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No you aren’t mistaken, you’ve probably met Gold Fields before. After bursting onto the scene in 2011 with a four-track EP showcasing the band’s upbeat, percussion-heavy tunes, it was their debut album, 2013’s Black Sun that put the Ballarat five-piece on the international map. It might have taken two years and three tries to get there, but the end result exemplified everything that Gold Fields had promised – they gave us pop hooks, disco basslines, tribal drums, and stunning vocals in their perfect combination of retro dance and indie rock music.
And then just like that, Gold Fields seemingly stepped out of the spotlight, instead focussing on side projects and other interests and taking the time out to create whatever was to come next.
That’s when we get to 2019. Six years after their stunning debut, Gold Fields are back – and they’re refreshed, reenergised, and raring to go . Their second album Dalawa is a beauty, With nine tracks clocking in at 50 minutes, each track is a journey in itself. But the true beauty of this record can only really be discovered when you listen to it from front to back.
It’s time to get acquainted with Gold Fields 2.0.
Credit: @jordankmunns / Source: Facebook
From the beginning
Mark Fuller, vocals – “I always have [been making music], but the five of us met when we were in high school. Vin [Vinci Andanar, guitar] and I have been playing Nirvana covers since we were about 14 and we met Ry (Ryan D’Sylva, drums) through touring in high school punk bands and then we started writing together. By the time we left school and started the band up with Luke [Peldys, bass] and Rob [Clifton, keyboard], it was around the height of the Modular Records period and we were in Melbourne going out at night and writing music during the day between working shitty jobs. The first Gold Fields album was kind of born out of all that and has kind of grown up from there.”
What you’ll hear
“Making this new record Dalawa was a real journey over the space of four years pretty much. It started with us experimenting a lot with synths and creating soundscapes before we were trying to mould them into “songs”. That gives the album this vibe that it’s a whole thing. It’s still all live band stuff throughout the whole album though. It was really enjoyable to make, there were no deadlines or limits. We really went on a big trip and came out with something we really love and something that feels really real.”
Influences & inspiration
“Looking at the album as a finished thing, to me it was influenced lyrically by a journey through some pretty gnarly stages of early adulthood and a pretty lengthy existential crisis that seems to be never ending. You don’t know at the time what you’re really writing about, it’s all metaphors and it feels like it’s just coming to you. But then, when it’s done and it might be a few months down the track, you look back and it’s pretty clear what you were writing about. It’s almost like reading an old diary, even though when you’re writing it, it’s not really a conscious thing. Our musical influences between us are super eclectic. Brian Jonestown, Flaming Lips to Nicholas Jaar, even Groove Armada – and I think you hear all that in there.
For the love of music
“When we’re making music – and I’ve said this before – when it’s good, the best way to describe it is, that to me, it feels like these songs already exist somewhere else, and we’re tapping into something and interpreting it into music here, and then recording it. And that’s a great experience to be able to do that. It feels cool. But mainly for me I just love the idea that we’re making stuff that people can enjoy. It can increase the positive vibes for someone, somewhere, on their way to work or if they’re out having fun – even if it’s just for a few minutes, it’s like music makes those moments better and we’re making that. That’s what I like. I probably play that part of it up quite a bit in my head because it makes me feel like I’m contributing something.”
“I would say our biggest achievement to date is making this album, Dalawa.”
The year ahead
“We’ll be playing some shows – Ryan our drummer has been working on all the visual production for the shows and it’s looking really amazing. That’ll be super fun to take around and play for people. And it feels like we’ve got some more music to write as well, so we’ll get into that when the urge arises and we’ve got some time.”
Gold Fields – Waves
“This was pretty obviously inspired by Underworld’s Born Slippy, which we used to cover live when we first started touring. It was always so much fun to play so I think subconsciously we wanted a song like that of our own and I guess this is it.”
Gold Fields – Let This Go
“I just like this song. I don’t think we’ll be playing it live for a little while but I reckon we will be later in the year.”
Gold Fields – Happy Boy
“This is just one off Black Sun. I just found the demo version of this today under the seat in my old car when I was cleaning it out!”
Bonus: Gold Fields – Glow
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