Freya Josephine Hollick - Feral Fusion
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The second full length album by Australian cosmic resurgent Freya Josephine Hollick, Feral Fusion, is exactly that. A record that blends a number of non-mainstream styles to create something entirely its own. The album traverses themes from personal heartache to pondering hereafter and what lies beyond our galaxy, in short, a record that reflects on the human situation.
“This album was really an opportunity for me to start digging my heels into styles and poetry I’d shied away from previously. Sometimes you can get bogged down in making one kind of music, which for me is entirely unsatisfying. The intent of Feral Fusion was to let all the music I love truly influence what I make. I think previously I’ve been, at times, too scared to say what I think in songs. I was always writing these words and thinking, oh people won’t like that, or maybe they won’t get it, or maybe it’s too honest, or too ethereal. But, working with these guys just helped me to be me, and Feral Fusion is certainly more me than anything I’ve released before.”
The follow up to her 2017 EP Don’t Mess With The Doyenne is equal parts assured and honest. The songwriting and arrangements show a fearlessness that Hollick has only flirted with previously, and is undoubtedly a signpost of an artist who has truly found her feet. It is an album of self reflection, poetic odes to the natural world and deeply honest letters to friends and lovers past and present.
“THE CENTREPIECE OF THE RECORD IS 'LOVE LINGERS ON', A BALLAD SO SWEEPING AND TIMELESS THAT IT SEEMS TO EXIST IN ITS OWN UNIVERSE…MY RECORD COLLECTION SOMETIMES SEEMS TO GROAN UNDER THE WEIGHT OF MELANCHOLY BALLADS. THIS YEAR ALONE JOHN PRINE HAS GIVEN US 'SUMMER'S END', WILLIE NELSON 'SOMETHING YOU GET THROUGH', RY COODER 'HARBOR OF LOVE' AND THE MILK CARTON KIDS AN ENTIRE BROKEN-HEARTED ALBUM, ALL THE THINGS I DID AND ALL THE THINGS I DIDN'T DO. AND THAT'S JUST A FEW BLOKES, ADD TO THESE LOVE LINGERS ON” - STEVE HOY, RHYTHMS MAGAZINE
Recorded at Union Street Studios in Brunswick West, the sessions spanned a number of months, with only 5 days spent in the studio in total. “It was really a special thing to work so sporadically, as the months passed, I would collect new sounds, new words, new inspirations. This, I think, gives people who listen to the record a much more complete picture of who I am, both musically and personally. You know, I was spending time round folks who really liked country music for a long time, and sure I love country music, but it’s just one little speck in a whole universe of sounds. For me, to keep plugging away making country records was not only going to be unsatisfying for listeners, but even more so for me.”
Raised on everything from Jazz to Soul to Sonic Youth, Feral Fusion relishes in blending wild Thurston-esque distortions and latin beats and orchestration and heavily spun poetry with Hollick’s otherworldly voice which seems to float both effortless and purposeful throughout her songs.
“THERE'S NOTHING AD HOC ABOUT THIS RECORD, NO MELDING FOR MELDING'S SAKE. HOLLICK'S WRITING AND SINGING ARE OF APIECE ALLOWING HER VOICE TO INHABIT HER BEAUTIFUL MELODIES, KILLER TITLES SUCH AS 'ON A MISSION TO KILL ALL THE HATRED IN MAN', JESUS HATES IT WHEN YOU SMOKE', 'BREAKFAST OF SMALLTOWN CHAMPIONS' AND ‘VAPOUR OF A MAN' SHOW AN ARTIST WITH A KEEN SENSE OF HUMOUR, AND THE WRY LYRICAL OBSERVATIONS WITHIN THESE SONGS SHARE SOMETHING WELL BEYOND THE SOMETIMES OVERTLY WORTHY TONE ADOPTED BY MANY ROOTS PERFORMERS.” - STEVEN HOY, RHYTHMS MAGAZINE
“Becoming accustomed to working in an industry filled with fledglings and dinosaurs has proven interesting for me, and I suppose a lot of what I wrote into Feral Fusion centres around being a young woman, and mum, finding her way through a totally foreign world. I find myself searching for where I parked my U.F.O cos, you know, I mostly have no idea why this whole thing is the way it is, why humans are how they are, or why the industry does what it does. All I do know is, a whole lot of people care a whole lot about things that mean nothing, but all of us are united by music.”