Plucked harps, guitar climaxes, and retro, European disco. Sonically rich and impressively realised: Harvest Of Gold is the debut album from Melbourne’s Gossling, 10 tracks of gorgeous pop songcraft, the gifted musicianship of singer/songwriter Helen Croome. With Gossling’s boundless talent and that dreamy, startling voice, Harvest Of Gold marked the arrival of undoubtedly one of 2013’s best Australian releases.
“Hopefully with this album the people who’ve only heard my singles will realise the extent of my songwriting,” says Helen, who signed to Dew Process in September 2012 following three acclaimed independent EPs: 2009 debut If You Can’t Whistle, 2010’s Until Then, and 2012’s Intentional Living. “I want listeners to stick with me as an artist, and enjoy the progression I’ve made.”
Determined to “get lonely and depressed” (the perfect fodder for writing a record), in spring 2012 Helen exiled herself to Tasmania, ready to create. Instead, she found herself tuning in daily to the non-adventures of “Big Brother” contestants. “I felt like they were my friends,” she laughs. Once back in the familiar surrounds of Melbourne, songs slowly began taking shape. Demos were recorded onto Logic, samplers switched on, and sonic inspiration found in records by artists such as Goldfrapp and Metronomy. “I didn’t really let myself get to a relief moment of, ‘Phew, I’m on the right path,’” Helen recalls of her process, “because I was worried that if I did that I’d stop trying. I really wanted to push myself until the very day I had to go into the studio – and even then I was still writing.”
Harvest Of Gold was recorded in May 2013 at The Shed Studios in Canterbury, VIC, with producer John Castle (The Bamboos, Vance Joy, Washington). Helen – who switched her psychology/sociology studies at university to a Bachelor of Music (Composition) – wanted to capture her brand new songs in their full technicolour. “I love cinematic stuff,” she says. “My heart is in that style. I didn’t want to lose that.” Castle had recorded two tracks on Intentional Living. “We just gelled. I didn’t want to put any expectations or lock myself into something by saying, ‘This is the kind of album I want to make,’ and he got that. John was a big fan of using my demos too, plus he works really quickly.”
The young Melbourne, Australia musician will perform a run of seven shows in the UK and Europe later this month, kicking off at the Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg on the 19th September, and concluding at Le Truskel in Paris on the 26th September. Those European shows book-end five UK dates which include a night at London’s Sebright Arms on the 24th September, and a performance at The Southsea Festival on 20th September.
20th September – Southsea Festival, Portsmouth
22nd September – Venue 2, Birmingham
23rd September – CCA, Glasgow
24th September – Sebright Arms, London
25th September – Soup Kitchen, Manchester