"There's something a little bit daunting but very exciting about change", says Dustin Tebbut in the middle of his set at Notting Hill Arts Club last night. It's this stark unknowing, the effects of leaving behind a world you know when only uncertainty lies ahead, that Dustin Tebbutt captures in his brand new EP, The Breach, which combines beautiful, tender sounds with an ongoing sense of frailty and distance.
Tebbutt, who relocated to Sweden to live, work and write music for two years, has returned to his Australian homeland with a stunning EP that's gaining momentum both north and south of the equator. I caught up with him to find out more.
1. The title track from your upcoming EP is 'the breach' and the lyrics include trenches, hollows, alcoves and vessels - is this song about gaps and spaces one about emptiness or quite the opposite?
Both actually. The Breach is really about loss in a way. It's a bit of a hard track for me to explain, but a lot of the images are an abstracted series of events from my life.
2. How do you think your time in Sweden has influenced your music?
Sweden had an impact on my writing in a lot of ways. The landscape for one is so stunning and unlike anything we have in Australia - I spent a lot of time taking that in, and I feel like the soundscapes that emerged throughout the E.P. are a response to the physical environment in and around Stockholm, particularly in the winter.
3. You write, produce, mix and play most of the parts in your songs - how come? Is it lonely?
I don't really know why I've done it that way, I've never really thought about that before, but yeah, I guess it could get lonely. I'm generally too engrossed in what I'm doing to think about that tough. I'm happy to collaborate too, but I think this bunch of songs are really just me looking at my life, so in that sense, they haven't really needed that external input from other contributors.
4. You've just been on tour with Boy & Bear. How did it go?
The tour with Boy & Bear was amazing! It was really the first string of shows I've done as a singer, and it was pretty challenging playing those bigger rooms for the first time. The Boy & Bear guys were really supportive and I learnt a lot from them over the course of the run.
5. If you hadn't been making music, what would you be doing right now?
I'd probably be doing visual arts of some sort, it's always been a big part of my life.
6. Vinyl or digital?
Digital for me. I get the vinyl thing, but my attention span and wallet seem more inclined to Spotify.
7. What skill are you yet to master that you intend to?
Rock Climbing. I'd like to be able to do a full day multi-pitch climb at some point.
8. Which musicians are you listening to at the moment?
Listening to a fair bit of a band called 'Houses' and really looking forward to the next Sean Carey record - the single was out recently and it sound really promising.
9. And finally, what's next for you music-wise?
At the moment I'm just taking my time with a few new songs. They tend to evolve pretty naturally over a little while, so I'm just enjoying that process. I've also been working on a live set with a band recently, so hopefully we can bring that to the stage soon too!