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  • Vasili Papathanasopoulos


Sugar, Candy, Lips is out now!

Image: Ben Develin.

Australian musician Joe Mungovan has dropped his sophomore album, Sugar, Candy, Lips. To celebrate the release, the musician is taking us through the collection of songs track-by-track.

“Post 2021 my life has changed so much, both personally and professionally. I have found myself navigating a haze and flitting in and out of a state of disconnection and reconnection. Ultimately, I can surmount that in times of unknown and disconnect, you can find the things that ground you and make you feel whole. This started to seep into my writing and inevitably became so much what I had to say on Sugar, Candy, Lips." Mungovan shares.

"The album is a collection of observations about the state of our lives: wealth, greed, consumption, consumerism, love, lust and the excess and self-indulgence associated with all these things. Stylistically I have started exploring new sounds and dimensions within my music that have helped me express these topics sonically.”

The musician will hit the road in support of the album, kicking off in Newcastle on April 5. The run of shows will continue on to Wollongong, Sydney, Melbourne and the Hunter Valley, before wrapping up in Brisbane on May 3. Tickets are on sale now!


Lips was one of those songs that felt like it wrote itself. I was playing around with a loop station and messing around with pieces from the whole album; riffs, baselines, ideas, chord progressions etc. The song ended up encapsulating the bigger ideas of the album as a whole. 



I was listening to a lot of Daft Punk at the time when I was writing High. Their (Daft Punk) ability to make such minimalistic music sound so full and interesting is unmatched. I tried to keep High as poignant and minimal as possible - without losing the groove and dance-like rhythm this song naturally lent into.


This was the song that paved the way thematically for the album.  I was trying to navigate the most appropriate way to approach discussing topics like greed, addiction, lust and overconsumption without coming across as cynical or judgemental.


Handmidowns was the first single released from the album. Recording this track was the first time I’d ever had other musicians in the studio with me (prior to Handmidowns, I’d always recorded all the parts by myself). It was awesome to hear other musicians play the parts and bring their own flavour to the track.


Suzanne was my way of trying to sprinkle a little bit of that country rock vibe over a track on the album...while still remaining within the sonic sphere that the rest of the songs lived in.



Cyclone is a track about being overfed in all aspects of life - mentally, emotionally, physically, and literally - and how disconnected our lives have become as a result. In a way, Cyclone is my resistance to the ‘ignorance is bliss’ attitude that is so entrenched in our society and my attempt to reconnect with something simpler.  This was definitely the hardest song to write on the album.  I’d never made anything with this many chords before! We had so much fun putting the final touches on this track in the studio and it is definitely the most ‘jammy’ moment of ‘Sugar Candy Lips’.



The chord progression came to me late one night when I was winding things up in the studio after a writing session. I originally heard it as a slower jam and jotted down the idea for the next morning. Hearing it with fresh ears the next day it quickly took form into a full electro-dance song (new territory for me), and once Izaac, the band and I got it into the studio to record some other parts, we simmered it back down into the funk infused pop track that it is today.



This one is a love song about being a constant for your partner and finding the magic in life’s simple and quiet moments together. I reached out to some of my favourite collaborators and musicians to be a part of this track and they recorded themselves singing the chorus from wherever they were in the world (Berlin, New Zealand, Australia, London and everywhere in between). Izaac and I took all these files and built a choir out of them for the end of the song.



This song was so much fun to make! My mate Evan works at a singing school in Dapto, and we had some of his incredible students from their female choir sing on this one. We were recording right next to the highway, and had to wait to press record until there was a break in the traffic.

Sugar, Candy, Lips is out now!


Friday 5 April Stag and Hunter Newcastle

Saturday 6 April La La La’s Wollongong

Friday 19 April Oxford Art Factory Sydney

Saturday 20 April The Gasometer Melbourne

Sunday 28 April The Gum Ball Festival Hunter Valley

Friday 3 May It’s Still A Secret Brisbane 


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