Dulcie's new single, Dust, is out now! We chat to the band about their music and more.
Image: Zachary Lindley
4-piece indie girl band Dulcie recently dropped their brand new banger, Dust,
The happy and carefree track is made up of mesmerising harmonies, smooth melodic layers, beautiful arrangements and driving rhythms. Thematically, the song centres around diving into something headfirst, ignoring the red flags and soon after realising everything is not what it seems. The sonic soundscape and warm, silky melodies will honestly brighten up your day, and feels like it belongs in Stevie Nicks' discography, but also feels fresh and revitalised.
The music video sees the WA girls doing what you're imagining whilst listening: running amuck with your friends around the streets of your hometown and living your best carefree life skating around a roller rink. Directed by Liam Fawell, the visual was shot in and around Perth, WA.
Dulcie are Ashleigh Carr-White, Timieka Denton, Saskia Brittain and Madison Hanley, and are in our opinion, set to become one of Australia's best bands. Not even girl bands, just bands because that is how much they deliver on their releases. Forming in April 2018, the band have toured extensively, sharing the stage with other Aussie legends including G Flip, San Cisco, Spacey Jane, Polish Club and Psychedelic Porn Crumpets. They've also played festivals such as BIGSOUND and Groovin The Moo
Their soulful debut single Fall put them on the radar, catching the attention of local band Ocean Alley, who named it their favourite track of 2019. Having performed a handful of couch concerts gigs, and an appearance on Idol-aid during the COVID-19 pandemic, the group are working hard rehearsing for some special performances later this month, and will also be hitting the road with Ocean Alley early next year.
Dust. is out now! Read our interview with Dulcie below.
Tell us a bit about how you began your musical journey and how the band formed…
Dulcie was formed in mid 2018 when Sas, Timieka & Ash became friends through a music course at WAAPA. Ash knew Madi through high school and got her onboard to play the drums, conveniently she had started studying at WAAPA the same year. Sas and Meeks also grew up together as family friends so it was good to start a project with a foundation of friendship first. We locked in a gig a few months in advance and started rehearsing and writing non-stop to prepare for it. As soon as we played our first few gigs the ball started rolling and we got into a good rhythm of playing and meeting lots of new faces within the Perth music scene.
Congratulations on the new song!
Dust centres around diving into something headfirst, ignoring the red flags and soon after realising everything is not what it seems. What inspired you guys to explore this theme?
The song came from a voice memo idea that I found on my phone earlier this year dated back to late 2018. The recording was mainly just random words and melody, but one line I made out was something about the word ‘sand’. Who knows where that random stream of consciousness came from, but I decided to try think up a symbolic meaning for it and started with the discomforting feeling of getting it in your eyes. This later developed into the idea of not being able to see clearly when you’re lost in the thrill of something and reworded to ‘dust’. I like to write about topics that people can relate to and I think this is something that all of us can struggle with from time to time!
The sonic soundscape and warm, silky melodies honestly brighten up your day when listening. It feels like it belongs in Stevie Nicks' discography, but also feels fresh and revitalised. Did you have any particular influences when crafting the song?
Wow that is such a compliment thank you! There are artists that we all mutually love – like Ocean Alley, Tame Impala, Pond, Two-Door Cinema Club, Spacey Jane & so many more, but at the same time, some our individual tastes are completely different! Sas loves psych-rock, Madi is like a walking musical encyclopaedia, Ash is super into indie-pop and Meeks could be anything from old soul to the latest Dua Lipa record. We never really write with the intention to sound like anyone or stick to a genre but you can definitely hear elements of our influences within our sound.
The music video for Dust is so good! How important are the visuals to you when it comes to conveying the story and meaning present on the track? And how involved you are when it comes to planning the visuals?
This was the first time we really got involved with the idea and production for the visual of a track! We had so much fun thinking up storylines that would give listeners a window into our personality and bring out the meaning of the song. All of us mutually love retro vibes so roller-skating seemed like a good fit and matched the momentum of the music. We definitely don’t take ourselves too seriously and knew that lots of stacking and silliness would come naturally from trying to skate which was a good way for people to see that we have a lot of fun together. Hopefully people pick up that energy from viewing it!
How do you feel your music speaks to listeners, and what messages do you hope listeners take away from Dust?
I hope people take away a feeling of empowerment from ‘Dust’. That even though they might be in a situation they don’t feel comfortable in, or maybe don’t even realise that they’re in, they have the strength to choose something different for themselves.
Could you tell us a bit about your creative collaborative process when writing and recording songs?
The creative process can be different every time, but generally we start with a concept that has been written prior to a full band rehearsal - this could be anything from a verse, a riff or an entire song. After the idea has been shared, we jam it and see how it flows, making adjustments and suggestions as we go! We found that catching up in duos to write works really well for us so we tend to do that as much as we can. When it comes to the studio, we prepare fully formed ideas that are ready to record and work with a producer to make final adjustments.
How did you arrive at the sonic sounds and overall soundscape present in your music?
Over the 2 years that we’ve been together it’s been a subtle process of refining our sound. We’ve developed an understanding for the way we individually play our instrument, structure songs, write, perform and can now recognise patterns in our sound more easily. We all bring our different influences to the table and collaborate on ideas so even though our sound changes from song to song, the same minds are behind it all keeping the continuity! We generally stick to the indie-pop genre and don’t use too many extra sounds in production to create a live band sound.
Where did the band name ‘Dulcie’ come from?
The name ‘Dulcie’ comes from Ash’s great grandmothers name who used to sing as well, she suggested it at a rehearsal and it stuck ever since.
What has been the most challenging part about creating music during the COVID-19 pandemic?
The way we write and arrange our songs is a very collaborative process so it was very hard to do this while being a part! We tried zoom calls and sending voice memos but seeing each other in person is definitely a lot easier! We’re fortunate enough to be in WA where restrictions have eased enough for us to be together and playing live again! Isolation made us realise how much we love what we do and all the more grateful to be in the same room sharing ideas!
You have a handful of shows coming up. What are you expecting from these socially distanced shows and how do you approach creating a set for a sit-down show?
We recently played a festival with a rotating stage set in the centre of the crowd to adhere to social distancing! None of us had any idea what to expect but it turned out (quite literally) to be a lot of fun and we’ve learnt to be super open minded with everything going on! I think people are just glad to be able to go out again, and we’re certainly glad to be playing live! So as long as people are respectful of the rules in place to make sure everyone is kept safe than it’s all smiles! We haven’t had any sit down shows here in WA but I can imagine if we did we’d still try to bring the same energy!
The current pandemic has obviously put a half to touring and performing live. Do you have any post-pandemic touring plans?
It’s pretty crazy to see the effect of COVID on the music scene, thankfully most plans are being postponed rather than cancelled! We are looking forward to supporting Ocean Alley on their national tour next year, so fingers and toes crossed that it goes ahead! When the pandemic was getting out of hand here in Australia we had just started out on our first headline tour over east which was cut short a few days in, so the plan is to go back over and finish it once we get the all clear!
What can audiences expect from one of your live show?
Saskia, Timieka and Ash all share the lead vocal so you can expect lots of harmonies and variation between songs! Come ready to have a good boogie and if you really want to be prepared you can check out some of our music to sing along with us!
Odette, Meg Mac, Kimbra, Morgan Bain, Ocean Alley, Beyonce, Matt Corby, Taylor Swift, Heart, Arctic Monkeys, Nothing But Thieves.
Album that has had the most impact on you?
To a Stanger – Odette, Adelle – 21, I’m With You – Red Hot Chilli Peppers.
Best song of 2020?
Don’t Start Now - Dua Lipa, Head Cold – Spacey Jane, Conversation in the Dark – John Legend.
If you could create the soundtrack for any film, which one would it be?
You’ve Got Mail.
Album you would listen to on repeat on a road trip?
Long Way Round – The Chicks, Brian Jonestown Massacure.
Hannah Montana or Miley Cyrus?
Hannah Montana for sure.
Best concert you have been to?
Nothing But Thieves at Capital, Foreigner, Jennifer Lopez.
Last concert you went to?
If you were a Spice Girl, what would your spice nickname be?
Guilty music pleasure?
Anything musical theatre.
If you could go on tour with any artist, who would it be?
Harry Styles, Dua Lipa.
An artist you think has had the most influence on the music industry?
Lady Gaga, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Beyonce, Rolling Stones.
What advice would you give yourself a year from now?
Don’t compare yourself to others, keep writing and trying new things, have fun with it all and be yourself!
The moment you knew you wanted to be a musician?
I’ve always loved music but the moment I was inspired to start writing again and try pursue it was after watching a gig where Morgan Bain supported Little May in mid 2016! – Ash
When I was 4 because I watched ‘Hanson’ and wanted to be like them. – Sas
I always wanted to be a musician but was too shy to pursue it. It was only when I moved to a new school in year 10 and my teachers helped me did I gain my confidence. – Meeks