With an album, EP and a slew of singles under their belt, Gold Coast siblings Amy and Josh Dowdle – aka progressive electronic duo ‘Lastlings’ – have spent the past five years fine-tuning their production and songwriting skills from their home studio in the hinterland.
Their hypnotic live shows have seen them tour through Australia and North America with RÜFÜS DU SOL and have included performances at Colorado’s Red Rocks, LA State Historic Park, Coachella and Splendour in the Grass.
The pair released their hugely successful dark electronic number ‘Take My Hand’ earlier this year, which featured in Apple Music and Spotify playlists globally, and they have just dropped their ethereal and transportive follow up single ‘No Time’, which is accompanied by an emotive anime-style music video.
We caught up with Amy and Josh to chat about ‘No Time’, get the scoop on the creation of the anime-style video and see what the pair have lined up for the rest of the year.
You guys are both self-taught musically and have devoted a significant amount of time to fine-tuning your craft. Could you tell us a little bit about your songwriting process as a duo and how it may have changed over the years?
We still write from our home studios and a lot of the recording we do at home still makes it onto the records. Our songwriting process is different every time. Usually, Josh will have an instrumental idea and I will take that and start writing vocal ideas on top of it and we start working on the song a bit more collaboratively after that. At the moment we have been writing a lot on our own so that when we come together we will both have different ideas and melodies to stem from. If the song needs extra production to get it to another level, we work with other producers which is always amazing because we learn new things every time.
Being in a creative partnership and also brother and sister, do you guys always get along?
We get along pretty well! We are quite different in some ways. There are definitely arguments here and there, like most siblings. I think as we are getting older there are definitely fewer arguments compared to when we first started the band, haha.
You have just released your single ‘No Time,’ could you tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind the track?
‘No Time’ was inspired by Kazuo Ishiguro’s dystopian science fiction novel ‘Never Let Me Go’. As humans, we know and understand that our life spans are limited, but of course, it’s something that we push to the back of our minds. When we’re faced with this kind of knowledge, what do we do when we realise that we don’t have much longer? What are the things that quickly become matters of importance and what are the things we look back on that are really worthwhile? ‘No Time’ is about releasing yourself from negative thoughts and growing from our disappointments and failures. It is also about living life to its fullest potential because as cliche as it may be, life really is short and everything happens for a reason.
How are you feeling about ‘No Time’ being premiered on Triple J’s Good Nights and now being added to the station?
We were so happy to hear that it got added to high rotation. It’s always exciting getting messages from friends or strangers saying that they heard our song on the radio and that they love the songs.
You have also released an anime-style music video for ‘No Time’. Did you come up with the concept for the video and then the creative team went to work, or were you involved along the way and if so what did that look like?
We were involved a little bit along the way! Mainly just adding in small things to change, but Joel Durand (the creator of the video clip) did all the work. We were both blown away when we got back the first sketches. His idea behind ‘No Time’ is a chase between darkness and light. It’s a piece about fraternity, where a brother and sister together face their fear of passing time. He was inspired by a Japanese animation called ‘Perfect Blue’.
How do you feel about the finished product of the song and video for ‘No Time’?
We are both really happy with the finished product of ‘No Time’. We’ve been developing our sound over the last five years of this project and I think we can say that we are definitely starting to find it. Working on this song with Cassian definitely gave it that extra edge because he’s such a talented producer and mixer. The first time we watched the clip we were both so shocked. Joel Durrand and his team did an incredible job and we couldn’t be any happier.
We hear that you are working towards the release of your debut album, could you tell us more about that?
Our debut album ‘First Contact’ should be out later this year! We are so excited (and a little nervous) for it to come out. We’ve actually been sitting on it for quite a while so it will be great to finally have it out. The date keeps changing, but we’re hoping to finally get it out this year.
What have you been up to during COVID-19 and do you have any plans for the rest of the year?
Josh: I’ve been working on our studio at home quite a bit and trying new equipment out. I’m working pretty hard at the moment trying to figure out what the next album is going to sound like as well. To be honest I don’t really feel complete at the moment knowing that we haven’t demoed out the second album yet so I need to get a move on, ha ha.
Amy: I’ve been pretty productive. I’ve been doing a lot of reading and writing, more music production and started DJ-ing too which has been awesome. Heaps of exercise like running and pilates too.