All My Friends

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Few people north of Christchurch will have heard O’Lovely’s new EP, that’s because Laura Lee Watson hasn’t got around to distributing it yet. Working all day in a camera shop, the band’s front-woman and founding member has had little time to promote the band’s new release, which has been sitting in her room since May.

Lost Luck is O’Lovely’s second EP, but one can draw few comparisons between it and the band’s first self-titled EP, released in 2008. Shortly after releasing their first EP the band relocated to the UK, hoping to expand on their already blossoming musical output and to gain valuable life experience living abroad. Unfortunately things fell apart rather quickly, Laura’s original song writing partner Brooke Singer ran out of money and had to return home, leaving Laura to find other musicians to help her continue playing live. The band’s other founding member Matthew Scobie ended up going on tour but chose to have little input in to the band’s affairs.

“I went over with Brooke and Matt who were playing with me here. We did it together, we wrote the songs together and stuff. We got over there and then I got a couple of other people to play with me and Matt ended up just coming on the tour. Brooke ran out of money so she had to come home. It was all good but it ended up me doing pretty much everything there, which wasn’t the plan but it turned out pretty well.”

“Then when I got back it was pretty much like, Brooke was real busy with Ragamuffin Children and she was going to Wellington and stuff. I just decided I was going to do it by myself because it was easier and it was a mutual thing, so it was all good.”

Laura had written new songs while in the UK but they were never performed live or jammed out with a band. On her return to Christchurch she quickly found a few able musicians and together they decided to become a proper band. “It was my project but now it’s a band,” she says. She admits that the Lost Luck EP would have sounded very different if she hadn’t had the help of Perry Mahoney (guitar), Tim Woods (drums) and Chris Andrews (bass).

“He said “I can’t figure out the reverb on this, it just sounds cold,” and we were just real drunk listening to the Wilberforces’ album”

The EP was recorded with Dale Cotton in his Dunedin studio in December 2008; Laura and Perry spent a week recording and arranging the songs and Chris and Tim recorded all the bass and drum parts in one day. They both describe Dale Cotton as a very patient man and as someone who is dedicated to giving each individual project his full attention. They have particularly fond memories of one late night drinking session, when at 2am Dale spontaneously decided to work on Wilberforces’ album Haunted.

“We got really drunk one night and he took us down at like two in the morning to the mixing studio and he opened up the Wilberforces’ album that he was doing and opened up a track, I think it was ‘My Mind Is In My Paws’. He said “I can’t figure out the reverb on this, it just sounds cold,” and we were just real drunk listening to the Wilberforces’ album. It was real awesome,” laughs Perry.

Laura also describes herself as a perfectionist, and after a week of recording with Dale Cotton she still found some minor niggles with a few of the songs. They ended up re-recording some parts with their friend Joe Veale, who Perry says “is probably the best sound guy” in Christchurch. The re-recorded parts were then sent to Dale to use in the final mix, which still came under intense scrutiny from Laura.

“I couldn’t rush recording because I’d be disappointed with myself. That’s what I thought was good about working with him (Dale) as well was that he did listen to what we wanted and didn’t just finish and go here it is. He re-jigged stuff for us quite a lot, like bringing up guitar tracks because I was quite picky about quite a bit of it.”

The finished EP has five tracks, all written while Laura was living in the UK. ‘A Different Day’ has already received airplay on Christchurch’s student radio station RDU and it was also featured as this month’s music alliance track which is shared across blogs from thirty four different countries. The song refers to a lonely time during Laura’s UK stay when she was missing her friends back home and feeling uncertain about her future.

“‘A Different Day’ was when I was staying with my friend Dan and he would go to work, this was about a month before I came home or something, so I’d been there five months. I was just really jaded because it didn’t turn out, like Brooke didn’t come on tour and I was thinking a lot about how I was doing stuff on my own, not in a bad way but I just realised that that was what I was going to do when I get back. There was this one guy that I always used to walk past, this homeless guy and he’s kind of in the song a little bit. Just the stuff I was kind of thinking about and that’s what inspired it. There was everything I suppose because I’d never been to Europe or anything. I saw a lot of stuff and thought differently about things I think.”

“It’s cool to watch a video and see your friends in it, you know, have your friends in it just as much as you”

The band also had a music video made for ‘A Different Day’, in which they can be seen running through the forest and hanging out with a whole lot of their friends. The video was shot and edited by Damien Shatford from Christchurch band Von Klap. People involved in the Christchurch indie music scene might recognise a few familiar faces in the video, Laura and Perry say that they are good friends with members of Insurgents, Tiger Tones and Von Klap. “We’re all just one big group of friends” says Perry.

“I said I really want my friends in it and he did it really well I think, it worked out to be really cool,” Laura says about the video. “It was pretty much done for free, it turned out really well for everyone. It’s cool to watch a video and see your friends in it, you know, have your friends in it just as much as you.”

O’Lovey’s are heading out on tour with some of their friends in November, starting this weekend at Chicks Hotel in Dunedin and at Christchurch’s Goodbye Blue Monday. They’re then heading north with Tiger Tones and Pikachunes  to play shows in both Wellington and Auckland. You should be able to pick up a copy of the band’s new EP at one of the shows, it’s well worth it.


O’Lovely, Tiger Tones and Pikachunes Tour

 Friday, November 6- Chicks Hotel, Dunedin
Saturday, November 7- Goodbye Blue Monday, Christchurch
Thursday, November 12- San Francisco Bathhouse, Wellington
Saturday, November 14- Racket Bar, Auckland

O’Lovely- Myspace

Posted by Nick Fulton under Christchurch, New Zealand
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