The New Zealand-born and Melbourne-based production duo of Fortunes give us a good, dressing down on their upcoming EP, 'Undress'.
Comprised of producer Barnaby Matthews and vocalist Conor McCabe, Fortunes released 'Undress' in late April. Barnaby says the new record came about through a lengthy process of developing and refining their recording and production processes.
“Every time we record a project or a song we just learn so much and we think: 'oh man, it's going to be way better to do it this way or that way next time',” Barnaby says. “I think we had a bit more of an idea about how to tackle the 'Undress' EP, it felt a lot smoother. We knew what we were doing a little bit more going into it rather than flailing around in the dark; less guesswork.
“The other big thing was using no samples on the new one; going full no-samples was a bit of a challenge at the start but also a blessing because I was forced to learn a lot more about music theory and composition.”
'Undress' will be the first physical release for Fortunes, having distributed their 2016 'Jacket' EP digitally. It will also be released direct to vinyl, a life-long goal of Barnaby's, with the 'Jacket' EP pressed as the B-side. “It's amazing,” Barnaby says.
“It's been my dream forever; since I was a kid I've always wanted to have a record. It was like the end goal and it's so cool to see it happen... It almost feels like an album.”
The latest single cut from 'Undress' is 'Focus', a track that embodies the stripped-back, almost lo-fidelity timbre Fortunes have embraced with their creative output. Off the back of 'Undress', Fortunes will be touring from May to June and Barnaby says he and Conor are keen for audiences to get their ears around the new material.
“We can't wait to start playing these shows because we've done a couple of little shows here and there over the past few months, but no big, headline shows since the '501s' tour, which feels like forever ago now. So we just can't wait to go play some sick shows.”
In terms of a setlist, Barnaby assures us Fortunes will be playing material from across their catalogue. “All the new ones, all the classic, all your favourites,” he says. “I think we will try and roadtest the new ones on this tour; it's always good to get an initial crowd response to a new song.”
'Jacket', 'Hoodie', 'Undress': you may have figured out there's a very trendy pattern of clothing in Fortunes' work, something that comes more from vocalist Conor's own sensibilities. “Conor's sort of a fashion-head,” Barnaby explains, “he lives clothes and he's a fashionable motherfucker.
“I think it's been engrained in the songwriting and the image in the artwork from the very start. Even our very first EP was called 'Hoodie' and the artwork was a sort of a macro close-up on a grey hoodie, and all the track art on 'Jacket' were super close-ups on different fabric textures. It's all very textile.”
Fortunes Tour Dates
Fri 19 May - World Bar (Sydney) Sat 20 May - The Gasometer (Melbourne) Sat 27 May - Big Pineapple Music Festival (Sunshine Coast) Fri 2 Jun - Jack Rabbit Slims (Perth) Sat 3 Jun - Rocket Bar (Adelaide)