Skip to main content

Music > Interview

Spaces And Places

Apr 11th 2013 | Tyler McLoughlan

Using just voice and body percussion, Aluka turned the recording sessions for their debut album, Space, into one big choose-your-own adventure. Annabelle Tunley talks Tyler McLoughlan through the process.

It was through happy coincidence that Annabelle Tunley, Rachael Head and Sally Mortensen became an a cappella trio while studying a diploma of music together five years ago. Though Tunley admits there may have been a little female defiance in the decision to stick together for an assignment rather than recruit the services of a “blokey, boy drummer or boy bass player”, they soon found a shared love in the challenge of approaching a blank canvas with limited resources. With this month's debut album release, Aluka show how ditching the studio has extended a further level of creativity to their sound.

“We came up with the idea of marrying each song to a unique recording environment, and I guess that idea resonated with us because it was interesting and sounded like a fun thing to do, but also because we'd never particularly loved recording in the studio. I guess as a vocal group we travel around with each other and inevitably we end up spontaneously busting out Destiny's Child songs in various locations when no one else is around,” Tunley giggles. “Through that, you really notice how different each space is and what that does to the song.”

Working with producer Nick Huggins (Mick Turner, Kid Sam, Otouto), the group impressively recorded everything, save a couple of vocal lines, on location.

“I think it was a bit of a producer's wet dream because I think producers also do that thing where they walk around places and go, 'Wow, this would be amazing to record in here', but often you just don't have the band; it doesn't call for that. So he was really excited by it so that's what we did. It saw us going to tram depots, swimming pools, World War II bunkers, and farmyards, and yeah, all kinds of places; it was a lot of fun. The songs sound so different to each other; although we thought it would work we were really surprised when we recorded it all, put them all back-to-back, chose the order of the songs and listened through to it. We were like, 'Oh my gosh, this really... it really worked!' So I guess we were pretty surprised. Each different space adds its little voice to the mix also, kind of like there's four voices,” she says.

Heading out nationally to show off Space, Aluka are seasoned performers who lent their package-deal backing vocals to Lisa Mitchell's live show last year, while also working with Clare Bowditch on live and recorded projects consistently since their formation. Tunley is audibly delighted to be bringing the trio to Brisbane for the first time.

“When we started out, people generally just didn't know what they were witnessing a lot of the time. We'd get on stage and I think because at that point we were three very young girls hopping onto stage and you could definitely tell in the room that there was a bit of a, 'Oh here we go, I wonder what this is gonna be' type thing [going on]. But it was very satisfying then to see those people, within 30 seconds of us starting, just go kind of silent and their beers just slightly tip until they're nearly pouring on the floor. I guess we kind of... people don't expect what we're gonna do. They either expect us to be very bad or they expect us to be very, very cute. People obviously know us a bit better now, and so I think people come to our shows just knowing that we're gonna have a lot of life. We love performing, so it will be fun!”

Aluka will be playing the following dates:

Thursday 11 April - Camelot Lounge, Sydney NSW
Friday 12 April - Salamanca Arts Centre, Hobart TAS
Wednesday 17 April - Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane QLD
Friday 19 April - Nexus Arts Centre, Adelaide SA
Friday 3 May - Northcote Uniting Church, Melbourne WA


Related Articles

release > News

Exclusive Stream Of Cave By Aluka

Exclusive Stream Of Cave By Aluka

Poster IT

Connect with The Music

Subscribe to Daily Newsletter


<span>Sugar Mountain 2015</span><br />

Sugar Mountain 2015

<span>Kim Churchill</span><br />Oxford Art Factory

Kim Churchill
Oxford Art Factory

<span>Nightmares On Wax</span><br />Aurora Spiegeltent

Nightmares On Wax
Aurora Spiegeltent

<span>Roger Knox</span><br />Aurora Spiegeltent

Roger Knox
Aurora Spiegeltent

<span>Ed Kuepper</span><br />City Recital Hall

Ed Kuepper
City Recital Hall

<span>Dallas Crane</span><br />Newtown Social Club

Dallas Crane
Newtown Social Club

<span>mewithoutYou</span><br />Amplifier Bar

Amplifier Bar

<span>Nas</span><br />Enmore Theatre

Enmore Theatre

<span>The Kooks</span><br />Hordern Pavilion

The Kooks
Hordern Pavilion

this week's magazine

Digital Version
A Festival Called PANAMA Airlie Beach Music Festival Australasian Worldwide Music Expo Beyond The Valley Big Sky Blues & Roots Festival BIGSOUND Bleach Festival Blue Mountains Music Festival Blues At Bridgetown Bluesfest Breakfest Brisbane Festival Brunswick Music Festival Bruthen Blues & Arts Festival Caloundra Music Festival Campfire Festival CMC Rocks The Hunter CoLAB Deni Ute Muster Dungog Festival Earth Frequency Festival El Grande Festival Fairbridge Folk Festival Falls Festival Falls Festival Falls Festival Farmer & The Owl Festival Of The Sun Follow The Sun Festival Future Music Festival Future Music Festival Future Music Festival Future Music Festival Future Music Festival Golden Plains Gorgeous Festival Great Southern Blues Festival Groovin The Moo Groovin The Moo Groovin The Moo Groovin The Moo Groovin The Moo Groovin The Moo Gympie Music Muster HyperFest JamGrass Music Festival Jungle Love Music & Arts Festival Just For Laughs Kyneton Music Festival Let Them Eat Cake Listen Out Listen Out Listen Out Listen Out Lost Paradise Melbourne Music Week Meredith Music Festival Mitchell Creek Rock 'n' Blues MOFO Mountain Sounds Mullum Music Festival Nannup Music Festival National Folk Festival Newtown Festival Noosa Jazz Festival NYE On The Hill Origin NYE Originals Music Festival Out On The Weekend Outlet Music Festival OutsideIn Paradise Music Festival Party In The Paddock Perth Festival Poison City Weekender Port Fairy Folk Festival Queenscliff Music Festival Rainbow Serpent Festival Riverboats Music Festival Rottofest Saltwater Freshwater Festival Secret Garden Festival Soulfest Soulfest Soulfest Soundwave Soundwave Soundwave Soundwave Southbound Splendour In The Grass St Jerome's Laneway Festival St Jerome's Laneway Festival St Jerome's Laneway Festival St Jerome's Laneway Festival St Jerome's Laneway Festival Stereosonic Stereosonic Stereosonic Stereosonic Stereosonic Strawberry Fields Subsonic Sugar Mountain Festival Sydney Country Music Festival Sydney Festival Sydney Fringe Festival Tamworth Country Music Festival The Blurst Of Times Festival The Hills Are Alive The WA Circus Festival Toowoomba Carnival Of Flowers UNIFY: A Heavy Music Gathering Urban Country Music Festival Valley Fiesta Vanfest WAM Festival West Coast Blues & Roots Festival WOMAdelaide Wonderland Woodford Folk Festival Yours And Owls

The Music Store

Australasian Music Industry Directory
The ultimate print sourcebook for all the contacts…
Jun 18th 2014
Arts Advertising Packages
The Music Arts Packages provide promotion in The Music…
Jun 18th 2014
Indie Band Advertising Packages
The Music Indie Band Packages provide promotion in…
Jun 18th 2014
Galleon Krueger for Sale
Galleon Krueger Bass Amplifier. 1001RB As new, current…
Jul 12th 2014
Jazz guitarists wanted for weekend jams.
We are a bass and drums unit rehearsing in St Peters…
Jul 12th 2014
Premier Sydney Punk/Rock Band seeks Drummer
One of Sydneys Premier Punk Rock Bands seeks energetic…
Jun 18th 2014