Brisbane's Phoebe Sinclair is ready to burst into the electro-pop mainstage with her dazzling new single 'Whiplash'. The combination of her impossibly smooth vocals and the gleaming club-ready beats serve up an uplifting slice of infectious electropop goodness. Its pop sensibilities only serve to enhance the densely layered CXLOE-esque production and soaring chorus.
Although Sinclair describes herself as an emotional wreck she has channelled this perfectly to produce top notch "sad-bangers". 'Whiplash' is the perfect track for the Uber ride before hitting up the nightlife (but you're secretly hoping to run into a certain someone while you're out). Its lyrics speak of dealing with a fuccboi relationship and the confusion that comes with it.
Supported by an all-women band and forming the song writing duo Middleman alongside Lara Frew, Sinclair has written with artists in the all over the world and cemented her consumate ability to connect to listeners through her lyricism and music. Her single ‘Unfair’ was picked up by Triple J last year almost immediately, prompting the release of 'OMG’ which was warmly received across the blogsphere leading to a remix by electronic mainstay Alice Ivy. We had the chance to chat to her about the release and her upcoming launch show.
You’ve written for other artists all over the world - what made you decide to stop and make your own music?
I love songwriting and honestly can’t get enough of it; for myself and for other artists! I was actually in Sydney on a songwriting trip when Australia started implementing COVID restrictions. Coming home, my songwriting partner, Lara Frew and I took the change of pace as an opportunity to write as much as we could. Usually when writing I have a good sense of whether a song is meant for me or not. Whiplash was a total curveball in that it wasn’t until I was faced with giving it away that I realised it was supposed to be one for my artist project. Lucky for me the other writers on the track agreed and here we are!
Is your process for writing your own music different to when you write for others?
Writing for myself usually means digging into past (or present) wounds, wallowing in a pit of emotional wreckage for a little bit and then emerging with a song that empowers the very same situation that had me wallowing. Writing with others I still do my best to draw from personal experience, but also to reign in my rollercoaster of feelings. This latest single is the first time I’ve released a song that wasn’t originally intended for me. It was a really fun process and seeing it come together without the added pressure I usually put on myself for my own releases was liberating!
Congrats on Whiplash! it’s a great track - where did the inspiration from that one come from?
Thank you so much! Initially Lara approached me with a concept around relationships that leave you whiplashed and a chorus that included a bit of a wolf howl. It turned out we had a mutual friend who had confided in us about a less than ideal situation with a romantic partner, who was sending, understatedly, mixed signals. We talked about our friends’ situation and our own experiences with toxic relationships and the chorus & pre came together really quickly. We then took what we had to Brisbane icon Jeremy Neale, expecting the song to take shape as a party dancefloor banger. Even though we progressed away from dancefloor banger territory, Jeremy’s witty lyricism and upbeat approach to heavy topics brought the perfect energy to the song.
I have to ask - how did it feel writing and releasing music during COVID times?
It’s been a bizarre year definitely. I was grateful to feel like I had built up momentum in my songwriting endeavours before COVID intervened, and it unintentionally got the ball rolling on this release. Writing is such a personal experience, and even though COVID hit the music industry hard and meant a lot of change to my personal circumstances, it also provided me with more time and headspace to write. Planning a release felt kind of unusual for a while there too. It was sad considering whether or not we’d actually be able to play a live show to accompany the release, but again it did give space to find new creative means of sharing music with my audiences.
Recording yourself performing OMG live and uploading it to YouTube was a great way to still perform during COVID, what inspired that idea?
The band and I had recorded the live performance of OMG a good while before COVID hit and it had never felt like the right time to release it. When restrictions came into place and gigs were one of the first things to suffer, I knew it was going to be super valuable in helping maintain the connection that live gigs usually provide. Playing live is unlike anything else in this job! I am so grateful that my band I have been able to create clips and work on making our live show be the best it can be.
You perform with an all-female band, how important is that to you? Because I know it’s so important for your fans to see
I absolutely love my band! I am so excited to perform with them every single time! What I loved about putting my band together was that it was completely accidental that we became an all-female group. I reached out to Libby Scott (drums) and Jay-lee Senituli (keys) because I loved their warmth as people and felt they were the best musicians for the job. Lara Frew and I already knew how well we worked together as co-writers, and over the past couple of years, she has also helped to nurture my artist project. She is just as much Phoebe Sinclair as I am.
I am so proud to work with such talented, ambitious women and love every moment with them.
Any big music plans for 2021?
2021 is looking like a very big year! I have plans to do a lot more co-writing, hopefully even travelling across the country again once it’s safe to do so. I’ve got more music of my own lined up for release too. This year has been total chaos but it’s given me time to write, plan and start putting said plan into motion!
What can people expect from your upcoming Brissie gig on the 26th?
Our show at the Brightside on the 26th Nov is going to be huge amounts of fun! The band and I have been working on amping the energy in our set, which is (in my obviously unbiased opinion) bop after bop. After watching too many dance-related-coming-of-age movies together, the girls and I have also been trying our hand at adding a little bit of choreo to the set, so that’ll be a laugh if nothing else!
I’m excited to have Tyla Jane opening the night, she has a great voice and some fab songs under her belt already. Brendan from Eventshake is running the night, he is an absolute legend and I’m so excited to be a part of their debut event.
Silky smooth, and powerfully vibrant. Phoebe Sinclair's latest offering 'Whiplash' is a polished diamond in every way. Pop's latest royalty is emerging and we are thrilled to premiere her latest single! Check out the lyric video below and the deets for the upcoming launch show!
Events Shake Presents Phoebe Sinclair
Thursday 26 November at 7:00pm
The Brightside, Brisbane