Barton creating a buzz

HAVING Triple J comperes and a film crew knocking on his door with the career-boosting news his band had taken out the Unearthed High competition was an awesome experience for WA 17-year-old Conor Barton.

Still in school, the Mosquito Coast drummer and his 17-year-old guitarist friend Naomi Robinson were just pipped for the final berth in the radio station’s prestigious Hottest 100, but were consoled by being top of the second-best 100 with their ethereal “dream pop” single Call My Name.

But the pair was a couple of weeks out from their year 12 exams: “We had to forget about the band and pretend [Unearthed] didn’t exist. We were both very determined to get through school,” Barton told the Herald.

They not only “got through”, Barton was accepted to study law at UWA.

• Naomi Robinson and Conor Barton. Photo by Penny Lane

• Naomi Robinson and Conor Barton. Photo by Penny Lane

The pair joined forces back in year 9 when Robinson put flyers around Perth seeking band members.

There were eight wannabe rock stars to start, but after a year it had been whittled down to two: “We were more determined, and we make things happen,” Barton says.

Their musical influences are diverse, with Robinson inspired by the 70s while Barton prefers the 80s, and there’s a touch of early Cure and Tears for Fears in Call My Name.

“Neither of us listens to the same music, which is an influencing part [of our music]. We bring different things,” says Barton.

Both attended schools with a focus on music, but weren’t enrolled in music programs.

City Beach local Robinson learnt guitar from her brother-in-law, and Barton, who lives in Karrinyup, continues private drum lessons.

“I don’t feel half as good as my teachers,” he says.

And the name?

Robinson loves movies, especially Harrison Ford ones, Barton says.

“We would come up with names…and always hated them. When she said Mosquito Coast, I said ‘I could live with that’.”

You can catch them at the launch of a new single Let’s Be Friends, which kicks off a national tour at Mojos in North Fremantle Friday, August 26.

Tickets are just $16.35 at

But once word gets out, next time they’re in town expect that, like their music, to soar.


32 Mojos 10x3 32 Newport 10x3

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