Fuelled By Personal Moments Of Connection

2 March 2018 | 1:05 pm | Rod Whitfield

"'Those personal moments of connection where someone will say - even something mundane like, 'I brush my teeth to this song every morning'... that's all we need.'"

More Cousin Tony's Brand New Firebird More Cousin Tony's Brand New Firebird

Releasing a debut album is always a time of great excitement mixed with gnawing nerves and clawing self-doubt for the album's creators. Drawing their name from a line in the movie American Beauty, Melbourne-based psychedelic/alternative popsters Cousin Tony's Brand New Firebird are set to release their first-ever long-player, and lead singer and main man Lachlan Rose is experiencing a whole gamut of disparate feelings.

"There's a definite degree of nervousness," he admits. "You put everything into making a record, but it's quite a private process. Only a couple of people hear it and you kinda think you're doing a good job, but then you get to the end and there's just that feeling of, 'Oh, my god! There's a good chance that this is the worst record that anyone's ever made'.

"Hopefully that's not the case, but there's always that voice. In general, we are so excited." 

There is also often a pure self-indulgent element that goes along with releasing a debut, the fulfilment of childhood fantasies, and Rose is experiencing a fair chunk of that in the lead-up to the release as well. "I've been imagining holding a piece of vinyl that I've made since I was eight years old," he laughs. "So from a selfish standpoint that's going to be a nice milestone and especially just slotting it into my record collection with all my other favourite records.

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"There's always a feeling of gratitude towards our favourite musicians for producing what they do, and the feeling of contributing something to that pool of work, and this might be that record for someone else - that's a really profound feeling."

The band have released two previous EPs and anyone familiar with those works is going to be pleasantly surprised with the development and evolution of their sound when they experience Electric Brown. Rose is confident that people will hear a band that has established its identity and knows exactly what it is doing. "The EPs were really just my first take on recording at all," he states. "The songs are always getting more expansive. This record was the first time we really had extended time in the studio to really work out a sound and make a lot of mistakes, and discard things and so on. 

"You can hear a lot of exploration in those first two EPs, what I'd like to think people are getting from the record is a pretty realised kind of sound."

Something else listeners may notice is just how old-school the recording and instrumentation sounds while still, amazingly, managing to sound current. "Our producer and I are really obsessed with a lot of the instruments that were made in the '70s," he says. "And while the songs are about all these various themes, we wanted to remain consistent in using all these instruments to create something new.

"When people hear the record, I'd like to think that people will be able to identify that that's the Cousin Tony… sound; that sonic palette is what really stands out about us."

By the time this feature is out in the world, the band will have announced a huge run of dates across the nation in support of the album. Longer term, Rose tells us that the band actually have a combination of major long-term goals for themselves and also smaller, more personal ones: goals and experiences that don't actually involve playing huge shows, making big money and being a rock star.

"One of our goals would be getting to tour and travel the world with [the album]," he says. "But also, we're lucky to occasionally have these moments where people reach out to us, whether it's personally or otherwise. Just to keep having those personal moments of connection where someone will say - it might be just something really mundane like, 'I brush my teeth to this song every morning,' or, 'This song helped me through a really hard time'. If we can just keep having those moments, that's just like petrol for us; that's really all we need.

"We are already where we need to be, in that sense."