Achoo! Bless You ‘Wild Eyes’ single launch
What do you get when you put an adorable couple together to make sweet folk music? Achoo! Bless You is what. When Ash and Ross hop on stage wearing matching riding boots, and sing sweet tunes of love and longing while stealing glances at one another, it’s practically impossible to resist falling for them.
While cowboy hats, acoustic guitar and sweet harmonies are reminiscent of The Weepies and Edward Sharp, Achoo! Bless You have grown from solid teenage roots in punk and aussie pop rock. While you won’t hear much of that in their music now, rest assured that you will hear something you’ll want to play over and over again.
In the lead up to their new single launch on February 13th, Ross told us a little big about where they’re going, what they’re doing and who they’re doing it with.
How did you guys meet?
Like all decent indie-film love stories, we met in a record store... Well, these days it's more of a bee coloured home-entertainment mega warehouse/digital streaming service, but it used to be kind of a record store. Ash made me a mix CD (cool people still make mix CDs) and my girlfriend at the time got the shits. A while later we bonded over music and coffee and eventually decided to make a band.
When did you start making beautiful noise together?
We started by accident really. We were just hanging out 'keeping it real' as people do, and we would show each other songs we were working on. I had a little studio at my house at the time, and really loved Ash's songs, so we recorded a little demo. We started jamming around on things and soon we were singing backups for each others songs/helping out with additional instruments, so we thought, why not try writing a few together?
Tell me about the other talented people who play with you?
Our band has been a bit of a revolving door line-up for the last couple of years, with Ash and I being the only constants. We write all the songs, so it works out OK like that. At the moment the band is pretty much Leigh Elphick on electric guitar (whom i went to school with and have been playing music with for around 10 years), Sophia Felton on drums (also who I've been great friends and musical comrades with for the last 5 years or so), and Adam 'AC' Collins on the bass (who is a perpetual international drifter, but a wizard on the bass and a dear friend). We still play some shows as just the two of us, but having the band is so much fun.
It’s so lovely to hear some pretty folk sounds in an often rock and hip hop saturated scene. Have you dabbled in any other styles or always been on this road?
I started musical life in a punk band in high school. It was all showmanship and died black hair for awhile there, until more indie-rock stuff was discovered, followed by alt.country, then more country and folk stuff. I guess it's kind of a timeline of growing up or something. I used to hate my parents record collection, now i'm begging them to give it to me. Not many people outside of our circle know this, but Ash used to be a HUGE Killing Heidi fan. She knows every word to every song, and if it happens to be on the jukebox at a bar, you can expect lots singing and jumping around. So i guess we both came from louder backgrounds, but i think just the honesty you can get out of folk songwriting is what brings it home. A voice (or two), a guitar and a well-written ditty is just fantastic.
Your songs are filled with love and heartwarming stories of it. What’s your writing process like? Do you write together?
Mostly we write separately, then figure out who will sing what harmony, or if we can split the song up into boy/girl parts and have it sill make sense. The first song we wrote totally together was 'The Necessary Space', and it turned out great, it's still a real crowd favourite 3 years on.
Tell me about Wild Eyes then. What’s it all about?
Ash is the brains behind Wild Eyes. It's a story of emotional distance. We were actually singing this song for a few months, before we went to record it, and I realised I hadn't really paid much attention to the lyrics. Reading them just like you would a poem, it's pretty heavy stuff, especially when you're in a relationship with the person who wrote them! It's not really autobiographical though, more of an idea. Like most things we write though, I feel like there's an eventual sort of positivity that comes around, it's not all doom and/or gloom.
Is it stylistically a continuation of your previous EP or are you going in a slightly new direction?
We got to record with our band this time all at once, whereas previously the two of us would record most of a song, then have people play over the top of it. So this one is a bit more 'together' in the sense that it's a real band sound, we're moving as one a bit more. We also got to spend more time (and, consequently, more money) on this one, which was a conscious decision to get away from the DIY thing and see how we would go in a pro studio. I think it's a real step up. We'll never go too far down that line though, we will always be championing the DIY, hands-on approach to making our own music and being involved in every step of it.
Will you treat us with an album down the line do you think?
Hopefully! We'll just see how the single is received, then we'll release another single, see how that goes, then we'll go from there!
You’ve shared the stage with some pretty cool people (including Passenger, The Trouble With Templeton, Tim Rogers), who would you love to play alongside?
When we first met, we bonded over a band called Slow Club, from the UK, and we got to support them a year ago, that was definitely a crazy highlight! I would say that if we supported Jenny Lewis (or any Jenny Lewis stamped band i.e Rilo Kiley - pending them getting back together - or The Postal Service) that would be amazing. We're both huge fans of everything she does. Supporting either Paul Kelly or Neil Finn (or both of them together at once) would also be the best!
Finally, I’m a big fan of your song ‘No Way Of Knowing’. Tell me, what’s the best advice your mum’s have given you, other than ‘Finish what you start’?
Being kind is cool, and always take a jumper.
Have a listen to their brand new single ‘Wild Eyes’
Wild Eyes single launch
7pm Thursday 13 February
Brighton Up Bar, Oxford Street, Darlinghurst
Facebook event [https://www.facebook.com/events/346381415504968/]
Tickets here [https://secure.gobookem.com/searchResults.php?searchData=achoo]
By Vicki Fletcher