Following from her critically acclaimed debut release, Lily Richardson has teamed up with Hannah Robinson to form Jupiter and the Moon. Tomatrax spoke to Lily about her latest musical project.
How did you and Hannah meet?
We actually had heard each other’s songs on Triple J Unearthed, and then through fate we both went to a Talent Development Project workshop last year and happened to meet. Our styles of music are similar so we decided to start writing together.
What made you choose the name Jupiter and the Moon?
It was actually inspired by ‘the moon song’ from an episode of The Mighty Boosh! Hannah thought of it and it just stuck. Now we always get asked who’s Jupiter and who’s the Moon.
What made you pick Sail away as the first single?
Well it’s the first song we wrote together, so will always be kind of special to us. We worked really hard on getting the exact sound that we wanted; kind of whimsical but spunky and upbeat at the same time. It definitely just captures how much fun we have when we write, record and perform together.
Where did you get the inspiration behind the lyrics around people’s (metaphorical) ships?
We’d been set a task to write to the theme of ‘purpose’. We both though it was something that had been done before so we wanted to tell a story that wasn’t a cliché. We kept developing the song around the idea that ‘a ship is safe in a harbour but that’s not what a ship is for’ and kind of got carried away making a little character of a man who was afraid of getting outside his comfort zone and doing what he wanted to do. We fully drew a little map of his journey and made it into the song! I think it’s also about where we are at the moment: about to finish school, the world at our feet and ready to go explore and travel and have fun.
How do you feel your “ship” has been sailing so far?
We’ve been having an amazing time; from supporting Pete Murray, getting airplay on Triple J, traveling about to gigs. We’re just living the dream at the moment.
Is there an album on the way for Jupiter and the Moon?
Sure is, we have our sights set on recording an EP once school is over.
How does performing in a duo compare to playing solo?
It’s definitely different. I think it’s more fun in a duo; you have someone to bounce off and Hannah and I always joke around on stage like we always do normally when we’re together. We like to talk to the audience, tell stories, make fun of each other. I’m a lot more serious – in stage presence and song writing – as a solo artist. But there’s something about having two people on stage that really lifts the energy. We have fun so I think the audience does too.
Given you both sing, how do you determine who sings which parts?
Hannah actually has an amazing classically trained voice, and she tends to sing the lower parts. I have a higher voice so I often get the high harmonies. But we like to sing so our harmonies switch registers and overlap. It just depends on how the song evolves really.
Are there plans for any more solo releases?
After school I definitely want to get back in to recording another solo EP. It’s been a couple of years now since I recorded my fist album, so I’m keen to record and produce some new stuff.
What was it like to open for Pete Murray?
That was one of the first gigs we did when we started playing together, and certainly the biggest crowd we’ve played to. There’s something about having 1300 people standing in front of you listening to your music that is just magic, and of course it was such an honor and such a buzz to support Pete. The crowds were pretty rowdy, so the vibe was pretty infectious and like I said Hannah and I just have so much fun on stage, so that was kind of magnified by the realisation of ‘oh my gosh we’re supporting Pete Murray!’ We got to sing backing vocals on a couple of his songs at the second show, which was amazing. The whole experience of working with all those professional guys was a big learning curve too.
You’ve also played shows in Paris, how does playing in France compare to playing in Australia?
Yeah I got to play a couple of low key, intimate gigs when I was there in 2011. It was funny because my French was limited, so introducing my songs I’d be like ‘this is a new song I wrote…am I saying that right?’ and then the audience would help me out on my pronunciation, definitely the best way to learn a language! But performing even those small casual gigs there made me realise that music really is universal. Even though I was singing in a different language, the feedback from the people there was awesome. I really want to go back and play more shows there someday soon.
You’ve had your song played on Triple J and Unearthed radio, had this had an impact on your music’s following?
For Jupiter & the Moon, getting airplay is definitely a highlight and we always get new people liking our Facebook page and giving us feedback on our song. We actually got to go in for an interview with Rosie Beaton for Unearthed Digital Radio which was really fun. It’s so exciting hearing your own song on the radio and knowing that people all over the country are hearing it too.
What do you have planned for the rest of the year?
Well we’re both doing the HSC so we’re trying to focus on school, with a few gigs here and there. But by the end of the year and early next year we want to get into recording, gigging in the city, playing the folk festival circuit and writing heaps of songs. We’re just taking every step as it comes and loving the whole experience.