Singer and a sought after style figure, Banoffee sparkles with the release of her new EP and first single “With Her”.
Are you nervous for Banoffee’s new EP Do I Make You Nervous? Already beaming on Australian land, the Melbourne based singer is finally announcing her five track EP, featuring long time collaborator Oscar Key Sung in “With Her”. Having received over 40,000 plays in two weeks and been highlighted by i-D, Pigeons and Planes, and others, Martha Brown have set off at a good start in her musical career.
“With Her” combines R’n’B with majestical vocals, further emphasised with piano and syncopated rhythm building. Somewhat reminiscent of the debut of her self-titled EP last year that brought together juxtaposing tones and moods, Do I Make You Nervous? might get more than previous received nominations for both Best Song and Best Female Artist categories at the Australia’s Age Music Victoria Awards last year. We love her for music, and inspirational lyrics, and her effortless style.
Your music has a unique sound which appears to draw inspiration from many genres of music. Who were your biggest inspirations growing up?
My inspirations varied a lot growing up, my mum and dad listened to a lot of James Taylor, Paul Simons and other mottled types of pop folk genres, all of which inspired me. I took a lot of inspiration from the storytelling that is intertwined in folk and country music, and then got super inspired by the feel of other more soulful/RnB artists like Janet Jackson, Erykah Badu and India Arie. Having two older sisters made for quite varied exposure growing up.
What music can’t you get enough of at the moment?
Nao’s two latest EP’s – So Good and Inhale, Exhale. I’m obsessed with Mura Masa as well – great producer working with some really great vocalists.
If you could only listen to one album, what would it be?
That’s like saying if you could only breath or have your heart beat which would you choose? Either way I’d die. If that answer disappoints you I guess it would be out of these top ones: Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Love is Overtaking Me by Arthur Russell.
Your lyrics are very powerful – particularly in your new release “With Her”. Can you tell us anything about your songwriting process?
My dad once told me (referencing a cardigan’s song I believe) that describing a simple moment so they the listener can see it in front of them is what makes a song more than just words. I try to do that in “With Her” – not just to share the motif with others but so I really remember why a song is important to me. It’s also a great way to say things in code – a lot of the lyrics I write are symbolic and often narrate something complete different for me. I like to use relatable scenarios to paint out more complex storylines that I mightn’t yet be ready to share more explicitly.
What can we expect from the new EP (October 2nd) and were there any major inspirations behind it?
This EP is very unapologetic, I felt nervous after the first EP and didn’t want to let people down who liked the first release but then I realised how lame that was a shook it off and just wrote uninfluenced and without doubt. I try lots of different things in this release, each track is pretty different to the next. I wanted to make sure this EP quickly whisked me up and away from “genre-labelling” so I really worked on making each track its own little world – I hope I’ve achieved that. Lyrically this EP continues similar motifs to the last, I’m still using music as a way to work through contemplations and to try and buff myself up a bit. Martin King from the Harpoons worked on a track with me, Oscar Key Sung again and GXNVXS as well. So there’s a mix of my own production and theirs to make it a bit gritty.
What has it been like working with producer Oscar Key Sung?
He’s great, he understands my process very well and we know how to push each other without completely crushing each others confidence. I really do believe he’s one of the best producers to come out of Australia I’m very lucky to have him still eager to work with me.
Your recording process – is it improvisational or more calculated/planned?
A bit of both, I have all the songs ready to record down part by part but there are always parts added as it goes down. The different producers I worked with put a lot into the tracks on this new EP, so they changed a lot as we entered the production process together. The tracks that feature guest production changed in many stages, first they were written and structured by me, then changed and played with in production, and most of them got poked and prodded again all the way through mixing. I was pickier with this EP than the last, there’s more instrumentation, it’s less minimal and that takes a lot of culling and a lot of trial and error.
Have you performed any of your new tracks live yet?
I have – but very rough and wonky versions! “With Her” has been a part of my live set for the last couple of shows and I gave “I’m not sorry” a whirl last month. It’ll be nice now that it’s coming out to get to fill my set with new stuff though.
At Wonderland we’re a big fan of your style as well as your music. Who are your favourite current designers?
I keep finding new people that I’m obsessed with: ASSK are doing amazing stuff at the moment, I’m a big fan of theirs. I love the latest Pageant line that’s come out, Georgia Alice, also Lactose Intolerart just brought out a cool line of stuff with his own drawings which I love. Mainly I’m into people doing strong styles, things that are comfortable to wear in a way where you could maybe suddenly be in an action movie and still look kinda rad. Ha – thats the fashion requirement: instant-Kung-Fu-ability.
What’s next for Banoffee? Is there an album in the pipeline?
Ahhh that old question… It’s like when you have a great partner but everytime you meet with friends they say “so.. when’s the wedding?” I’m skeptical about an album at the moment – I find it hard to stay in one part of music for too long. I need to write and record, then play shows and celebrate what I’ve done before I can have the confidence to do it again. For now I’m really happy bringing things out in small little packages, but that could change.
The EP will be available from the 2nd of October.