Meet The White Flower Society, the coastal psych-pop collective from Geelong’s Mitch Collins

Meet The White Flower Society, the coastal psych-pop collective from Geelong’s Mitch Collins

Photo by @enigmaofsight
Words by Alex Callan

Another Shumba is the debut EP from the band.

When Mitch Collins first asked me to check out his new project I couldn’t contain my excitement. With Phaedo and UAV (F.K.A- Sex ED) being two local punk groups that Collins plays in, I was curious as to which musical direction he was headed in now.

I wasn’t expecting The White Flower Society (TWFS).

Not only is it left of centre from Collins’ existing catalogue of tunes, it’s kind of left of the centre of any local act around at the moment.

Delivering a stacked lineup of eight local musicians, TWFS has the afro-pop sensibilities of The Babe Rainbow whilst delivering Sunnyside-esque upbeat horns and humbling melodies.

With ‘Another Shumba’ marking the groups EP, Collins is already busily working on the next two releases; no surprise considering how long he has been working on this material.

“They are a bunch of songs that I’ve been sitting on for almost three years but they were a bit too poppy for the other bands I was in.”

“In isolation, I finally found the time to get around to doing something with them and get them recorded.”

Recording in his home studio based in Batesford, Collins utilised a huge collection of local musicians and artists (Holly Montgomery) to create the sound and imagery he envisaged before the tracks were mixed and mastered by none other than Mikey Young.

Having worked with Mikey Young previously, Collins wasn’t sure how the post-punk icon would handle the jazz-pop affair that is TWFS.

“It was funny, I didn’t know how Mikey would go because it’s not his typical genre to work with” reflects Collins.

“It turned out so much better than I thought it would, especially after Mikey was finished with it. This is the first time I’ve done the production and recording as well.

“I’ve never done any courses or anything, I’ve just tried to learn as I go,” he continues.

“We did a Phaedo EP a while ago that turned out pretty poor because we tried to do it all ourselves…We try to forget about that EP.”

Expanding of the future of TWFS, Collins replied,  “This current EP is the first time I’ve actually done all the recordings though and I’ve been getting a lot more gear which is making the process easier. I’m actually already working on the next two EP’s as well.

“I think it will retain a few things from the first EP but I think it is going in a slower direction. But then I also have a few songs in the pipeline that are pretty disco, so I think the second EP will be downbeat and then the third EP will be more upbeat again.”

With a clear vision of how he wants TWFS to shape up, it seems that The White Flower Society will be shaking up the sound of Geelong pretty soon.

Being released under Jack Cherry’s label ‘Weathervane Records’, Collins humbly remarked, “I wasn’t sure if it would be a step away from what Jack’s usually doing as well. Weathervane is much more rock orientated and Jack does heaps of the local scene and helps a lot. I was really hoping he’d put it out and he did! Jack does a lot for the scene, I think he is really underappreciated in a lot of aspects.”

‘Another Shumba’ is out now on Weathervane Records.