Love For The Electric Guitar Helped Inspire Husky's New Album

24 May 2017 | 2:12 pm | Annelise Ball

"I'll fall in love with my acoustic guitar again... In fact, I already have."

More Husky More Husky

Tough indie-rock dashed with psychedelic synth shimmer, Husky's new album Punchbuzz is a surprise package full of new sonic detours. Disrupting their usual mellow-folk mode, Punchbuzz emerges fast and free, breaking all unspoken rules about how a Husky record should sound.

Husky Gawenda explains that the album's ten songs were written shortly after the band's return from Berlin, and a belated infatuation with his electric guitar shaped his songwriting in fresh new ways. "I became obsessed with my electric guitar," he shares. "Once I came up with a riff I couldn't stop playing, I'd build songs around it, which I think resulted in some really different sounds." With the likes of the danceable Late Night Store, the quick and dirty Ghost, the glittery low-fi of Punchbuzz and the mystic-folk of Cracks In The Pavement, the record simmers in glowering, untamed ways. Purist indie-folk fans needn't worry either, Punchbuzz still feels familiar in its melodies and metaphors. Plus, Gawenda stresses that his guitar obsessions aren't linear. "I'll fall in love with my acoustic guitar again," he says. "In fact, I already have."

"There was so much good energy, parties and late night conspiring happening as I wrote."

Demoed in Gawenda's share house/creative community hangout nicknamed 'The Hotel', Punchbuzz emerged from a milieu of artists spending nights scheming and dreaming. "It was a great place to write a record," he says. "There was so much good energy, parties and late night conspiring happening as I wrote." Recording the album at Melbourne's Aviary Recording Studio with producer Matt Redlich, Gawenda and keyboardist Gideon Preiss approached the recording sessions with the commitment to stay true to themselves. "We decided to only do what felt right to us, rather than what we thought was right, or what we were told was right," he says. "It was important for us as artists, and for the audience, to feel that authenticity."

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

Fuelled by the influence of Redlich — and a studio full of interesting synths for Preiss to explore — the songs rapidly gave way like dominos. "We'd put down a synth part and the song would head in a completely different direction, so we'd just follow along in surprise," Gawenda says. "As long as the songs sounded and felt right, Matt wanted to go all the way, so we came up with arrangements we'd probably never have found without him." Gawenda is frank about his Redlich crush. "I love the guy," he says. "I could talk about him all day. He's technically brilliant, creatively awesome and reinforced the freedom and courage we'd found."

The Punchbuzz energy will no doubt transform the Husky live show into something new too. With a national tour starting in June — including a hometown Corner Hotel show — Gawenda is ready to rock and roll. "I love the Corner," he says. "I've seen some of my favourite bands of all time there." Gawenda also hints at the potential for the show to get quite loose: "Expect a lot of crowd surfing!" he says, laughing.