Snowy Band have released their debut album ‘Audio Commentary’ this week, via Spunk Records and Osborne Again.
Snowy Band is the latest project from Liam “Snowy” Halliwell, a previous member of Melbourne bands Ocean Party, Ciggie Witch, No Local and more. Halliwell enlisted fellow Spunk records signee Emma Russack, as well as his partner Nathalie Pavlovic (Dianas) & Dylan Young (Way Dynamic). Listen to ‘Audio Commentary’ below:
The prolific singer-songwriter told NME Australia today (March 28) most of the songs were written on “a specific guitar” he bought in 2018.
“It’s a nylon string acoustic so the songs were all written to be played by myself and for myself at a low volume in my room,” Halliwell said. “It was a refreshing change after always writing with my bands like The Ocean Party – which was a 6-piece – at the back of my mind, always jumping to the conclusion of recording together, navigating the interpersonal dynamics inherent in making music with old friends, and ultimately playing those songs live.”
Halliwell also interweaves saxophone throughout the record’s gentle acoustics, despite it being his least favourite instrument to play, “live and recorded”.
“I think it can easily be an ugly, intrusive, cliche and completely mood-destroying sound to introduce. Then again I feel the same about vocals in music,” he said.
The Ocean Party’s spirit isn’t absent from ‘Audio Commentary’ – ‘Grown Man’ was a song written by fellow bandmember Jordan Thompson back in high school, when the pair played in a band called “Ian”.
“I’ve been playing music with Jordan for nearly 20 years. We both got our first guitars for our birthdays in 2002 and played in a band together all through high school,” Halliwell said.
“I really love the imagery in [‘Grown Man’s] lyrics and the vocal harmonies and thought that with a slight re-work it could fit into the collection of songs we already had on the album. Its ended up being one of my favourites of the whole lot. I love the sort of freedom that comes from using an already existing song as source material for something new, not necessarily a “cover version” per se.”
Like many musicians, Halliwell is left at an existensial crossroads as to what to during self isolation with the impossibility of live music. Next week, he’ll launch ‘Audio Commentary’ on livestream with his partner and bandmember Nathalie Pavlovic from home on Thursday 2nd April at 7.30pm AEDT.
“I think isolation could be a good experiment to see what it is that I actually want to do with a surplus of down-time,” Halliwell said. “I think in the past I’ve had a pretty extensive musical output because I’ve been running on other people’s schedules, overcommitting to play in different bands, then in turn feeling like I’m missing out on doing things for myself – which has always caused me to rush ahead and make something for myself for the sake of it.
“I think it’ll be really interesting to see what a forced lack of FOMO for everyone will result in. I hope just more honest expressions of art or music or anything.”