Bold, charming, and brimming with spirit, Queenie, the vivacious stage persona of Melbourne singer-songwriter Eloise Thetford, is gearing up to grace the stage at the Port Fairy Folk Festival 2024.
Queenie is a rare talent – she knows exactly who she is, yet she doesn’t take herself too seriously.
Queenie’s musical journey commenced at a tender age, surrounded by the sounds of Tom Waits, Robert Plant, Led Zeppelin, and Cheryl Crow.
Keep up with the latest music news, festivals, interviews and reviews here.
“I was lucky enough to grow up in a musical family – I was always surrounded by it. I was going to my parents’ gigs when I was in utero basically. I picked up a guitar at maybe nine years old and started writing really corny songs,” she reflected.
“I grew up in Tassie and there was this great program called the Rock Summer School in Launceston. You’d go to his camp and you were put in a band and you learn a song and perform it. I loved it so much and I guess it never really stopped after that”.
The singer-songwriter shares a recent evolution in her creative process. Shifting away from more abstract themes, she now finds solace in narrating her own experiences. Her musical style, a fusion of pop-rock reminiscent of The War on Drugs and St. Vincent, delves into the depths of human emotion, with the vast majority of her new material revolving around themes of heartbreak and life experiences.
“When I was younger, I basically wanted to be Kate Bush. I wrote a lot of super weird stuff for ages. And then I started writing a lot more about my experiences in the world and how I am navigating my life. Now, I like to write for an emotional and creative release,” Queenie explains.
After months of unwavering dedication and artistic exploration, Queenie has recently wrapped up her forthcoming album, aptly titled New Moult.
“I went through this phase of being obsessed with spiders and joined all of these Facebook discussion groups about it. I was fascinated with how if they lose one of their legs or something, the next time they moult, they grow it back. So, all of the songs are kind of break-up songs. I guess it’s like shedding skin, becoming a new person,” Queenie explained.
Scheduled for an early release next year, New Moult promises an equally healing and heart-wrenching listening experience. Queenie is eager to showcase many of its tracks at the Port Fairy Folk Festival 2024. And for her – it is all worth it when she is playing live shows. Despite admitting that she gets wildly nervous before gigs, Queenie professes it’s her calling in life.
“I love the fact that I can play to all of these people. And connect with them. So many people can relate to what I write about now. It’s funny though – people say they love my live shows but I’m always freaking it minutes before. Running around – totally frantic. People are always asking me if I need a drink or something. But when I’m actually up there, I feel like I can calm down and it’s so rewarding,” she revealed.
In closing, Queenie, brimming with zest and warmth, leaves us with an audacious remark: “Buy my fucking album so I can pay it off! Ha-ha. But seriously, I’m so so so excited to be playing the Port Fairy Festival – it’s like a bucket list item for me. Truly, I am so grateful. I love it.”
As she prepares to unveil New Moult to the world, Queenie’s music offers a listening experience which we can all relate to. Much like the shedding of skin she draws inspiration from, Queenie hopes her music can serve as a cathartic outlet to her fans.