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PREMIERE: andie's debut album 'ghost' is gut-wrenching, cheeky and disarming

Updated: May 27



Blue Mountains-based kitted-out-bus-dwelling pocket-rocket andie releases her highly anticipated debut album ghost  tomorrow; a gut-wrenching, brutally honest breakup story laced with disarming humour and charmingly conversational phrasing. ghost is infused with smoky vocals, soul and blues influences, and tied together with catchy jazz-pop melodies.


Tracklisted in the order the songs were written, ghost takes us through the story of falling in love with your best friend and having your trust broken unexpectedly, losing a friend and a lover in one go. It’s an epic arc of spite, acceptance, sad-girl heartbreak and eventual self-actualization, recorded over eight days in Yianni Adams’ home studio in December of 2023 and January of 2024.


We got to chat with andie and get some insight into the process behind this body of work, her approach to songwriting, and the role of brutal honesty and humour in her art.


Thanks for chatting with us andie! You’ve been involved in the music industry in a pretty broad range of ways over the last decade, from building a huge YouTube following, to gigging internationally, to collaborating with artists like Dodie, to working with a record label, to being an independent artist while also helping platform other artists with your videography. What have been some highlights of your music career so far?


Aw man!  Honestly have had the most amazing time playing/working in so many different parts of the music industry, there’s just so much fun to be had.

You mention playing with dodie!! Supporting dodie to a sold out audience at the Metro Theatre in early 2023 is absolutely a top highlight, it was so incredibly special to have 1400 people listening and singing along to my songs, it was such a surreal experience!

Performing at Vivid with Hermitude at the Sydney Opera House in 2022 and this year as well was also an amazing experience!  Wild to be on a big stage in front of so many people!

 

They are some of the big big moments on stage, but there’s also been so many highlights off stage, working with really amazing and lovely talented musicians, touring in America with my longest friend Isobel Knight, touring in Australia in my House Truck Tiny Home with my mate Joe, honestly just any opportunity to play music I love with people I love in places I love has been a highlight.


Your long-awaited debut album ‘Ghost’ is about to be released to the world. What inspired this body of work, and what was the writing process like?


‘ghost’ to me is a concept album, detailing my most gut-wrenching heartbreak yet.

In early 2020, I got together with my best mate of about 8 years, and it got really messy real quick.

All of the songs on ‘ghost’ were written throughout the journey of our relationship falling apart as my main way of processing my thoughts and feelings and I track-listed the album in this order, that it was written in, in an attempt to ‘document’ my heartbreak as honestly and directly as possible.

It’s become really apparent to me over the past few years that authenticity and honesty is one of my favourite tools to use in my song writing, no matter if the lines rhyme or fit in the verse.

 

The writing process for this album was as painful as it was therapeutic; every time a lyric or particular feeling would come up in my chest, I would grab my nylon string guitar and press record on my phone, so that I could capture the raw emotion bubbling up and boiling over.  This left me with probably hundreds of voice memos between 1min and 25mins long, featuring a lot of voice cracks and cry singing to sift through and pull songs out of, most of which had minimal editing to get them into their final composition form that you hear on the album.

 

You’ve spoken about how improvisation has played an important role in your musical journey for the past few years - did you go into the studio with a solid idea of how you wanted each song to turn out, or was improvisation a part of how this album came together?


I went into Yianni’s studio at his mums house in Marrickville with 10 songs, 6 of which I had been performing regularly at gigs and had the composition/arrangement totally locked down for.  The other 4, track 1 ‘boxes’, track 4 ‘finally’, track 6 ‘don’t fuck the dog’ and track 10 ‘in and out of all the grooves’, I had barely played since I wrote them, but I had listening to the original voice memos religiously for about 3 years.  Track 10 didn’t make it on the album, mostly because there was too much writing and arranging to do; as a song it wasn’t ready.  

I translated ‘boxes’, ‘finally’ and ‘don’t fuck the dog’ to written chords and lyrics in the studio, directly from the original voice memos and then played them out loud for the first time since writing them as our first recording takes.

 

So the structure and arrangement of each track was set before going into the studio, but I really had basically no idea of what I wanted production wise.

I had sent Yianni and reference playlist of songs that I thought were of a similar vibe and we hand picked a few to pull inspiration from, but Yianni was really the creative force behind most of the production concepts, we improvised a lot with what kinds of sounds and layers we wanted for each section of each song.

 

Alex Coad came in and played drums on every track, we’d never met before but Alex and Yianni had worked together extensively before.

Track 4 ‘finally’ definitely featured the most improvisation on Alex’s behalf, that song is fully of odd bars and is really all about the feel and emotion of following the lyrics and as soon as it clicked for Alex, he was like ‘oh… I get it now’, then we nailed two full takes and moved on to the next track.


Your song writing has often been described as honest and raw. ’Ghost’ is no exception - some of these songs are pretty brutal and vulnerable, laced with cheeky humour too. Do you ever struggle with being publicly vulnerable in your music, and how does humour play a role in your writing process? 

 

In the past I’ve really felt as though my honesty could have been perceived as quite inappropriate, but I realise now that’s due to growing up in a small town where the rumour mill can really bite you on the arse, so I was always a little hesitant to say what I really meant.

But after being hurt so deeply by the actions + choices of who I thought was my closest friend for so long, I really just threw caution to the wind and thought ‘fuck it’.

Track 4 ‘finally’ really lays this out quite literally, ‘you get to keep your reputation in tact, and I look like a bitch because I’ve gone and talked all this smack’.

So I’ve definitely struggled with honesty and vulnerability in the past, but at the moment I couldn’t give two shits how that brutal honesty is received, I’m proud to share a story of heartbreak that I think is really universal, someone’s gotta say it how it is!

 

I think in that as well, humour is so crucial in processing heartbreak, especially when talking/singing about heartbreak in a public light.

Really in this world we are all total fools for love!  And I think acknowledging that it’s so human to be dumb in love and ignore all the red flags involves laughing at ourselves and not taking yourself too seriously.

 

The use of humour in my songs has also always been such a great way to invite an audience into my world and into the song itself, making sure people know that it’s ok and even encouraged to laugh with me in my songs.

Ridiculous things happen in life and in love, track 5 ‘eyes of a lover’ is the best example of that on the album – a depiction of a true unfortunate and hilarious series of events.

 

Do you have a favourite track on the album? Why?


I love all of them so much, that’s so difficult!

Track 4 ‘finally’ might be my favourite at the moment, it’s super long, it’s really jazzy, I love the progression/composition of this track, Alex Coad’s interpretation on the drums is so beautiful and emotional, Ella Haber plays trumpet on this one too, with all these call & response type phrases, I think it all fits together really well.


You cover a broad range of genres in your music, from pop melodies, to drawing on various eras of jazz, blues and soul. What artists have influenced you growing up, and what artists have influenced you most for this specific release?  


I was raised on Steely Dan, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder, Coldplay’s first two albums and of course The Beatles. The artists that I found in my teens that really influence my songwriting and love of production styles would be Lianne La Havas, Nick Hakim, Nai Palm of Hiatus Kaiyote, Pinegrove and Punch Brothers.

Lomelda was a huge influence for this album, alongside Keenan O’Meara, Lutalo, Danika and MJ Lenderman.

 

Do you feel that growing up in the Blue Mountains has played a part in your approach to writing and sharing your music?

 

Yeah definitely, music has always been a huge part of my life in the Blue Mountains community, everyone plays music regardless of how ‘good’ they might be at it, just because it’s so much fun to play!  So many beautiful DIY shows and gigs and bands at every party, late night jams as joints get passed around are some of my favourite memories, the Blue Mountains just has such a strong love for live music, sharing my music has always been encouraged and celebrated in that town and I’m so so grateful for it.


 

You've spent a pretty solid amount of time living the #vanlife - what's the most important thing you've learned from this experience?


The most important thing that I’ve learned from living in vans and buses and house trucks is just how little we need to be happy – in a world where overconsumption may very well be the death of us, too much plastic, wasted food, wasted water and so much waste in general, living in a tiny house truck has taught me that I don’t need many THINGS to be happy and healthy and fulfilled.

All my live-in vehicles have had off grid power systems installed, water tanks with manual water pumps so no water is wasted, and nowhere near as much storage space as a house, so I haven’t been able to collect anything that doesn’t hold important value to me.

 

I think it’s also made me quiet resilient, having to fix a leaky roof before going to sleep, or working my arse off to pay for an engine rebuild, both things that have taught me that I can achieve my dream of living rent free whereever I want if I just put my mind to it.

 

What’s next in your musical/creative journey? Do you have a plan?

 

I fly out to the UK for two years on the date my album comes out!

I’ll be announcing a super exciting project in the UK a few days after ‘ghost’ is released!

I’ve got a 2 year work visa and my boyfriend is coming with me, I’ve got some music in the vault ready to be released and I’m going to have a little break in the UK before embarking on the next project. 


Listen to ghost below




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