Geowulf today reveal ‘Sunday’, the new single to be taken from their debut album, Great Big Blue, due for release 16 February via 37 Adventures. “Sunday is a favorite of ours in the album,” the band say of the track. “It’s a little cruiser of a song meant to make you feel all the good things. Lyrically it’s about feeling like Sunday is a pretty lonely day sometimes.”
Geowulf first wormed their way into tastemakers’ hearts in 2016 with ‘Saltwater’, a track that would go on to soundtrack a national-running Corona ad in North America and has racked up over 8 million Spotify plays to date. “The duo returned this summer with their first EP, Relapse, followed by performances at Latitude Festival and a sold-out London show, as well as support slots with Portugal. The Man, Tove Stryke, JONES and Dagny”.
Geowulf are a band of two halves. They are comprised of Star Kendrick (vocals) and Toma Banjanin (guitar/vocals) – two childhood friends from Australia’s Sunshine Coast. But the duo can be divided in more ways than just their physical existence, too, from geographical location and what they bring to the band, to their musical histories.
Produced by Duncan Mills (The Vaccines, Spector, Peace), the sessions for Great Big Blue took place in “limited bursts” – long weekends spent in the studio whenever Star could make it over. “We would end up working ourselves to the bone and just completely ruining ourselves, and spending all night in the studio til 4am,” explains Toma.
The results are more than worthy of those intense hours, though. It’s the perfect mix of blissed out, beach-y pop – the aural equivalent of driving along the coast on a heavenly summer’s day – and melancholy, heartbroken lyrics. Toma spearheads the musical side, while Star largely writes the lyrics, filling them with stories of her life.
Within its 11 tracks, Great Big Blue elegantly cruises through glittering guitar lines and melodies as soft as sand, calling to mind the poise of Lana Del Rey, and the ethereal beauty of Mazzy Star. The crystalline synth-pop of ‘Drink Too Much’ laments those nights when a few too many get you into trouble, inspired by one particularly heavy night Star had in Sweden. “I got in a fight with my ex-boyfriend and then the morning packed up and left,” she recalls. “It was pretty dramatic.”
The first track the pair wrote together was ‘Get You’, now a breezy piece of sunkissed pop although originally, it was “really slow” and Toma suggested transforming it completely.Next, Toma and Star worked on ‘Saltwater’, as well as detailing the end of a relationship, it also takes in the bigger picture of religion and the universe as a whole. “All my family’s spiritual, whether it’s Buddhism or Christianity,” Star says. “I remember having this moment of ‘I don’t know really know what it all means, but I appreciate what’s here’, and I guess that was the ocean, which sounds really cheesy.”
Then there’s the ’60s-tinged shuffle of ‘Hideaway’, which nearly didn’t make it to the record at all. “It was a pristine pop song and I personally really didn’t like it,” says Toma. But once the pair took it apart, reworked it and “gave it this whole new identity”, it became a beacon of pride for them. Album closer ‘Work In Progress’, meanwhile, is driven mainly by Star’s graceful voice; the instrumentation around her sparse and delicate, creating something rich with emotion and longing.