Sirens is out now!
Image: Alelier Atlas.
Byron based musician Seph Cove recently made his return with his new single, Sirens. We caught up with the musician to chat about the release, his sonic exploration, what he has in store and so much more!
Could you tell us a bit about your background in music and what led you to pursuing a career in music?
When I was younger, I briefly played piano and joined school jazz bands, but I never really did anything with music until I came home from a year abroad and shifted my priorities in life. Two weeks after coming home (having been taught four chords on guitar by my sister) I played at an open mic in Melbourne and the rest is history! I appreciate the cliché but without the time and space of that trip, I never would have realised I was missing a creative outlet. From there, each passing year has been deeper experiences of thinking and living creatively and I am enjoying the highs and lows.
Sirens conceptually navigates feelings of hope and pain, and the realisation that instead of living in the present, you’ve been consumed by thoughts of the future. What prompted this exploration on the track?
Lots of my writing is a way of dealing with how I feel and a form of deep introspection. Sirens was no different, I was feeling lonely and frustrated with my life and the world and I started thinking and dreaming about who I wanted to be, not who I was at the time. From dreaming of a life overseas to blaming anyone but myself for my situation, Sirens was prompted by real life experiences.
How did you arrive at the mesmerising sonic realm Sirens exists within?
Ever since I started writing music, guitar has been my accompanying medium with which I create early drafts. I am very grateful that I work with a producer who allows me to stay true to my fundamentals but is so keen to explore the edges of my musical taste with me. Although Sirens stays relatively traditional with the instrumentation, the world we tried to create was one of nostalgia and dreams.
What’s one line from the song you find at times can be stuck in your head? Or a line that you come back to?
"Dreaming of tomorrow, it’s where you’d rather be". The first line of the song is a strong statement and symbol of where my mind was at and what the song is about. I also really like singing the song and it is so much fun to hit that first line and go!
Sirens serves as the first taste of new music since the arrival of your debut single Falling and EP If This Were You. How did that extended period between releases influence the music you’re working towards now?
I am really proud of Falling and If This Were You - the EP that followed - it was my first attempt at creating a cohesive project and it was a really rewarding experience to see it out in the world. I definitely feel as though the music has come from a similar place, but sonically I believe it has evolved and comes off a bit more polished. There was an ethereal lightness to my first EP which has been replaced with an earthier, more vulnerable reality. As always, my life experiences influence how I relate to the sounds I want to create.
Could you tell us a bit about your creative process when writing and recording?
I am always writing, whether it’s for a specific idea or as a general form of release I constantly write about my life. Often the melodies and chord progressions come later and I kind of treat them as pieces of a puzzle which will eventually all come together! Recording is a similar experience. I like to start with the base structure of the song and then just explore different sounds that add to the world of the song.
If Sirens was a piece of pre-existing visual art (painting, sculpture, photograph etc), which artwork would it be? (excluding the album artwork and accompanying visuals)
I think it would be a landscape painting of a sunset over the Australian bush with the ocean in the background. A place where nostalgia and dreams intersect.
Australia has a diverse and vibrant music scene, who are some of your favourite Aussie acts and why?
Vancouver Sleep Clinic is one of my all time favourite acts and has been for years, well before I met Tim! His sound is so unique and powerful. I think Maple Glider’s new album is incredible, I saw her at her single launch and have been a huge fan since. Her voice and lyricism are poignant and devastating, and the album takes you on a journey that you have no choice but to join. Merpire and Feelds are two of my favourite people and such impressive artists individually and combined. They are so talented at making you feel special and understood.
What can we expect from you for the rest of 2021, leading into 2022?
I have a bunch of new songs that have been recorded which I am so excited to release in early 2022. The rest of 2021 will involve more writing for me (hello album) and some live shows!
Do you have any live show plans for the near future? Will fans be able to catch you on the road?
I touched on this before, but I can’t wait to play some live shows - in front of real-life people!! – and share my music, my stories and my world with anyone who is brave enough to listen! I will be playing a show in Byron Bay in early December, and hope that 2022 offers a more stable place to tour.
Bon Iver, Leonard Cohen, Johnny Flynn, Jeff Buckley, Maggie Rogers.
Frank Ocean or HAIM.
Album that has had the most impact on you?
22 A Million – Bon Iver.
How do you define your musical style in 3 words?
Indie Folk Pop.
Best song of 2021 so far?
Good Thing – Maple Glider.
If you could create the soundtrack for any film, which one would it be?
Would have loved to be a part of Inside Llewyn Davis, or something about the life of Leonard Cohen if they ever make that! There’s a book called The Last Migration by Charlotte McConaghy that would be right up my alley as well.
Hannah Montana or Miley Cyrus?
Miley Cyrus – Got to be yourself!!
What was the first song you loved to sing?
You’re The Voice by John Farnham – You can thank my mum for that!
A song you would love to cover on tour?
My sister and I used to play Dreams by Fleetwood Mac at gigs. It would great to play that with her in front of people again!
Album you would listen to on repeat on a road trip?
In Between Dreams – Jack Johnson (sorry, not sorry).
First concert you went to?
Big Day Out (bring it back!!).
Best concert you have been to?
I saw Marlon Williams on the last day of Lowlands Festival in the Netherlands. It was the first time I had ever seen him or even heard of him. He made me cry.
First album you ever bought?
Probably Shannon Noll’s EP [That's What I'm Talking About] after Australian Idol
Would you rather be a Spice Girl or a Backstreet Boy?
Most memorable show you’ve ever performed?
My sold-out EP Launch in Melbourne.
Guilty music pleasure?
Harry Styles and Tay Tay (Taylor Swift)!
If you could support any artist on tour, who would it be?
Harry Styles…those would be some fun shows.
An artist you think has had the most influence on the music industry.
Frank Ocean – In terms of the last 20 years, he changed so many preconceived ideas about genres, identity and what an artist should expect from a label.
What advice would your current self, give your future self, for a year from now?
Be grateful for the year you took off to travel Australia with your brother and finally live on the beach. It recharged you and inspired so many life decisions. Stay present and breathe!
The moment you knew you wanted to be a musician?
When I played my first open mic. I played three songs on a stage in front of a couple of friends at a pub that’s now been demolished. The rush and vulnerability when you perform is irreplaceable.
Sirens is out now!