INTERVIEW: Gossling

Victorian singer-songwriter Gossling – aka Helen Croome – has been quietly building up a solid legion of fans in recent months, after a stack of Triple J airplay and tour slots alongside Oh Mercy, Lamb and Whitley. Gossling, from rural Victoria, has been turning heads with tender, heartfelt and melancholy brand of folksy pop, and is set to announce herself in a big way this month; embarking on her first headlining tour, in support of new single ‘War,’ Gossling will play Wollongong’s Otis Bar on July 1st. RADAR caught up with Helen in the lead-up to the tour, which kicked off last night.

So Helen, where’d the name ‘Gossling’ come from?
Gossling comes from my grandmother’s maiden name. I wanted a name for me as a solo act, and me as a band

Tell us a bit about how you got to where you are today.
Gossling started 2 years ago. I’d been song writing for a long time, but I put a CD together and started Gossling two years ago. I got really lucky, started getting radio play, started gigging a lot, and now I get to play shows around the country

The female singer-songwriter scene is seriously strong right now, obviously girls like Julia Stone, Holly Throsby, Lisa Mitchell, Sarah Blasko. Why do you think this type of music has become so popular recently?
It’s hard to say. I think music comes in waves, and for some reason, things are popular at points in time more than others. its very helpful for me, that this is popular now!

As I said, your music sort of fits into that singer-songwriter folksy mould, but also has some darker, more sombre elements too. Where do you draw inspiration for your songs?
When I started to get serious about song writing, I had just discovered Damien Rice, an Irish songwriter. I was so fascinated by his music, I love the emotion he is able create in every song he writes. when I started writing, I think I was trying to mimic that style of writing; I’m still drawn to that style of song writing, when I listen to music that’s what I listen to

What do you try to convey with your music? A story? An emotion? Some recount of a part of your own life?
It tends to be a mix of everything. I don’t sit down and say “I’m going to write a song about this or this.” I enjoy listening to songs that tell a story, but for some reason, I cant really write that sort of music as I can write about a particular emotion. Paul Kelly, or Oh Mercy, where they have really great songs behind the songs, I find it difficult to write that sort of music. it’s easier for me to write about an emotion. I’d like to be able to write songs around stories; hopefully one day, it’ll come out of me somehow!

How important is the live show to you? How highly do you value performing live?
These days, it’s very important. when I started out, I didn’t enjoy playing live. I got quite nervous, it was a big deal for me to put on a gig and play. I thought I’d just be a studio artist, but over the years, I’ve started to enjoy it; to be free on stage, to play whatever comes to me and talk about whatever comes to me.

Tell us a bit about a Gossling live show. What can we expect?
I do like to throw in a few dad jokes, every now and then! but this tour coming up, we’re playing as a three-piece; myself, a cellist and a guitarist. which is more fun, compared to when I play solo. the set is quite intimate, quite soft at times, but I like to mix it up with some banter in between

This will be your first tour with a band. What made you decide to take up a proper band?
The fact that this is my first headline tour, I guess. for the last 12 months, the tours I’ve been on have been solo tours, where I’m the support act. playing as a solo act has a very different vibe, you can play whatever you want, whenever you want; but with a band, it’s more structured. there’s a totally different vibe on-stage with a band. I’ve wanted to do a band tour for ages, so I’m excited

What does the band bring to the sound? what does it bring to your performance?
From an audience perspective, they come and they hear the songs being reproduced closer to how they sound on the EP. it’s nice for people to come and hear it quite similar to the recording.

What’s planned for the rest of 2011?
The rest of the year is hopefully more gigs, more tours. I want to release more music by the end of the year; whether that’s an EP or an album, we’ll see!

GOSSLING plays Otis Bar on July 1st, supported by Ryan Meeking. Tickets are just $10 pre-sale. See here for more details.

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