Introducing Brisbane Emo Rock Duo Upsetter With The Devastating 'Deserve'

12 July 2023 | 9:00 am | Mary Varvaris
Originally Appeared In

Check out Kill Your Stereo’s premiere of Deserve and get to know Upsetter below.


Upsetter (Credit: Thomas Robinson)

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Upsetter are set to drop two new singles tomorrow, Deserve and Martyr, but today, Kill Your Stereo is premiering the music video to the former and introducing readers to established audio engineers Emily Hopley and Jasper Webb, who make up the band.

The new tracks follow the band’s previously released singles, Blossom and Hate Me, which they dropped earlier this year.

The pair describe Deserve as “How words unspoken can twist and contort into venom for your body and mind. Referencing the loneliness and emptiness of breaking up, the overwhelming disdain and self-loathing that can come along with the uncomfortable change, and how that can manifest itself physically. Writing this track was greatly cathartic, as it's too late to say the things to whom they needed to be said.”

The Brisbane duo craft cathartic, noisy emo music (or “sob rock project,” according to Hopley) that’s both personal and relatable, rocking and a bit hazy. Working with three-time ARIA Award-winning producer and longtime mate Cody McWaters (The Chats, King Stingray), Upsetter are releasing their debut EP, Doomgaze, on Friday, 11 August.

Upsetter act as an unapologetic outlet for big feelings with tons of experience in music. Take Webb, whose resume is ever expanding, having played guitar in prog bands Red In Tooth and Sum Of Us and the punk-inspired Salt Money and De Memoria.

Webb also frequently tours as an audio engineer with Sly Withers, Windwaker, and Stepson and has mixed Australian acts, including Alpha Wolf, Void Of Vision and Dream On, Dreamer, as well as international acts Kublai Khan, Stray From The Path, Power Trip and Saliva. On Deserve, Webb’s vocals are as raspy as the guitar is commanding.

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Hopley is equally impressive and experienced – an audio engineer since the age of 15, she recently hosted a comprehensive three-day workshop in January spotlighting female-identifying audio engineers at Airlock Studios in Brisbane. Pretty awesome duo, right?

Check out Kill Your Stereo’s premiere of Deserve and get to know Upsetter below.

Can you introduce us to Upsetter?

EMILY: Hi! We are Emily and Jasper from Brisbane/Meanjin. Upsetter is our sob rock project that is our emotional outlet for our personal lives and careers within the music community.

You’re sharing your new single, Deserve, with us today. Could you tell us a little about it? 

JASPER: Deserve was the first song written for Upsetter. It has changed in many ways since it was first created, but ultimately this track inspired the sound of the band and set the vibe for the rest of this first record.

The music came first in a big way, and once I felt out of the direction of where I wanted to take it, I slowly composed the vocals to something I felt fit for my vision of the project. This was the song where I worked out how I wanted to sing, and I found the voice that I had imagined for the project overall.

Who did you work with?

EMILY: We recorded with our good mate and 3 x Aria Award-winning producer Cody McWaters for this first EP. He had a bit of a hot year last year with a few winning records for The Chats and King Stingray. The majority of the record was tracked at Airlock Studios in Samford Valley, which is where I met Cody whilst managing the studio. The rest of the record was tracked at Cody’s space at Hunting Ground studio in Brisbane/Meanjin. We were privileged to have access to Cody after hours to fit around our busy work/touring schedules.

JASPER: Cody and I went to primary school together in Central Queensland, which I guess means we’ve been friends for most of our lives. Upsetter is a deeply personal project to me, so it was really valuable to get to work with someone I could feel so entirely comfortable being vulnerable around. I think it really shows on this record. 

Who/what is your dream:

  • Collaborator
    For producers, I’d love to work with Lance Prenc, Will Putney, and Jay Maas with this project. All of their production styles are cutting-edge, and it’s a dream to be able to work with a producer of their calibre. Artist-wise, I want to collab with my homies in bands that I work with; I’d love to write some music with members of Sly Withers, Windwaker, Stepson, and Ocean Sleeper. They’re all such amazing people who I love to make loud, so it’d be amazing to make some louds together.
    EMILY: Jess Allanic, Hayley Williams, Tatiana Shmayluk, Nai Palm (for my love of jazz/neo-soul). 

  • Festival

JASPER: Groovin’, Splendour, Falls, any one of the “normie” festivals here in Aus. I have a chip on my shoulder coming from the alternative scene and a point to prove. There are already so few guitar bands on the lineups that I’d love to be there and tear it a new one.
EMILY: Glastonbury would be cool.

  • Venue

JASPER: I’ve been mixing in venues around Aus for so long that there are so many. I’d love to be a part of something licensed all ages at something like Tivoli/Enmore/Forum. 18+ sucks; music is for everyone.
EMILY: Reckon the Royal Albert Hall could use some sob rock? Enmore Theatre would be cool.

  • Country to tour

JASPER: I just got back from Japan on a tour with my other band Salt Money, and goodness me, I cannot wait to go back. Japan’s arts culture is so amazing; even the smallest bands play as well as our best, and even their small venue spaces house production and production staff talent that doesn’t get matched until we’re in rooms triple the size here in Aus.
EMILY: literally everywhere. 

What’s still to come from Upsetter? Can we expect more music soon?
EMILY: Our EP Doomgaze drops on 11 August, which we’ll celebrate with our launch gig (details on that to come soon). We are also pretty keen to hit the road next year on some support tours with friends!

JASPER: We’re also hitting the studio while I’m on tour with Windwaker to do some recording with their drummer Chris Lalic. He’s one of the most underrated producers in Aus, and I cannot wait to make more music with him!!

Deserve and Martyr will be available to stream tomorrow.