Brisbane-based Indie-Pop punchbowl powerhouses Passionfruit have ripened their latest single 'Fuzzy.' The heartfelt warmth of the track comes riding the slipstream of the their shiny EP Golden Hour. The band encompasses two vocal sound-lords, taking the shape of Sarah Engstrom and Mitchell Young. We were lucky enough to play catch with Sarah and get the 411 on 'Fuzzy,' live gigs & the daily life of a Passifloraceae, seeds and all. In the spirit of 'Golden Hour' we then popped over to do a natural light studio shoot!
I loved your single ‘Fuzzy,’ I like how the dreamy guitar and sultry vocals move together. Tell me about the song; where did it come from? Inspirations or influences, etc? What is it about? Did it change while you were writing it, etc? Incredible track!
"Hey Hayden, thankyou so much!! That’s so sweet. For me (Sarah) it’s one of those songs where the whole creative process has been so special to have it all come together. In terms of where it came from, I started writing Fuzzy earlier this year. I just had a lil catchy chorus chord progression in mind. From there I pretty much just started to sing what the chords were making me feel. It felt like when you are out with friends and you are just so completely and wholly caught up in this feeling of euphoria. You don’t care to hear about superficial things hence the lyrics “don’t tell me ‘bout your boring love life” because you are just so present and high on the feeling of life."
I heard you did a stellar gig at The Brightside in September. How did it go, and do you have any upcoming shows or dates announced? We’d love to see you live!
"The Brightside was SO much fun, definitely a huge highlight of our year. Listening to the audience sing your own lyrics back at you is unforgettable and something that just is honestly so surreal everytime. We were so grateful and humbled by the whole night, and the fact we sold out just made it even more incredible.
In regard to the rest of this year, we don’t have any headlining shows booked however we have a couple of support spots which we are really keen for. So, we’re playing at the Bearded Lady on the 2nd of December supporting Skerzo and again on the 5th of December at the Zoo to celebrate our good friends at The Sawce’s first birthday. We are also playing a very very special gig on the 11th of Dec which I don’t think we’re allowed to announce yet?? But definitely keep an eye out for that one because it’s for a HUGE band we’re super excited to open for."
You said about the track, “going out with friends, and just not worrying about what anyone else was doing or saying.” I was wondering what you think of the challenges faced by the music industry of the last year or two, and what you think it means moving forward. What advice would you give to an up-and-coming artist during these strange times?
"For us personally, we have taken this last couple of years and tried to make something positive out of it. When asked this, I always say that honestly without COVID we may have never had the opportunity to play so many amazing gigs that otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to play. For example, the amazing venue ‘The Zoo’ and the outside stage at ‘The Brightside’ which normally would be booked out with touring bands, became accessible to a more local band like us. In my opinion, we’ve been so lucky living in Brissy that we haven’t been slammed as badly as some of the other states have. We have been able to play over 20 gigs this year and the local scene has been thriving. So honestly, for us, we like to see it as a bit of a blessing in disguise.
I feel like we are also so new to the scene that we aren’t in the best position to be giving wise advice hahaha. We are still learning so much every single day but I will say what has helped us a lot is by taking advantage of every opportunity (small or big) that has come our way and just trying to staying positive and resilient when challenges stand in the way. Also to take risks!! You never know what can happen, and this might be lame but we’re too young to play it safe, so you may as well take risks now if you’re able to."
I’m curious about the music behind the fruit. What have you all been listening to recently? Which artists or bands inspired you to get into music when you were younger?
"These last few years, as I got more and more into the local music scene, I realised we have the most insanely talented and beautiful people here in Brissy (and the Gold/sunny coast) who release incredible music. So, the people I’ve been listening to lately are actually all local which is awesome. I’ll just list a few of my faves at the moment but there’s sooo many I wish I could list them all - Felivand, Local Safari, Chutney, ALLORA, Mozza, Big Dinner, Bronte Eve, WIIGZ, DVNA, Hallie, Modeo etc.
When I was younger though I LOVED Missy Higgins, she was a huge influence of mine. I know that Mitch was a big Ed Sheeran and Tame Impala fan also. I feel like in our music though, we try to kind of channel more Aussie bands like Spacey Jane, Lime Cordial and Ocean Alley etc."
Your Raw Sauce live videos are REALLY cool (those big vocal notes!). How did you come to be involved with them? Will we ever be seeing any live videos again, or perhaps any music videos, even?
"Haha thank you, it was really fun to be a part of. A friend from my work introduced us to the boys from Raw Sawce, I think we may have been their first or second project? We absolutely adore them and they have done such incredible videos for us so we definitely are keen to work with them in the future with both videos at live events and also live acoustic performances. As mentioned earlier, we’re celebrating their big 1 year on Dec 5th with a bunch of other sick bands so we’re super stoked to be on that lineup. Would recommend any new and upcoming bands to hit them up because they do fantastic work and are super easy going and lovely to work with."
What will we be seeing from you going into the end of the year and 2022? I’ve already asked about live gigs, but will we be seeing any music releases or other exciting goodies?
"Unfortunately we won’t be releasing any more music this year however 2022 is lining up to be a huge year for us. We’re planning on releasing another single earlier in the year and potentially our debut album too later on in the year (or maybe just another EP, still undecided)."
Keep your eyes to the skies on the 11th of December! Thanks again to Sarah & Passionfruit for all the amazing work, incredible music and a deep-diving interview. Passionfruit have taken root and are developing quite the fanbase, but you can jump on the smoothie train yourself and get all the latest juice from the fruits with the toots
These prunes with the tunes also have some zesty local dates announced which you can get your teeth into:
Passionfruit Live Dates 2021
Thursday , 2nd December
The Bearded Lady, West End
Sunday, 5th December
The Zoo, Fortitude Valley