WHOEVER is in charge of picking the bands to play the free Sunday sessions at Fremantle Arts Centre is doing a great job.
It could have easily been a folky snooze with turtleneck sweaters and songs about blue heelers and chicken poo, but it’s a lively mix of old and new with up-and-coming artists rubbing shoulders with mature, established acts.
On Sunday February 6, alt-pop songstress Ella Therese will get people dancing with her stark drum beats, cool synths and deep, powerful vocals.
With music often sounding a bit cluttered these days, Therese’s songs are stripped back, allowing the percussion and her soaring voice to shine.
“My approach often starts with the beats and rhythms,” Therese says.
“I usually put together the bones of the song, then layer melodic ideas, with lyrics usually last.
“It may seem the opposite order but seems to work for me. Some songs have started with guitar or synth chords, but the bigger pop tunes definitely come from a beat idea first.”
The West Aussie burst onto the national music scene in 2020, performing across Australia and supporting the likes of Grace Barbe, Felicity Groom and James Abberley.
Therese says her FAC show will feature a couple of new tracks, a special guest and some “killer dance performances”.
She says one of her biggest influences is the French singer-songwriter Héloïse Adélaïde Letissier, also known as Christine and the Queens.
“Héloïse is such a beautiful singer, great producer and I love her beats and dance aspects,” Therese says.
“I love Banks and Lauryn Hill, plus classics like Kate Bush and Sinead O’Connor.
“I’m head down on writing this year, aiming for more releases towards the end of the year. I’ll definitely be doing what I can to get around WA and over east, but keeping expectations in check for sure.”
Also performing at the same FAC show is another fresh West Aussie talent, Banjo Lucia, a passionate singer-songwriter who digs deep with personal and touching lyrics.
Her poignant material belies her young age and she is one to watch for the future.
Lucia’s debut EP will be out early this year and she is booked to appear at several festivals across Australia.
FAC’s free Sunday music is in its front garden from 2pm-4pm every Sunday until March 27. For more details go to fac.org.au.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK