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  • Vasili Papathanasopoulos


Stranger is out now!

Image: Joey Clough.

Naarm/Melbourne dreampop/shoegaze artist RINSE, the musical project of Joe Aguis, has shared his new collaboration with Los Angeles-based producer and songwriter Caroline Loveglow, Stranger. To celebrate the release, the musician has shared with MILKY five things that inspired his new single.

“I always felt like there was something major missing from the song which I couldn’t put my finger on and when she sent through that layered vocal choir bit and I added it into the intro and choruses, it just felt finally complete,” Agius shares of the track.

RINSE will hit the stage at Naarm/Melbourne's Lulie Tavern in celebration of Stranger on April 6.


The original voice memo recording of the chorus melody idea was sung over some jangly guitars at home and gave me a huge Stone Roses vibe. Almost so much so that I hadn’t used it for anything because it just felt too close to home and didn’t make sense in anything I was creating at the time. It wasn’t until I started on Stranger with Simon Lam at his studio with similar chords that it suddenly sprung back to mind and felt completely different. For this reason, I’ve always kept recordings of anything I think is interesting because you never know when you might be able to reapply it in a different context.


I spent a couple of weeks by myself in New York last year post-tour to try to reset my brain and absorb some kind of new influence from the city itself and also the music and bands there. New York for me right now is one of the most exciting places again for new music so it was really cool to go finally catch a bunch of these new artists and bands throughout my time there at small shows through the week. I also spent a lot of my time just listening to demos and walking around Brooklyn and it gave me a lot of clarity on Stranger which felt like a real soundtrack to my time there.


I met Caroline in 2022 when she supported Hatchie on a US tour. It was a 3 week run so we really got to hang and know each other well over it. Some highlights were drinking “Batman Bombs” in Pittsburgh (apparently The Dark Knight was filmed there), and having cramped hotel room hangs after shows. I think her self-produced record is amazing and I was so honoured to have her on this track. Go check out her music if you haven’t already!


I don’t generally like talking about what songs are about because I’d rather people listening to find their own uninfluenced meaning within it but if I had to simply say what this song is about, I’d say it was about serendipitous encounters and that kind of platonic or romantic love with people that burns bright and fast like a shooting star. Living in Brisbane for the last 10 years and spending the majority of my weekends running around Fortitude Valley, I had a real image in my head when making this song of being there within a sea of blurry strangers passing me by and the adventure of following a random group of people on a never-ending escapade through the night which I have a terrible knack of doing too often.


Growing up researching my favourite artists and bands I used to think I had to do everything myself in order to be like my idols. I would stay up all night torturing myself to write and record every song myself without any help, or just circle the bowl trying to figure out if what I’ve made is any good for weeks and months. There was some reward in that process but in general I think it was kind of toxic to my mental health and how I looked at music. Over the past few years, I’ve really gotten out of my comfort zone in terms of sharing my music with others and working on it with friends and it’s been really eye opening. I think if you have a vision, most ideas will always end up in the same place whether you do it alone or not, so why not have fun and learn from others making it together? I think Stranger is a great example of that, which was a real joy to work on from start to finish with others.

Stranger is out now!


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