The swell of support surrounding Adelaide producer and vocalist Lonelyspeck this year has simply been testament to the amount of potential one Sione Teumohenga has continued to display since 2014’s Presence EP. Since aligning with the TEEF Records crew late last year, Lonelyspeck has curried the favour of blogs, radio and industry across the board, with their 2017 EP Lave firmly solidifying Lonelyspeck as an artist to watch.
Teumohenga and I were able to connect for what’s been a long awaited interview opportunity as Lonelyspeck’s debut shows at BIGSOUND rolled out in Brisbane. I’ve been following Teumohenga’s work since coming across the Presence EP on Soundcloud in late 2015 but until recently, have missed the opportunity to see them perform in our hometown of Adelaide. Now though, Lonelyspeck is a nationally regarded name and at the time of our chat, they were preparing to join Melbourne’s Yeo on his national tour.
Still, Teumohenga sits across from me shyly smiling as we talk about their successes so far this year. Breaking into a broad grin, they light up when commenting on the craziness of one particular opportunity that has presented itself.
“One thing that surprised me recently was that I was asked to support Dillinger Escape Plan,” they laugh. “That’s insane. They also played me on the metal show on triple j because of that.”
To listen to Lonelyspeck’s music, one is instantly hit by the evocative nature of their soundscapes. This is alternative electro-pop music at its most interesting and indeed, to consider it coming out of Adelaide, Lave has emerged as a surprise frontrunner for one of the best independent Australian releases of the year. When they’re not working furiously on their own music, Lonelyspeck has been involved in producing and collaborating with other young creatives mixing with some interesting new sounds. As they say, the genre is getting stronger and genre.
“I felt a little more distant from it this year, almost,” Teumohenga says of their Adelaide scene. “I’ve been doing so many things that have been based interstate. I feel like electronic music is a lot stronger than it was a few years ago; there’s just so many artists now and a lot of them are making really cool music.”
Turning conversation toward Adelaide’s presence at BIGSOUND and the music coming out of SA, fellow buzz group Electric Fields come through, almost on cue. Our interview takes a pause as the artists excitedly chat about the shows they’ve played, shows still to come and the chaos of the parties the night before.
A whirlwind of laughs, cheekiness and embracing happens before the duo take off. It’s moments like these that are so classically BIGSOUND but also, it’s gradually becoming the norm for Lonelyspeck. Though clearly floored by the response their music has garnered over this year, Teumohenga is candid about how quickly momentum has generated.
“It has been quite overwhelming. I think I’ve learned to stop saying yes to so many things for a bit. It’s hard though, especially when they are such amazing opportunities. Having people I don’t know expressing how they feel about it…It’s been really good to see so many people support it and to see that support coming from outside places I’m aware of. ”
Though their presence on the live front will continue to develop over the next few months, Teumohenga’s priority is centred on getting new songs written and aiming higher with their next release.
“I want to aim for an album next,” they say. “I want to write; I have so many ideas that I haven’t really had a chance to properly work on yet. I’ve got a few songs but not enough for an album yet!”
With their tour dates with Yeo commencing next weekend, Lonelyspeck is set to be performing up and down the east coast to new audiences on stages they’ve never stepped foot on. As they say, BIGSOUND has been a big ice breaker.
“I’m excited.” Teumohenga enthuses. “I’ve been a bit nervous but I think, after coming here, which was the main thing I was nervous about over the past couple of months, I feel more relaxed about things that are happening in the future.”
Follow Lonelyspeck online here. Catch them on tour with Yeo this month and in October!
LONELYSPECK TOUR DATES
September 28th | Sol Bar, SUNSHINE COAST
September 29th | Foundry, BRISBANE
October 6th | Rocket Bar, ADELAIDE
October 7th | Transit Bar, CANBERRA
October 13th | Worker’s Club, GEELONG
October 14th | Howler, MELBOURNE
October 20th | Oxford Arts Factory, SYDNEY
October 21st | Cambridge Hotel, NEWCASTLE
Lead image by Michelle Grace Hunder.