Hollie Fullbrook has just wrapped a day of rehearsal with an orchestra. A first for her. The occasion? An all-female night in Auckland celebrating the anniversary of Women’s right to vote in New Zealand. It’s hard to imagine a world where women couldn’t vote isn’t it?
Fitting then, Tiny Ruins’ (the band Fullbrook fronts), impending album is titled Olympic Girls. Due early next year, the record sounds like a holiday house ringing with talent from different rooms, all orchestrated by Fullbrook who brings each sound together and wraps it around her beautiful lyrics.
Despite this soundscape, the album was actually recorded underground in band-mate Tom Healy’s studios, and was pieced together over a year. The bands previous record, Brightly Painted One, was put together in just three weeks in the same studios.
On Olympic Girls we can hear the distinct borrowed sounds of a Mellotron. The band travelled to the small town of Kumeu to find a working one and recorded it in-situ, the only recording done outside of the studio. A Mellotron is like a sampler that uses pre-recorded sounds loaded onto visible tapes – it was a favourite of the Beatles, whom Fullbrook is a massive fan of.
“I wrote letters to Paul McCartney, I learnt all their songs on guitar and it was quite an extreme devotion,” she reveals.
So the homage makes sense, “I think probably that most musicians have the Beatles in their brain somewhere unless they managed to just escape it all together.”
Tiny Ruins will be joining the Bendigo Autumn Music festival, just two weeks after they get back from a full European tour.
So what does Fullbrook do when she’s not working? She doesn’t have much time to herself, she admits.
“When I’m not working on Tiny Ruins stuff, I try to get out of my own brain a bit because it can get very insular when you’re the songwriter, and kind of managing the band, and planning tours, and planning when the next recording is… I quite like to just turn off my brain and watch something really beautiful by somebody else or listen to something by somebody else.”
We’ll have a chance to listen to something beautiful by Tiny Ruins themselves with their new EP in February next year and when they tour Australia next April through May.
Catch them at Bendigo Autumn Music, Bendigo on Sunday April 28 and/or at Howler, Melbourne on Thursday May 2.
Written by Darby-Perrin Larner