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  • Vasili Papathanasopoulos

ARTIST-TO-ARTIST: MONTAIGNE & ANNIE HAMILTON

Both artists are set to appear at Wanderer Festival this September!

Images: Vasili Papathanasopoulos.


This September, Wanderer Festival will return to Pambula Beach, NSW, for a weekend of music, art and culture fuelled by a standout lineup. Set to take to the stage at the festival Montaigne and Annie Hamilton sat down to talk about their artistry, new projects, rituals and more!


Leading the line up is Australian outfit Ocean Alley, UK act Django Djano, beloved singer-songwriter Thelma Plum, alt-rockers Spiderbait, singer-songwriter Kevin Morby, American musician Son Little, Ben Ottewell & Ian Ball of Gomez, the world-famous Flying Fruit Fly Circus and multi-instrumentalist Adam Page. With over forty artists performing at Wanderer Festival, you can catch sets from The Jungle Giants, Spiderbait, Lisa Mitchell, Alice Skye, Rum Jungle, Dice, Urthboy and many more!


Festival organiser Simon Daly said “I’m thrilled with how Wanderer is shaping up this year. We’re curating a really strong program consistent with what Wanderer is all about. It is diverse in every sense and includes plenty of well known favourites as well as amazing new talent. We are really proud to be delivering such a world-class event in the Sapphire Coast. It is really rewarding creating something so equally loved by both the local community as well as travellers coming from all over Australia for an unforgettable experience in this stunning part of the world.”


The festival will host a world-class program of music, art, comedy, theatre, circus and artisan workshops over three unforgettable days and nights. The unique and creative spirit of the Sapphire Coast region is integral and will be featured throughout the music and arts program, epicurean feasts and craft offerings.



M: Hi Annie! How are you going generally/lately?


A: Hey Jess! I'm gooood - I feel like my last year has been a bit of a whirlwind (a beautiful and wild one) but now I'm home for the next couple of months focusing on writing, which is so nice. Feels like I'm hibernating for the winter and I am extremely excited about it.



A: How about you? How is 2023 treating you?

M: 2023 is treating me well, I think! There’ve been a lot of changes in the last 6 months and granted it’s been challenging sometimes but I feel good about those changes. I left management & label & moved house & started dating someone new and am now self-managing while working on a video game, preparing for a big Aretha Franklin covers show, and figuring out how to take my career overseas. A lot of work! But it feels like a step in the right direction despite being in a very transitional state career-wise right now.




M: How was getting through the pandemic? Any pivotal realisations? About yourself or about your career?


A: Wheeeere to begin! What a wild few years. Looking back now, I learnt so much about myself, my creative work, my career, my life, everything! I spent basically the whole 2 years working on my debut album, the future is here but it feels kinda like the past, which came out a year ago. When I started writing it, I thought it would be a fun little lockdown project that might take me a few months. It ended up being a long and meandering creative journey that was pretty fkn hard at times (I definitely had moments where I wanted to delete the whole thing and start again, and lots of imposter syndrome i'm not a musician what am i doing i don't know anything i suck at this moments) but it taught me so much. I feel like the pandemic overall taught me to savour every moment / to live hard / to live every day like another lockdown is just around the corner... It definitely encouraged me to just go for things, to jump at opportunities, basically to yolo.



A: What was your experience of the pandemic? Did it change your approach to creativity / your creative career?


M: My experience was fairly chill in that I mostly just played video games and zoomed friends playing D&D. That’s a life I can get behind. But I also lost a fair bit of ambition during that time. I basically resigned myself to the cool down and started to think about what I’d do if my career couldn’t pick back up post-pandemic (if there ever were such a thing). But I also started Twitch streaming, producing music on Ableton, and worked on the album I released last year, so I wasn’t completely indolent. I think I was just considering every option: what if sustainability instead of growth in my professional life? What about domesticity instead of peregrination? But the last 6 months has shown me that I’m not actually ready to stabilize just yet. I think going through the introspection and forced slow down of the pandemic ultimately got me to this point.




M: What are you working on or towards at the moment?


A: At the moment I'm deep in the album #2 creative process. I'm working on it with Jake Webb (Methyl Ethel) so I've been going over to Freo for little stints of studio time and it really feels like the album is starting to reveal itself. It's a nice feeling - this sense that something is emerging from the hours and days and weeks and months of empty pages and blank canvases and experimentation. I'm super excited about my new music as well - I'm really trying to push the boundaries of what I've done before sonically and I can't wait to start sharing some of it... soon! If the future is here but it feels kinda like the past was my introvert album, this is definitely my extrovert album.




A: How about you? You only just released your third album, making it!... have you got touring plans? New music in the works? Other interesting projects? (PS. I saw a video of you singing with Ninajirachi and it looked sick - i love her album so much! More collaboration with her in the works?)


M: I don’t have touring plans at the moment, no! I’m kind of just figuring out what’s next long-term for me at the moment. Self-managing for now but maybe getting a manager in the future — I don’t want to rush into that though. I’m working on music, doing writing trips, meeting new people — honestly meeting new people is the bulk of my time at the moment. Just getting to know the industry. I did work with Nina on my recent Melbourne trip! I think we’ll always do stuff together, even if it never comes out. I’m also working on music for a video game & doing bits and pieces here and there for Vivid. I don’t know, just taking things as they come while working in the background on big picture stuff!



M: I noticed you’re co-headlining a tour with Clews overseas! Who’s your booking agent over there and how did that collaboration come to be?


A: YES I cannot wait for this tour! I actually don't have a booking agent over there but I went over last year, played a few headline shows and supported Lime Cordiale (legendsss) for a bunch of their UK/EU shows, and seriously love touring over there, so I really wanted to go back this year. I booked the shows through promoters that I met on that tour, plus a bunch of promoters who I met while I was playing at SXSW Austin in March. Lily and Grace (from Clews) and I are all really close and we've had this idea for ages - a co-headline tour where we share the same band, van, accommodation, everything, and just alternate the set times each night - it's basically like going on a holiday with all my friends and we get to play shows every night?!?!? I'm so stoked that we're finally making it happen I kinda can't believe it.



A: You've been involved in so many cool and interesting projects that tread outside the traditional Australian music 'path to success' (which can often feel very narrow) - things like Eurovision, writing/composing music for video games, ummmm not to mention collaborating with DAVID BYRNE (!!!!!!) - what have you learnt from these projects that you think you would've missed out on had you taken the more conventional route?


M: Oh, man. The thing is I don’t think I could ever have taken the conventional route because I am too interested in too many different things. I’ve been lucky enough that that’s worked for me & I’ve been able to continue to do music full time but Australia does have an issue with career diversity. A lot of people I chat to say that they’re not sure what to do with the array of things that I’ve been a part of but to me that’s all a strength. There are so many waters I can dip my toe into, just like a lot of my favourite artists including David Byrne do. From what I’ve heard, international industry people tend to understand and value that more, perhaps because overseas territories allow for it more. I don’t really know. But yeah I would have missed out on so much of my curiosity had I not followed through on these things. And now I have experience in pop music, TV, comedy, video games, theatre, touring, and activism. I just think it makes life so much more interesting and I think audiences actually really appreciate when an artist has such varied talents and pursuits. I’m not sure to say about what I’ve learnt, except that there is just a natural know-how and skill in all these things that are developed the more you do them and they surely have to feedback in to one another.



M: How are you finding your TikTok journey?


A: Haaaa I have such a love/hate relationship with TikTok. It's like the wild west out there. Sometimes the idea of it makes my skin crawl and I want to delete everything I've ever posted and throw my phone into a fire I HATE IT I HATE IT I HATE IT. Other times I just think it's fun and silly and I love that I can just sit there and watch videos by strangers on the internet that make me giggle. The pressure for artists to be content creators obviously absolutely sucks, but I feel like I've reached a point where I have kinda just stopped caring too much - my approach is: if I feel like posting, I post, and if I don't feel like posting, I don't post. Sounds simple but it's so hard to navigate as an artist when you're told that you need to be using it for marketing. I think that's bullshit!? I mean, I just post a lot of random stuff on there like sewing videos and completely irrelevant stories. Is it achieving anything for my music career? Who knows. I like the idea of building a community and I looove connecting with my listeners butttt I also like being a total hermit, and I've also had some pretty awful experiences of going viral and getting trolled, soooo yeah - my opinion on it literally changes every few hours. I wrote an anti-tiktok rage song the other day which I think sums up my feelings so we'll have to wait 'til that comes out hahhaa.


M: What are your big goals for the next three years?


A: My main focus at the moment is definitely finishing this album... I feel like I'm on a roll with it - it's a nice feeling, to feel like I'm constantly discovering or unearthing things the more time I put into it. I want to keep writing songs, to keep pushing the sound, to learn more about production and to let go of a lot of the rules or boxes that I had built around myself creatively... I want to release a song in the next few months, do this epic UK/EU tour and then finish the album, so that's definitely what's driving me at the moment. I would also really love to pick my clothing label back up - I put my fashion project on hiatus for a while after I got seriously burnt out last year - and I've promised myself that I'm not going to relaunch it until I either finish this next album and/or find someone else to help me run it. Until then I'm only allowed to sew things for myself (but that's actually the funnest part)




A: Last time we hung out you gave me a book about rituals and their place in the creative process :) Do you have any rituals that have stuck over the last few years?


M: Not really actually! The only one is maybe having a coffee while journalling/doing work. I’ll go to a cafe shortly after I wake up and sit & work/write. That’s sort of it. I have not been good at sticking to rituals or routines since the pandemic...




A: Who are you most excited to see at Wanderer?


M: If the timing works out I’d actually love to see a lot of the artists on the line up! Partly out of personal affection for their music or practise but also because I’ve become really interested in how different artists design their sets for festivals. Top on my list is Thelma Plum, Annie Hamilton, The Jungle Giants, Kevin Morby, and Art Vs Science.





WANDERER FESTIVAL 2023

Pambula Beach, NSW

Sept 29 - 1 Oct, 2023.


MUSIC


OCEAN ALLEY * DJANGO DJANGO (UK) * THE JUNGLE GIANTS * THELMA PLUM

SPIDERBAIT * KEVIN MORBY (USA) * SON LITTLE (USA)

ALICE SKYE * ANNIE HAMILTON * ART vs SCIENCE * BABE RAINBOW

BEGA SOUND COLLECTIVE *BEN OTTEWELL & IAN BALL (GOMEZ / UK)

C.W. STONEKING * DICE * DJINAMA YILAGA * FLAVUH

FREYA JOSEPHINE HOLLICK * GOLDIE * HAIKU HANDS

JACK BIILMANN & THE BLACK TIDE * JACOTÉNE * KIM CHURCHILL

LISA MITCHELL * MELBOURNE SKA ORCHESTRA * MONTAIGNE

* PRODIKAL-1 * ROBYN MARTIN * RUM JUNGLE * STEPH STRINGS

STONEWAVE TAIKO * THE BIG LOST BAND * THE THIN WHITE UKES

URTHBOY * WHISKEY DRAM & more to come


ARTS


FLYING FRUIT FLY CIRCUS * ADAM PAGE * THE SUPER AMAZING DOLPHIN SHOW

WELCOME TO COUNTRY * DUURUNU MIRU DANCERS * FLING PHYSICAL THEATRE

FRANKENTOYS * LA PETITE GRANDE * LIAM POWER * POLITE MAMMALS

WE SHAPED UP LIKE THIS & more to come



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