Five Favourites: Erasers

Perth-based ‘dungeon synth’ duo Rebecca Orchard and Rupert Thomas – aka Erasers – have recently released their hypnotic new album, Constant Connection. Flowing with hauntingly captivating soundscapes evoking the raw beauty of their native landscape of Western Australia, the collection offers a truly unique and utterly immersive aural treat for the senses. Showcasing the ethereal splendour of Orchard’s vocals with a poignant, layered musicality, Erasers have created a truly stirring release.

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspires them. So, to celebrate the release of their new album, we caught up with Rebecca from Erasers to ask about their “Five Favourites” – five albums that have inspired them the most. Read about their choices and watch their beautiful new video for ‘A Breeze’ at the end of this article!

Pikelet – Self-Titled
I first heard Pikelet when I was around seventeen. Rupert and I spent a lot of our late teens making mixed tapes for each other, sharing favourite songs and curating playlists on cassette for drives in my first car – a 1970s Beetle. Pikelet definitely featured on one of these, because I’m sure Rupert introduced me to their music, always being ahead of the curve with artists coming out of Naarm/Melbourne. Rupert and I started playing music together in 2009 after Rupert recorded some demos in his bedroom and spent weeks convincing me to do vocals for it. As someone not trained in music-making, I took inspiration and courage from seeing Evelyn aka Pikelet perform as a solo artist – recording and releasing music. It was the first time I’d ever seen someone using a loop pedal and it blew my mind to see what they created with their voice, looper and a few instruments. All of Pikelet’s albums are iconic, releasing a steady stream over a decade or so, eventually parting ways with the persona Pikelet and releasing under their own name Evelyn Ida Morris. Sonically, their albums have been diverse, shapeshifting over the years, but always resonating with something deep in my being. Evelyn is not only a talented artist – their work in advocating for others and themself in the community is inspirational. We’ve been lucky enough to play some of our first ever shows with Pikelet when they toured Perth, as well as bringing them back over to Perth years later to play a show. I feel incredibly grateful and lucky to know, learn from and listen to Evelyn in whatever form their voice takes.


Love Of Diagrams – Mosaic
Name a more iconic trio! Post-punk from Naarm/Melbourne released in 2007. I can’t remember when I first heard this album but it was around the time I turned eighteen and could legally go and see live music. There’s so much I love about Love Of Diagrams – the interplay between vocalists, Monica’s captivating drumming, catchy melodies, juicy bass-lines and winding grooves. The lyrics in their songs remind me of art school. I remember being inspired by Antonia’s powerful vocal delivery – almost yelling or chanting, with that amazing reverby tone. I’m sure I took inspiration from this in how I use my voice and the repetition of words and phrases. This was from an era where anyone creative from Perth moved to Melbourne, which was seen as the ‘arts capital’ of Australia. I have strong memories of going to Amplifier Bar with Rupert and friends, the only place in Perth at the time that played more alternative music. The DJ played from upstairs on this platform, which you could access via a dodgy ladder that we would drunkenly climb to request ‘Pace Or The Patience’ by Love Of Diagrams so we could sing and dance to it obnoxiously on the dance-floor with our friends. We were so lucky to have formed Erasers around a time that Love Of Diagrams were touring, and got to play one of our first ever live gigs supporting them in Boorloo/Perth. Seeing them live, playing together in both cities and later inviting them back to Perth for a show was a musical highlight. Once again, all their albums are too good to miss and they are each amazing artists in their own right, whether playing in other music projects, being visual artists or writers.


Mei Saraswati – Hypermeditations
It’s so tough to pick one Mei Saraswati album to talk about, because they’re all so damn good in different ways! I’ve chosen this one because it was released in 2013, probably around the time I first saw Mei perform live. Mei is one of my favourite artists from Boorloo/Perth and, although she hasn’t released new music for a little while, hearing her bedroom recordings still gives me the shivers. Mei Saraswati effortlessly fuses soulful vocals, sounds and themes of the northern suburbs, sampling, field recordings, electronics, Eastern instrumentation and influences, spirituality, RnB, drifting somewhere between meditation and music to groove to. Mei produces everything herself and is not only an incredible musician, also a visual artist, exploring weaving and printmaking, while also being a mother. I always admired Mei’s humble nature, she is effortlessly herself – often hilarious in her down-to-earth stage banter and in the way she would casually release whole albums for free download. On Bandcamp she describes Hypermeditations as “many different windows of philosophies open all at once – like when you have a hundred tabs open and you keep opening more”. Each of her albums is like opening little windows into her world and discovering fascinating ponderings, thoughts and feelings. Her anti-capitalist attitude to creating and producing art is something I truly admire. We’ve been lucky to play many gigs together over the years, as well as an exhibition a few years back called Deep Heritage. It always blew my mind that more people hadn’t heard Mei’s music because it’s too good to have not reached the furthest corners of the globe. Highly recommend the deep dive into Mei’s back catalogue on Bandcamp, it will not disappoint!


Enya – Oceans
Rupert and I both had very different musical upbringings. Rupert was brought up listening to music like Joy Division, Brian Eno and recalls long road trips around Australia listening to Ministry of Sound annuals on CD – his dad in particular was an avid music-lover and listener. I have distinct memories of my parents having Enya and Sade on CD and the rest of my musical upbringing was mostly listening to commercial radio, until I reached my angsty – but formative – teen years. I can’t remember exactly which Enya CDs my parents had, but I remember listening on long drives to visit grandparents and selecting either this or Sade from the CDs and cassettes we owned. I can’t pinpoint what particular influence this has had on me, but I’m sure it soaked somewhere into my subconscious. I like the resonating, angelic vocals, whole albums based on environmental themes and the opening track just feels iconic if you grew up in the ’90s.


Pauline Anna Strom – Trans-Millenia Music
I bought this on vinyl for Rupert a few years ago after discovering it and completely falling in love with the often melty and warm, often weird and intriguing, otherworldly sounds. Recorded in the 1970s or ’80s, gaining popularity in recent years with its re-release, I love the blurring of lines between this new age synthesizer music, fusing with Pauline’s other interests of spirituality and healing practices. These were recorded in single takes, with synthesizer manuals being read out to Pauline before recording, as she was born blind. There’s something so magical and healing about the depths of these sounds – like little shooting stars out into the cosmos. What I find so inspiring is not only the music itself, which is like a journey through time and space, but the fact that she made these albums in isolation at home – in the company of her reptiles, using influences from her areas of interest and fusing them into the sounds to create a healing, therapeutic body of work. Diving deep into her senses and letting intuition guide her creativity; the type of authenticity I hope to have in my own music, creative practices and life itself.


Massive thanks to Rebecca from Erasers for sharing their five favourites with us! Watch the band’s latest video for ‘A Breeze’ below:

Photo credit: Karl Halliday

Track Of The Day: Sophomore – ‘Montenegro’

Following last May’s timely single ‘Social-Distancing’, a track which tackled important issues such as the spread of misinformation amidst the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Australian-based alt-rock foursome Sophomore have recently thrown their latest refreshingly punchy single ‘Montenegro’ into the ring. Only the band’s third single, but undoubtedly a release set to solidify their rightful place within Australia’s recently opened and ever-growing gig circuit, ‘Montenegro’ was written in an old olive mill-turned-hostel, nestled deep in the mountains of Montenegro from which this exciting new release takes its name.

Despite the exotic writing location, the track itself is wholly relatable to anyone who has lived through the past year, as it explores the feeling of being lost despite being unable to escape the place that find yourself in. Its repeated, yet captivatingly catchy, lyrics speak about waking with the “best of intentions” only to be stopped in your tracks, despite having “nowhere to go…” It also touches on being far from home – a harsh reality experienced by a countless number of Australians who struggled to get back into the country last year, for which this track could serve as a subtle acknowledgement.

Lead guitarist and vocalist Vanessa oozes a nostalgia for ’90s grunge and simpler times with a new-age Pixies vocal that chimes in alongside a deep and progressive baseline, immediately drawing us into this modest yet thought-provokingly explosive track. Anticipation continues to build as both Vanessa and rhythm guitarist Elly’s moody yet mesmerising harmonies strike out against the resonant attack of the kit, entrancing us with the band’s poignant riff-based resurgence of the post-rock genre.

‘Montenegro’ is accompanied by a video of the band getting lost in the endless corridors of a building that has laid abandoned since the 1920s – the perfect location choice for the song’s inescapable yet blissfully honest narrative. 

Watch the video here:

Find out more about Sophomore on their Facebook page.

Lauren Roberts
@robauren

Track Of The Day: Middle Kids – ‘Questions’

With warm anthem-like familiarity and an intimate, interpersonal perspective, Sydney based Middle Kids bring us a soothing sentiment in their stellar new single, ‘Questions’. 

Released via Lucky Number, ‘Questions’ comes as an exhilarating answer indicating the phenomenal sounds to come from Middle Kids’ anticipated 2021 album. As rhythmic claps fade, vocalist Hannah Joy’s lyrics ooze a welcome sense of nostalgia. Floating among Joy’s personal revelations surrounding alcohol and our closest relationships, the track serves as a delicate illustration of the tiny moments that weigh beyond their size. Synths spread like elastic and make a hearty bed for Middle Kids to jump on with catchy pop guitar hooks and eager drums, whilst simple instrumental melodies delivered with an orchestral grandeur exude an emotive impact that is both subtle and enormous. 

‘Questions’ is a melancholic soundscape that embraces the cleanliness of modern pop, yet tonally bears the heaviness of experience. In regard to the band’s work, Joy confides: “I want to make music that loves its listener. Music that makes people feel seen…” With the honesty and tenderness found in this new single, it appears she has done just that. Middle Kids’ ‘Questions’ is a safe-space of confession and the euphoria that follows, an experience in itself.

Today We’re The Greatest, the upcoming new album from Middle Kids, is set for release 19th March via Lucky Number. Pre-save here.

Jillian Goyeau
@jillybxxn

Photo Credit: Daphne Nguyen

Track Of The Day: Middle Kids – ‘R U 4 ME?’

Like a wash of fulfillment that brushes your cheeks as you run through a field of wildflowers, Middle Kids’ ‘R U 4 Me?’ is an instant holiday. With a nostalgic groove that breathes with a contemporary sigh, Middle Kids have chiseled out a mastery of a sound for themselves that covers so much ground.

Vocalist Hannah Joy enthrals swirling emotions with her warm melodies and pondering lyrics that discuss the ways in which we talk to one another. Tone is everything, and ‘R U 4 Me?’ embodies the ease that we should grant each other through the comfort of their harmonious mix.

Perky acoustic guitar and samples of candid laughter sprinkle the indie-pop anthem with personal moments and shed a light on the chemistry between the band members. It is evident that this trio know how to play off of each other in the best way, without even thinking about it for a moment. Earnestness is the backbone of Middle Kids’ character and it shows. ‘R U 4 Me?’ is a communal experience and something that should be held so close at this time. Middle Kids are undeniably the escape the world deserves right now.

‘R U 4 Me?’ is out now via Lucky Number Records. Listen on Spotify.

Jillian Goyeau
@jillybxxn

Photo Credit: Daphne Nguyen