The past odd year-and-a-half has brought with it its fair share of turmoil, and Sydney's LOVER is transforming all of that into a sonic joyride on his sophomore EP, Rookie Era. Describing his latest effort as a project "inspired by the rough, imperfect rollercoaster ride of the year 2021. An era of errors. I had started writing this project in the middle of 2020, shortly after my first EP was released. In that time, there were COVID outbreaks, severe lockdowns all while I dealt with broken bones, an autoimmune disease and personal issues. Sonically I wanted the EP to encapsulate that 'rough around the edges' feeling of the time and emotions."
Rookie Era is a project brimming with life and resilience, chronicling a singular period in time with an infectious candor. And we were lucky enough to invite LOVER to break down his standout sophomore EP, track by track.
First song in both track listing and process. I had known Nick [Ward] online for a while before coercing him into a writing session. We almost instantly started with the guitar loop before building the layers of "ohs" in the introduction - inspired by the throwback track "How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep" by Bombay Bicycle Club. Almost in spite of this musical bed, we decided to try a more yelly, scrappy vocal than my usual soft boy mumblings. The combination of the two was really exciting to me and informed a lot of my writing from that point onward. This song also has one of my favourite music videos, directed and edited with my friend Jayemol - which includes both Nick and Calmell (of Cat & Calmell) in the band.
December 2020, three emotional boys went to a small town south of Sydney called Burrawang. After one member became incapacitated, the remaining two - myself and Chris Lanzon - stayed up and wrote the majority of Pushing Daisies in 5 minutes. The central idea was if I died before my partner / friends / family - could I improve the afterlife for them? Maybe place some plants around the white purgatory, make the place more homely. It was a fun concept and I think shows in the music too. Here's a picture of Chris and I working on the song.
My favourite song I’ve released. To me, it has all the essential LOVER elements - soft instrumental, hard subs, mix of soft and yelly vocals and sincere lyrics. This song is one of the lucky few that got to travel internationally this year - starting in Australia in a writing session with myself, Nick Ward and Chris Lanzon and then moving to the US to be produced by Les Priest [LANY] and Sam Gidley [October Tooth]. They really pushed the production and mix to a new level I don't think my music has achieved before. If you take away one song from the project I really hope it is this one.
Another Nick Ward x LOVER collaboration. This track had been sitting as a demo for a long time, with a bunch of tweaking and re-writes. When I first got into contact with Les and Sam, this was the demo they jumped at - I think it was a good challenge for all of us to see how to keep the first half up beat but still make sure the PC / Hyper-Pop influenced outro hit hard enough. I think we caught the right balance. Check out the 2am-on-RAGE inspired music video which includes my first foray into acting.
"Close Your Eyes"
The closer. I got to visit my friend Campbell Burns [Singer and Songwriter of Vacations] at his studio in Newcastle in September last year. We brushed out two ideas really quickly, with this one being a stand out. Campbell really helped me follow my natural flow and not over think it. I love the dynamics and the way the track builds up to the huge yelling outro. The perfect end to the project and intro to the next one!