Shortly after releasing her stunning new single ‘Old Salt’, Melbourne based Folk/Blues songstress Héloise has just released her new EP “Nothin But The Bones”.
Héloise has also announced an additional run of dates to add to the “Nothin’ But The Bones Tour”, which kicked off last week in Newcastle.
Tomatrax caught up with Héloise to talk about her music.
What inspired you to become a musician?
I grew up in a musical family, so there were always instruments lying around the house. I was constantly immersed in music so the need to create was inescapable really!
When did you write your first song?
I think I was about 7 or 8 years old, a love ballad of course…. I still have the lyrics somewhere but I’m pretty sure it was awful…ha!
You’ve just released your second EP, what’s it like to have it out?
It’s such an amazing feeling! There were some insane roadblocks along the way and we’ve worked so hard to finish it so it really is a release. We’ve released the songs into the world. They’re no longer ours, they’re everyone’s.
Where did the title Nothin’ but the bones come from?
It’s actually the last half of a line from a Tom Waits song ‘…and the Army Ants, they leave nothing but the bones’ (may or may not be obsessed with Tom Waits). We spent a long time sifting through names we’d saved for a rainy day and quotes from old spaghetti westerns until we picked Nothin’ But The Bones. It just stuck. We felt it captured the record perfectly as it was a reflection of the incredibly raw emotions I’ve experienced over the past 5 or so years whilst writing the songs.
What made you pick Old salt as the single?
I think we decided on Old Salt fairly early as the single. It’s our favorite song to play and we thought it was the perfect song to set the tone for the EP. It’s a little less serious/sad than the rest of the songs too.
The EP has a country/rural feel to it, was that your intention when writing the music?
I’ve always loved country and western music. I’ve been listening to lots of modern Americana over the past few years and just love the stories they tell. I also LOVE LOVE LOVE Quentin Tarantino’s movies. I think the themes in his films really inspired me to write songs that evoked similar images. They’re dangerous and dark and that’s how I felt !
Where was the picture on the front cover taken?
It was actually taken about 3 hours north of Melbourne near Shepparton in a place called Cactus Country. It’s seriously like being transported to Mexico! It’s this massive cactus garden that you can walk around and the people who run it were kind enough to let us shoot the cover image and a promo video there!
You’ve just completed a tour round the country in support of your EP, how did that go?
The tour was fantastic. We’re all alive, unscathed and still friends so I’ll take that as a success….
We honestly had such good fun! We were kinda expecting to be harassing people on the streets to come inside and watch shows but every single show was a blast and we never played to an empty room. It was so lovely. It’s such a incredible feeling knowing that people want to support what you do.
You grew up in Tasmania, what prompted the move to Melbourne?
I’ve lived in Melbourne for 3 years now and absolutely love it! I just wanted to chase a career in music and that meant moving away from my safe little Tassie haven. That little stretch of water can make it tricky to move forward in a creative industry. I wanted to be absorbed into new surroundings and experiences and moving away from my hometown, as scary and daunting as it was, really opened up a whole other world for me creatively. I’ll always love Tassie though, it’s important never to forget your roots!
How does making music in Melbourne compare with making music in Tasmania?
It’s different. I still write when I go back to Tassie. But I do a lot of writing in Melbourne as its where I spend most of my time. I appreciate the beauty of Tassie so much more when I’ve been away and it often inspires me to write when I come home to Melbourne. My experiences differ when traveling between the two and that always prompts me to write.
What inspired you to add a ‘H’ to the start of your name?
I wish it was a cool story but it’s just the original French spelling of Eloise! (Like the love story, Héloïse and Abelard) It also means there are 7 letters….easier to centre on a poster!
Do you ever listen to your own music?
Hahaha nooooo. Well, very very occasionally just to hear the way it sounds through different speakers but I nitpick and cringe the whole time! It’s very much a love-hate relationship. I think a lot of artists are like that. Sometimes it’s impossible to remove yourself from the song and all you hear are the little mistakes, missing things, things you forgot and things you could’ve done better. Sometimes if I hear it out of context on the radio I can hear it as a song and not individual parts, that’s always kinda nice.
What music do you listen to?
I listen to lots of music! I love most genres, everything from country to punk to electronic to hip hop. I love Jack White, Fleetwood Mac, Nikki Lane, Butch Walker, Jenny Lewis, Ryan Adams, The Rolling Stones, The Beastie Boys….but I also love Die Antwoord, Safia, Action Bronson, …the list is endless. If I like it, I’ll listen to it!
Now that your EP is out what do you plan on doing next?
A whooooole lotta sleeping and attempting to eat less pizza….ha!
We’re actually heading back into the studio in the next month or so to start work on the next EP, which is a follow up to Nothin’ But The Bones. I always feel really flat after touring or recording comes to an end, so I just gotta keep doing it and never stop or I’ll turn into a giant puddle of sad ranga on the ground. We’re hoping to release the film clip for Old Salt in the coming months too, so stay tuned!
Check out Héloise’s website to find out more!