Dulcie Chat About New Single 'Dust'
Western Australia’s Dulcie have just released their shimmering new single ‘Dust’ and TCI caught up with Ashleigh Carr-White to chat about the track and its music video, as well as their upcoming live shows, and plans for 2021!
It’s been a big couple of years for Dulcie. Heralded as “one of the most exciting and charismatic breakthroughs of 2019″ by Triple J the indie pop quintet have been kicking non-stop goals. They’ve released great track after great track, they’ve toured with a whole bunch of incredible artists, and they’ve played their own stellar shows including showcasing at Brisbane’s very own Bigsound.
Continuing their winning form Dulcie are back with ‘Dust’, a three minute adventure through the band’s own happy and carefree universe, produced by Joel Quartermain. The new track is matched with a beautifully summery music video directed by Liam Fawell, that was shot in and around Perth, and features Ash, Madi, Meeks and Sas in full roller-skate-dance-party mode.
The Creative Issue: Congratulations on the release of ‘Dust’! Can you tell us a little about the inspiration behind the song?
Ashleigh Carr-White: Thank you!! We’re very excited to have it out in the world! ‘Dust’ is an anthem about taking back the right to your own happiness and learning from your mistakes. Sometimes we can blind ourselves to what is good for us and it’s very easy to rush into situations when we’re lost in the thrill of it. The melodic idea for the song was inspired by an old voice memo I found in the archives of my phone earlier this year. We spent some time workshopping and collaborating to finish the arrangement.
TCI: Do you have a particular songwriting process that you follow in Dulcie or does each song idea come about and evolve differently?
ACW: The creative process can be different every time, but generally we start with a concept that has been written prior to a full band rehearsal – this could be anything from a verse, a riff or an entire song. After the idea has been shared, we jam it and see how it flows, making adjustments and suggestions as we go! We found that catching up in duos to write works really well for us so we tend to do that as much as we can. Speaking for myself I almost always write instrumentally first. I improvise for a while on the piano until I find a progression that I like, then put on my voice memos and sing random words over the top. If I notice a part that I like I’ll pause my voice memo, take that idea and start the process again. I usually make meaning from the random words that I sing, then refine them after I work out a solid melody.
TCI: Who did you work with for ‘Dust’? What was the recording experience like?
ACW: We worked with the legend Joel Quartermain on ‘Dust’ at a studio in Perth called Rada. The recording experience was definitely different to the past few singles as this was the first time we worked with a producer/song-writer. For previous tracks we didn’t really make any adjustments to what we had prepared, but with ‘Dust’ Joel helped us re-work different parts. We threw around ideas for different chorus/bridge arrangements which were quite subtle but helped to create more flow and melodic hooks. Although it can be hard to be open minded to other’s opinions when you have a set idea, through this experience we learnt to allow external insight and experience to help us optimize our creativity.
TCI: The track is already achieving great success. How does it feel to write a song, record it, plan for the release, and then finally get to put it out and see it connecting with people?
ACW: There’s always a buzz around releasing new music into the world! We recorded the track earlier in the year so the anticipation had been growing for a while. We are so grateful for all the support and love that people have shown ‘Dust’ so far. It’s so nice to see people enjoying the music we make and really makes it all worthwhile.
TCI: The music video for ‘Dust’ is super cool. Did you all learn to roller-skate when you were kids or did you have to put in some serious practice hours preparing for the clip?
ACW: Thanks so much! We had a lot of fun making it even though there was a lot of stacking involved and we were all very sore afterwards! I roller-skate as a hobby but am by no stretch a professional! The fact that we were all so bad at it to begin with just added to the silliness of it all. Meeks really picked it up towards the end which was very impressive as you can see in the shot of her powering down the street like a boss – I honestly think she could go pro if music falls through!!
TCI: Dulcie is actually quite unconventional in a lot of ways. You don’t confine yourself to traditional ideas of roles within a band, and you don’t seem afraid of deviating from traditional genre characteristics. Was this something you consciously thought about at any point, or is it just the result of following your hearts?
ACW: We never really write with the intention of sticking to a particular genre but you can definitely hear influences of artists that we like within our sound. We all have different tastes in music and varying approaches to writing so our style is a combine of a lots of things. Meeks, Sas and I share around the lead vocal, so that tends to change up the vibe of each song as well. The whole process for us is very collaborative so regardless of how different each song is we hope that they all give off a general sound that people can identify as us!
TCI: In your career so far you’ve played some incredible live shows. Aside from your own shows you’ve played great festivals, supported artists including G Flip and Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, and toured with the likes of Polish Club, San Cisco and Spacey Jane. What’s your favourite thing about playing live?
ACW: We are so grateful to have played with some amazing artists that we all love! Playing live is one of the best parts about being a musician, it’s a win-win for everyone involved! For us the ability to share our creativity with people is so exciting and when people are enjoying themselves at our shows it makes it all worthwhile. I remember the first time we played ‘Fall’ after its release – we could see people singing along and it was so surreal! Definitely feels good performing when you can see that people are having a good time!
TCI: Obviously playing shows has been tricky this year but it seems like you’ve been finding ways to play for your fans. What have you got coming up between now and the end of the year?
ACW: Amongst all the mayhem it’s been amazing to see how people have found new ways to engage through things like social media live streams and virtual concerts. As restrictions ease we are even more grateful and passionate to be able to share our music. We have a few gigs to look forward to before the year comes to an end – including our headline show at The Rosemount later this month with Blake Rose & Servo Flowers and supporting Katy Steele in early December.
TCI: What have you got planned for 2021?
ACW: Hopefully more touring, more writing, recording and continuing to build up our fan base. Very excited for what’s to come and to see how next year plays out! Hopefully things will be relatively back to normal so that everyone can experience live music again!