Geowulf are finally releasing their debut album after a successful run of fabulous singles. Geowulf first worked 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 headline show at the Sebright Arms, as well as support slots with Portugal. The Man, Tove Stryke, JONES and Dagny. Their debut album, Great Big Blue, has been a long-time coming.
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 in the morning packed up and left," she recalls. "It was pretty dramatic."
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.
Since Geowulf’s inception, the duo has been split between various geographical locations - Toma in London and Star in Sweden, Berlin or back home in Australia while trying to make her way back to London on a permanent basis. "It's either been all on or me all of a sudden feeling really alone or isolated from the project," Star says. That feeling of isolation has had some positives, though. "Initially it was really good [for my songwriting]. I'd never seen myself as a songwriter or doing music, so it gave me a chance to be a bit introspective. But now I'm feeling ready to integrate again."
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. The title itself encapsulates that polarity, as well as the idea of Star's constant coming-and-going, flying across the great big blue of one ocean or another each time.