Updated: May 4, 2021
Arguably, pop is one of the most versatile genres in music. It blends with a variety of other genres and allows artists to craft sounds and songs which challenge the norm of pop music. Brisbane’s indie pop darling, Austen, does just that with her newest single ‘North South East West’ and its accompanying music video. Co-written by Evan Klar and Hailey Collier, the track sees Austen take on a more optimistic view of love compared to her other works.
“‘North South East West’ is about that easy type of love where it feels like you’re living in a hazy dream, exploring new territory and not having to force anything - a love letter to the honeymoon period. I’d written a lot of songs about toxic love and I wanted this one to be the polar opposite…it’s a love song to simple, flirty love,” says Austen.
Guitar chords and a drum work together to create a quiet twilight-esque atmosphere when the song plays. It’s cool and soothing, the perfect song to play at the end of a long day. At the same time, the track also hosts a ticking sound in the centre of its soundscape. Like a metronome, the sound keeps the song’s production moving, as well as serving as an anchor for the listener as they become lost in the beautiful dream of the track’s production. All the while, Austen delivers a top notch vocal performance. Moving between airy chimes and a retro-layered tone, Austen’s voice is like water flowing over crystal. It weaves itself perfectly into the track’s soundscape, tying it all together to create some wonderfully quintessential indie pop.
“I had the idea as a way to bring out the breezy, throwback vibe of the song, and also because it just feels like a song that needs to be played live. I was at home playing around on the song with my guitar and my bass and drum pads, and I thought if my band can’t cross the borders then I may as well play all the bits myself. I wanted to create different characters for each instrument, to form the ultimate girl band and embrace those different sides of myself,” explains Austen.
Shot by Teel Studios, the music video transports viewers back to the 60s as an all girl band takes to the stage to perform the track. Each member of the band (and the audience members watching) is portrayed by Austen herself. The video is beautifully shot with the camera capturing Austen (either on stage or in the theatre's lobby) from the perspective of the band's fans using Instagram/Lana Del Rey inspired filters. While the song is strong enough to stand on its own, the music video adds another depth to it, allowing the viewer to envelop themselves in Austen’s world of quietly cute love.