Abroad Interview: “Alright OK was actually one of the first songs we wrote”

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Following on from the release of their location specific EPs London and New York, as well as the runaway success of their recent single Home, Sydney-based indie-electronic duo Abroad have now returned to share their next euphoric offering, Alright OK.

With its rich and spellbinding aesthetic, Alright OK sees the pair follow in the footsteps of the likes of Friendly Fires and Cut Copy with its dancefloor-ready sound. Jam-packed with uplifting tones and some truly wondrous production, their newest release is set to see them break away from their Australian roots and onto worldwide domination.

So with their new delight brightening up our lives right now, we sat down with Will and Jack from the group to find out more about their origins and what they have in store for us over the coming months.

Hi guys, how are you today?

Will: Yeah good thanks! It’s a little fresh in Melbourne today so I think I’ll stay in our toasty studio.

Jack: G’day. How are you? Very well indeed. Just been at school (I am a teacher not just lingering by a school) so stoked to be on the couch, feet up.

For those that haven’t heard of you yet, how would you best describe your sound and who have been your biggest influences so far?

W: Our sound actually comes from a load of different places. Jack and I have been playing in bands forever and we started Abroad when we were living in London. So our influence and sound really come from where our musical interests meet – there’s a big dance vibe underneath it all but it’s also laden with guitars and vocals. This also ties into our desire to play live instead of straight up DJ-ing.

J: Yeah, Will and I love the emotional dance sound that takes the audience to a place with us. So we want the songs to have meaning but at the same time allow all involved to take a moment and escape with us with driving beats, synths and two grown men singing like a school boy choir (high).

You have just released your new single ‘Alright OK’. Can you tell us how that track came about?

W: ‘Alright OK’ was actually one of the first songs we wrote. It’s travelled the world with us and changed up each time we’ve moved to another country. The basic chord structure is the same as when we wrote it in my flat in London. There was a big sonic shift when I was living in New York, layers of gritty synths really thickened out the track. and then the vocal hook came last when we were hanging on the beach at Bondi. that hook really brought the track together and we both felt it was ready to release.

J: This little hot track came about back in 2016. I remember William sitting me down in London and feeding me a croissant and a strong flatty, saying ‘thoughts’. Obviously very positive thoughts, both with the cawfee and song. We strawberry jammed and came out with the crux of the track. Only recently Will played with the chorus and that put the pretty red ribbon on it that we were waiting for. The opening line ‘you’ve got those see through eyes’ came about with an experience I had with my sister in laws mate, she has these breath-taking eyes that would leave you catching flies. It ran quite smoothly from then on.

And was there a particular style you were looking for when you wrote it?

W: Abroad has largely been an online project so far. We’ve spent all this time trying to cultivate our own style, so I guess ‘Alright OK’ is building on everything that’s come before it. Of course dance, that “4 to the floor” kick and layers of synths is a huge part of that, but stylistically were also an indie band that really focuses on vocals and guitars.

J: The song is quite a unique piece. It breaks the usual pop writing style of following a simple structure. To me, the song is in a few sections and each section has a strong message. Sound wise, we loved the drone of the synths carrying it with the silky layers of vocals. The addition of the drum roll gave it the final moist lick that we needed.

Can we expect a new EP, or even an album from you in the near future?

J: Well, yes, yes you can.

W: There’s no shortage of tracks being workshopped and we definitely have a list of songs that far outreach both an EP and an album. We’re going to focus on the EP first though and put something out that really defines who we are.

The coronavirus outbreak has obviously affected everyone’s plans, but what have you got in store for the rest of the year?

W: The aforementioned EP is a big chunk of that. But we also were hoping (restrictions pending) to showcase our live set. We’d been working on it and almost had something we were really proud to share when COVID hit. So now I’m just counting down the days until we can dance along with all of our fans.

J: Like everyone, it has been quite good for us and every other artist. ‘A writing time’. Yes and gigs. Please gigs and more releases.

And finally, what has been your fondest memory as artists working today?

W: Actually this ties into the above too. We’ve only played a handful of shows back home in Aus. We played one show in Bondi with Boo Seeka which was packed and having that moment with the crowd, seeing people singing and dancing along with us; that is the best thing you can hope for as an artist.

J: A few gigs – a Bondi gig and a house party that we played in London. Getting recent recognition for a few tracks and having our name thrown around in the music scene. Also hearing a track early on and then workshopping it until we are extremely happy about it.


Abroad’s new single ‘Alright OK’ is available to stream and download now. Have a listen to it below.

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Indie is not a genre

Indie is not a genre