Unearthed by Triple J, Greta Stanley's sound is a melancholic blend of indie beach charm and electronic light.
Hailing from the heavens of far north Queensland, Greta's releases ooze charm and sun-soaked chill. Her new release Kick is a reflective romp of heart.
At the start of a busy year, Greta sat down with Will about all things new music, the healing powers of music and her inspiring upbringing.
Kick is already gaining traction on Triple J Unearthed and streaming services. How do you measure success?
I think the times I’ve felt most successful are when people really connect with my music, listeners and industry folk alike. It feels really special when someone tells you that your music helped them through something, or made them feel less alone, or brought them closer to someone. When I’ve been played on radio, or landed a really great opportunity, it’s because I’ve worked hard for it but also because it matters, and people like what I’m creating, which is in my opinion success!
Kick is a track that sounds like it has come from a place of struggle and adversity. What life stage were you in leading up to the creation of this track?
I don’t know about “life stage” but it was just some accumulating thoughts and feelings of my own and people surrounding me – I’ve always struggled with anxiety and depression, in waves, and I know a lot of other people do to, and even if you don’t – we all have hard times where we get a little cynical or self critical. It’s just a song about the motions you go through in those unkind state of minds, the things you say to yourself to try swim out of that dark wave “I’ll be fine, I’ll be good” not right now, but in time.
I’ve read that you were in a depressive state during the time of writing this music. Does musical creativity act as therapy for you? How do you practice self-care?
I wrote this song on the way out of a darker place, when I was feeling better and reflecting on it. Music does act as some form of therapy, it definitely lets me express myself, but I think it’s important to note that sometimes things are very real and personal, and sometimes things are just an elaboration or an ideal ending, or some kind of day dream. That’s the fun of it, there’s no rules with writing really, I can take myself somewhere else in a song to distract from what I’m feeling at my core, or I can be incredibly honest and vulnerable to heal and get something out that I feel needs to be heard. I practice self care by eating clean, exercising daily, playing with my dog, keeping good company & having a bed time 5 nights a week!
How are you feeling about this release?
I feel happy that it’s out in the world and I’ve had a lot of positive feedback on it, I think the topic resonates with people – maybe not everyone is honest about it but I’m pretty certain everyone had breakdown moments – some just last a little longer than we’d like. I’m excited for the film clip to follow.
Like the title professes, your other recent track Come Undone unravels with vocal quells and a techno crescendo. How would you describe musical style?
I’d describe it as always changing, but always lyric focused. I love writing, I love songs that have great lyrics – that’s what I’ve always been drawn to and moved by so that’s always what I focus on first. I love lots of styles of music. I’m fortunate to have worked with two producers for the whole EP, which this single is part of, and they both have quite different musical backgrounds, influences and contributions to the song and the EP as a whole. I think it really shows across the whole EP.
How has your far North-Queensland upbringing influenced your creative process?
It’s given me a healthy environment to write in, I go away a lot for music so I’m always inspired by new things, new connections, new trains of thought – but home is nature, quiet, routine.. I like it here and I’m in a better frame of mind then a big city so my music as a whole benefits from that. It’s a very relaxed place to live, it’s easy to get anywhere and there are lots of beautiful swimming holes, beaches and landscapes to see! I like writing about nature and the seasons, so I would say it has helped shape/inspire my writing and use of metaphors in a lot of ways too.
You are embarking on a national tour, playing some intimate venues. What can I expect from your MCA performance?
I’ll be touring solo – so you can expect stripped back versions of new and old songs, played to you on my Takamine acoustic guitar that I cherish, nothing fancy but hopefully still special – best served with a glass of wine (red if you ask me) and nice company by your side.
Congratulations on receiving the 2018 Billy Thorpe scholarship. How are you planning on using the $10,000 grant? What does that amount of money mean to an emerging artist?
A heck of a lot. It means I get to record a new EP without the stress of trying to fund it completely myself, it means I can afford to give it the best chance by being able to better afford surrounding costs after production (publicity, pressing etc.) It allows me to do something I always intended on doing a lot faster than I ever anticipated, which is very very cool. It’s just one of those pinch yourself things, like what, really? Is that a typo? Are you SURE this is for ME!? I’m very grateful. I hope I do Billy & his legacy proud.
I hate to rush you, but what is on the horizon for 2019 for Greta Stanley?
My 3rd release, an EP containing 6 brand newbies! Two tours, and hopefully more! Some collaborations with some talented folk! Writing more songs, making more connections!
Listen to Greta Stanley on Spotify HERE.