Melbourne group Howlite's newest EP is titled 'Not Here'.
Melbourne band Howlite craft cinematic dreamscapes, marrying trip hop with pop songwriting.
The trio are about to release their new EP, 'Not Here', which brings together Howlite's previous five singles: 2019's 'Reducer' and 'Olympia', and the trio of 2020 releases: 'Infancy', 'Stranger' and 'Canary'.
This is music fans of London Grammar and The xx will equally love.
It also seems Howlite are mega fans of Kurt Russell. . . really, can you blame 'em!
Here are five Kurt Russell films Howlite believes could have inspired 2020, and also inspire the band.
The Thing (1982)
If you were asked to team up with Kurt Russell to summarise 2020, this would be it.
Kurt takes on a deadly virus with a team of American scientists, who all end up barricading themselves into isolation to avoid it, but quickly turn on each other. Kurt finally beats the virus, surviving with his wits, a bottle of whiskey, and with the greatest hat to ever grace cinema screens.
It also has the greatest line ever to encapsulate 2020: "I'd rather not spend the rest of this winter TIED TO THIS F...ING COUCH!"
'The Thing' is a top ten favourite movie for most of the band, and I think John Carpenter has a lot to do with that.
The way he pushed the envelope of creativity with this movie, as well as the soundtrack, and approached it with a completely left-of-field view is really inspiring as an artist. The movie was a complete flop when it premiered, but it became a cult classic over the years and is now recognised as a turning point in the realm of horror movies.
It's encouraging to see that art will always find an audience, if not immediately, then over time.
Escape From New York (1981)
Wikipedia notes that 'following a 400 per cent increase in crime, the United States has turned Manhattan into a giant maximum-security prison', which is a headline nobody would be surprised with this year.
If we end up in a post-apocalyptic world, you better believe I want Snake AKA Kurt protecting me, Ernest Borgnine keeping me entertained and John Carpenter soundtracking my every move.
Again, John Carpenter just absolutely going against the grain of movies of the time and releasing the epic sci-fi he wanted. The landscapes and sets throughout this movie are so ridiculous, and the characters are so wild, but it all just works so beautifully because it's delivered with such honesty.
That's something else we always try to take onboard with our music, to create something honest and not get caught up on conforming to trends.
Among all the reviews of the film, I remember reading one take that has always stuck with me: 'It is of unusually high calibre by not pretending to be more than it is, but by also not settling for any less than it could be.'
Goldie Hawn gets tricked into being a housekeeper and mother for four kids.
The kids are maniacal, the house is a disaster, they're all pretty much the worst to her, and she completely loses it. A highly relatable timeline of 2020, especially for those homeschooling.
On the surface this seems like a pretty shallow movie, but as the story unfolds it really does come full circle. It's cliche, but it takes that idea of thinking material success makes you happy, when in reality finding a community of people you connect with has a longer lasting and more meaningful impact on your life.
We've definitely come a long way since we first started recording music together, and that's without a doubt thanks to our amazing support team we now have around us.
Escape From L.A. (1996)
This is for our Melburnians in lockdown 2.0. It's literally the exact same movie as 'Escape From New York', except Kurt has much bigger hair, and the headlines are so much more ridiculous.
This movie works because it just embraces its own identity and does its own thing, which is something we've really settled into and adopted as our own philosophy – we'd rather be an amazing, original B movie than a crappy blockbuster.
The Hateful Eight (2015)
A group seeks refuge from a blizzard and unwittingly become lockdown housemates – they do not get along.
Much like the tail end of 2020, this movie is relentless, way too long, full of swearing, mostly confusing and ultimately, terribly disappointing. But at least Kurt had time to grow a moustache of unrivalled proportions for it.
Quentin Tarantino is a highly contentious director, but all extended feet-related closeups aside, the man knows how to write a monologue. He's not afraid to strip away all the special effects and technical wizardry, and just give an actor centre stage to perform.
Relying on just the actors ability can be a risk, but when it pays off it's always so rewarding, and that's something we've taken onboard with this EP.
We wanted to build our soundscape around Alison's voice, and really allow people to hear her lyrics through the track. It's the same reason we moved away from heavy Autotuning, and kept a lot of the original vocal takes with breaths, crackles and breaks in them, to better connect with what she's saying.
All we can hope for is people feel a sense of connection with that.
Howlite's 'Not Here' EP releases Friday 16 October. Pre-order it.