if we needed to. I have a secret dream to be an engineer and producer, so I really enjoy the process of nutting things out in the studio and seeing what works and what doesn't.
Heat Wave came together to create the "summer-goth-party band Australia's been waiting for". What can new listeners expect when they see you live?
Kalindy: We play fast so you have to be there from the beginning to catch us.
Kurt: Yeah, we love short sets with very little chitchat—we typically play all our short fast songs live. That snare features heavily in lots of our songs so if you like it, come to one of our shows over summer before our album comes out in February.
Catch Heat Wave at these shows:
Nov 18 - Melbourne at Bar Open
Dec 10 - Melbourne at Aeso Gallery
Dec 16 - Melbourne at Old Bar
Dec 20 - Melbourne at Old Bar