‘Environmentalism, friendship, death’: Coda Chroma will be completely in the zone at Be Hear Now

Subscribe to Forte Magazine


‘Environmentalism, friendship, death’: Coda Chroma will be completely in the zone at Be Hear Now

Words by Juliette Salom

“I'm always writing, we're always recording at home,” Coda Chroma's Kate Lucas tells me. “Always making an album,” she adds, laughing.

Since starting her genre-defying music project Coda Chroma in 2016, this award-winning musician has shown no signs of slowing down. “I just started writing some songs and working with my partner [Damien Charles], who’s a producer, and because we live together, we work on recordings at home,” she says from her home in Ballarat. “It’s just a constant now.”

Despite only moving to Ballarat four years ago, Kate is already making waves in the local music scene, with ripple effects emanating throughout the country. Coda Chroma’s third album Dreamself, released in 2023, featured as the album of the week on PBS and 2SER radio stations, as well as landing in Bandcamp’s New and Notable. Kate spent the second half of the year touring Dreamself nationally, topping it all off with a nomination at the 2023 Music Victoria Awards for Best Regional Act. Now, she’s bringing Coda Chroma back home.

Coda Chroma at Be Hear How

  • With Augie March and Dayfever
  • Saturday, August 10
  • Civic Hall, Ballarat
  • Tickets here

Keep up with the latest music news, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

Playing at Creative Ballarat’s Be Hear Now music festival on Saturday, August 10, Kate says she’s excited to be bringing Coda Chroma to the stages of her local community. “I haven’t played the Civic Hall yet, so I’m pretty excited about that. It’s a beautiful space.” Having been selected as one of the musicians included in Be Hear Now’s 2024 cohort of creatives to be showcased over the course of the weekend, Coda Chroma will be supporting friends and indie rock legends Augie March for the festival’s headline gig.

While Coda Chroma’s first three albums provide a plethora of other-worldly, innovative and uncategorisable music to pull from for the show, fans are also in for a chance to hear some of the new material that Kate has been working on. “We’re just mixing the next album now and it’s nearly done,” she tells me. “I can’t wait to put it out in September, actually.”

‘I’m pretty excited to play’ – Coda Chroma at Be Hear Now

Whereas Dreamself was centred around ideas that focused on how the dreamscape world connects to our daily lives, Kate says that this upcoming project sits in a different sphere. “This new album is set more in the daylight hours and very much draws on things of like environmentalism, friendship, death,” she says, before adding with a laugh, “All of the big ones.”

Coda Chroma’s sound isn’t limited to any one genre, as evidenced in her first three albums. With notes of synth-pop, hints of finger-picking folk, plus a sprinkle of psychedelic rock in the mix, Kate says that it’s all the result of being free with the music. “Usually, the approach we take is just to let the song speak for itself in terms of how to produce it,” she tells me. “Being able to go into the studio and just be completely in the music-making zone is the best.”

Coda Chroma’s Dreamself

Coda Chroma will be taking on the Civic Hall with the full band on August 10, and while the large-scale production is sure to fill up the whole room, Kate notes that the set won’t be without its intimacy. “There’ll be moments where I’ll be doing some solo pieces and some duo pieces with my lovely backing singer, Nat Lewis,” she says. “It’ll be a really interesting terrain of different styles and feelings across the different songs. It’s just a really tight, great band of musicians that I’m playing with.”

For both Ballarat locals and visitors to this epicentre of arts, Be Hear Now is setting up to be an exciting insight into the rising talent that is emerging from Ballarat and making soundwaves beyond the city’s limits. Kate herself says that she’s really keen to be playing at the festival, telling me, “I think it’ll just be a really great night for Ballarat.”

With a roster of electrifying local talent taking over some of the most beloved venues across the city, whether you’re a Ballarat local or just interested in discovering the next big thing coming out of this regional city, make sure to check out the program for Be Hear Now’s 2024 festival.

You can get tickets to see Coda Chroma play at Be Hear Now here.

This article was made in partnership with Be Hear Now.