When I find myself describing a track as “so chill, I can’t even” I know it deserves a solid place on my current playlist, and that’s exactly what happened with ‘Dreaming’, the latest release from Sydney duo Chymes. We caught up with Kiersten – one half of Chymes – to talk about how it all began, Australia’s music scene and what equal billing is really about.
Welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about Chymes and how it all started?
Thanks for having me! Chymes came about when I was writing my own music as a folk artist and needed a producer. I found Cameron through some mutual friends and we began working together. We started to turn what we were creating into something neither of us had explored before. We found we had similar ambitions and decided to pursue them together as Chymes.
So you are currently in Australia… Have you ever visited the UK? If so do you think there is a difference between the two scenes?
I visited the UK two years ago just before Christmas to see my sister who was living there at the time. I wasn’t there long enough to check out the music scene. However it seems to have a really artistic and creative vibe and in the future I’d LOVE to go back and perform our music and write with other musicians.
Australia (Melbourne especially) has such an incredible music scene, with so many great artists emerging. Would you say there is much of a community among emerging artists over there?
There are some seriously talented people coming out of Australia and it is very exciting! All kinds of music too, which is great. In terms of a community… Not really. From what we’ve experienced, it is hard to get in touch with other artists because everyone is hustling and focusing on their own path. In saying that though, we have made really good friends with lots of people who we’ve met through doing shows and often invite each other back for more.
Also, Chymes HQ is an hour and a half away from Sydney and it makes it hard for us to be properly involved in a community if there was one.
We’re loving your latest single ‘Dreaming’ which we played on our radio show, can you tell us a bit more about what inspired this?
Yay! We are sooo glad you like it. It’s about that euphoric feeling when you experience something that feels larger than life, like coming up with a new idea or falling in love and how you find yourself being whisked away into another world or a dream-like place. It’s how we feel when we make music.
Here in London there is a big movement to promote and support women in music, and increase the representation of women & non-binary people in the music industry. I was wondering what the scene is like in Australia?
We definitely feel like it’s growing. The last festival we played at had a designated stage for ‘female artists only’ which is cool. And there are a few “mini festivals” & shows popping up advertising female only line-ups.
Do you have any thoughts on what we can do to combat these issues in the music industry such as equal billing on festival and gig line ups?
Creating awareness around the value that these people have in the industry. Let’s just pay attention to the fact that a woman’s skill set is just as good as anyone else’s and that’s why there should be equal billing, not just because they are suppressed.
Many people I’ve talked to say that more often than not, being a woman is highlighted over the music you are producing. What has your experience been like?
We haven’t experienced too much of that ourselves. I can see why it would be frustrating because it actually has nothing to do with the music. In my experience, I often find an emphasis on how young a female artist is. Which is annoying! As if there wasn’t already enough pressure on women to stay or look young.
Do you have any plans to come to the UK in the future? We’d love to see you live!
We would seriously LOVE to but unfortunately there aren’t any plans yet. Hopefully soon!
Finally as we’re a new music focused site, are there any other new/upcoming bands or artists you’d suggest we check out?
Omg yes, you MUST check out a band called Refs – my absolute favourite song is called ‘Fools’.