Effortlessly blending indie-pop elements, emerging South Australian singer-songwriter Oh Deliah recently released her debut single, 'April Sun', lifted from her forthcoming debut EP ‘These Old Dreams’.
Oh Deliah (aka Becky Althorp) is a daydreamer and self-described ‘quiet, old soul’ who grew up in the Adelaide Hills listening to her parents’ vinyl collection. With soft, intimate vocals and romantic ruminations with a daydream atmosphere, Oh Deliah is less an artist and more a one-person mystical order.
Thematically playing with the most familiar of subjects, the fleeting desire between two strangers, 'April Sun' is an alt-pop track that draws comparisons to the likes of Cat Power. “The original way I wrote the song had a sort of lullaby swing to it, but I was very much open to whatever happens [in the studio] happens creatively, and that’s how it unfolded.
“But it was good to experience being out of my comfort zone with a more upbeat, pop track. The more mellow, lo-fi tracks are what I’m used to playing, but it’s great experimenting with new ideas.”
Oh Deliah is as passionate about poetry, nature and art as she is with music. But when she discovered the guitar, she found herself exploring new sounds and melodies.
After penning a number of original songs, she began gigging around Adelaide and now, with the help of Carclew Youth Arts, Oh Deliah has completed the five-track EP ‘These Old Dreams’. “They’re all quite different [the songs], but they do complement each other well," she says.
“I guess in all the songs they highlight simplicities and complexities around the theme of love. I’m quite a deep thinker, and it seems to come out in my songwriting style to put out different sides that most people don’t necessarily express all the time.
“There are positive themes [on the EP], but I think it’s important to connect with those other emotions and bring some sort of normality to it, because everyone at some point in their life will go through one or two of those major parts of the whole experience of love, and I guess it intrigued me quite a bit especially in my teenage years.
“But I definitely like experimenting around that theme with the poetry and also creating music that accompanies that.”
It’s easy to forget Oh Deliah is just 20 years of age, but she still embraces the pressure onstage. “I definitely still get the nerves, they never really go away. But it’s almost a weird kind of comfort in the lead up to a show, and I try to channel that in the right way.”
‘These Old Dreams’ was recorded at Mixmasters Studio in Adelaide. “[The studio] was really nice actually, it was nice to be close to home and you sort of feel like you’re in an underground bunker where all this magic gets created which was really cool. It was a really warm and homely environment to record.”
With songs such as ‘Dreamer Boy’ and ‘Tear Stained Heart’ set to feature on the EP, Becky explains her creative approach to title tracks. “Sometimes I’ll be writing, and I’ll take a line out of the song and use it for the title. Or I’ll take it off the character I’m writing about or a particular scenario; it’s usually around three-quarters of the way through I get an idea for the title.
“A couple of songs I’ve just made up a couple of hours before I’ve had to perform it during my set so sometimes it’s quite spontaneous, but it’s also important to encapsulate and summarise the song and relate it to the lyrics.”
‘These Old Dreams’ EP is released 18 May. Oh Deliah launches it the same day at The Grace Emily (Adelaide).