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  • Vasili Papathanasopoulos


Catch them on their NSW co-headline tour this weekend!

Image: Polarize - Chris Nicolaou. Taylah Carroll - Nick McKinlay.

Fresh off the release of their latest single, Clue, Polarize are hitting the road on a co-headline tour with Taylah Carroll. To celebrate the run of shows, frontman Rudie Dodd and Carroll caught up to have a chat about their respective songwriting processes and more!

Having kicked off last Friday at Melbourne's Colour Club, the tour will continue on this weekend with performances in Sydney, Thirroul and Port Kembla, before visiting Beechworth in Victoria next month.

Rudie Dodd: How do you feel your process has changed since your first foray into songwriting/making music? For instance, I use to always write songs on an acoustic guitar sitting on the end of my bed, but now I almost exclusively write using the computer lol.

Taylah Carroll: Haha, I swear almost every time I walk into your house - you're at the computer making music. It's actually crazy! I don't think my process has changed as drastically as yours! My metamorphosis (yes that's a Hillary Duff reference I'm sneaking in for you Rudie) as a songwriter must still be ahead of me... But I have definitely found myself writing in a more, patch-worky, Frankenstein kinda way lately. I used to write a song in one, very emotionally charged sitting, but lately, mostly because I'm so busy all the time - I write a song over a couple of weeks... stringing together a riff I wrote at the piano or on guitar, with various lyrics in the 'notes' on my phone, with a chord progression from here, and another from there. It makes the whole thing feel way more like a puzzle and an exciting exercise in problem solving! Wildly fun!

RD: Who are some of your influences that have informed your songwriting recently? And if so in what way?

TC: I've been listening to a LOT of Cate Le Bon - and as I've been in the final stages of production in the studio, I can definitely hear her influence on where I feel inclined to insert a fun melodic flourish. Lyrically, I always admire Aldous Harding. She has an incredible way of being at once generous in her specificity, and also generalist enough in her wider sentiment for the listener to imbue each song with their own meaning.

RD: What is your favourite venue to play??? Just joking… ! But on a serious note, what do you find so alluring about playing live? I have a love/hate relationship with the live stage, because even if something tiny goes wrong it can throw me off for the night. What keeps you from just crumbling into a thousand pieces?

TC: Haha, I'm going to breeze past that joke - because I honestly don't have an answer at the moment. Post-pandemic Melbourne feels a little different hey!? I have a constant internal battle deciding what I like most - songwriting, or playing live... I'm yet to lean into one answer wholeheartedly, and both experiences are where I feel most fully, and independently myself. I LOVE the adrenaline rush of live shows. It's that tender balance between control and risk that I find super enticing... especially because it's a balance that you are playing with throughout the whole set. It's almost like you have to relinquish all control to enjoy the experience, and in doing so, I feel I have more control than ever.

But then, if the sound on stage is shit, or the audience won't listen or whatever - and the whole set feels a little 'bleu' and less-than-chic haha - I find dissociation is a fabulous friend. Exit my own brain, stage right.

TC: Have you ever written a song that was inspired by a sensory experience OTHER than music itself? For example, a flavour, a colour, a scent? OR, if not, do any such things inform or play a role in your creative process?

RD: Oooh that’s a hard one… but I’m pretty sure I have! So last year sometime just before lockdown began I stole my brother's air diffuser, and put it in my room cause he never used it. I strolled down to Hope Street Space in Brunswick, and picked up some ‘peace’ essential oil blend. The aromas were so nice and woody it felt as if I had been transported to the Daintree Rainforest.

So anyway, lockdown 4.0 kicks in and things are feeling a bit dire. I fire up the diffuser and start working on this pretty sounding track, with lyrics about ‘little green birds swooping past my window’, and airy falsetto vocals. It was a hopeful sounding song(unlike a lot of polarize tracks) - about the beauty that surrounds us, and I have to attribute at least a portion of that track to the potent oil blend in the air diffuser.

So to sum it all up yes! I think colours, smells and environment play a huge role in the songs we create.

TC: What is normally the starting point for you when writing a song? Melody/vs Lyrics

RD: It almost always starts with a chord progression and then a melody for me, but I also find it fun to start with a drum loop and try to create a chord progression that's quite rhythmic. Sometimes a melody will pop into my head and I’ll try and write a song out of that, but a lot of the time it doesn’t translate the way I want and I just end up scrapping it. I write down little phrases that pop into my head, and try to incorporate those into songs too - when I remember to check my notes!

TC: What’s a moment in your life, musical or otherwise, that you believe changed the trajectory of your future?! (Or at least think may have?)

RD: It’s an obvious one but I think it has to be moving to Aus from the UK in 2003. If we hadn’t moved I wouldn’t have met all the guys in the band - Sandy, Ben and I started playing together in primary school through our love of guitar pop. If I stayed in the UK maybe I wouldn’t be making music at all? Or maybe it’d be the most aggressive Drum n Bass the world has ever seen? How will we ever know?

TC: What things give you hope?!

RD: The simple things... a piping hot long black in the morning, a bike ride on a sunny spring day and two pots of free beer provided by the venue after playing a show on a Monday night to three people.

Clue is out now! Watch the visual below.


Fri 23rd September @ Colour Club, Melbourne, VIC

Fri 30th September @ Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Sat October 1st @ Franks Wild Years, Thirroul, NSW

Sun 2nd October @ Servo Food Truck Bar, Port Kembla, NSW

Fri 21st October @ Tanswells, Beechworth, VIC


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