Indie group Alpine, which is fronted by two women, talks about making music.
INDIE pop band Alpine are unusual for being fronted by two women vocalists. And making music together has only strengthened the friendship of Lou James and Phoebe Baker.
Speaking over the telephone from their Melbourne, Australia homebase, James, 26, says: “We’re actually about to move in together. We’re pretty much just like an old couple at heart, I guess. We know each other so well and we’re pretty much like sisters.”
The two met at boarding school “halfway up a mountain” in Australia when they were 13.
As James puts it: “At first, I thought she was a bit weird and couldn’t really stand her. It wasn’t until a year later that we were at school and talking and suddenly, it just kind of clicked. Oh my gosh, we have so much in common and we have a really similar sense of humour.”
They get along so well that even the stress of touring does not get to them and they never argue.
James says: “I can’t imagine ever being in Alpine without Phoebe.”
The band line-up includes guitarist Christian O’Brien, bassist Ryan Lamb, keyboardist Tim Royall and drummer Phil Tucker.
It were formed in 2009 and originally called Swiss because “it sounded like the early stages of our sound – simple, light and airy and it had that pop music kind of element”.
It eventually changed its name because of another band called The Swiss. But it stuck to the Swiss mountain theme with Alpine and their first EP, Zurich (2010). In 2012, it released its first album, A Is For Alpine.
The band's debut record hit No. 1 on the Australian iTunes chart and the band has since been touted as one to watch by international press such as Guardian and Rolling Stone magazine.
James says of the attention: “It’s the best thing ever. It’s always really surprising when you hear that publications that I read myself, write about us and are excited about our music. If it all ended tomorrow, I’d be pretty stoked with all that.”
That seems most unlikely at this point as Alpine is working on new material.
James says: “We seem to love having a groove to the songs. It’s taking a different direction and it’s getting more adventurous and we’re trying to experiment with different instruments. It’s exciting.”
And the good reviews for their first album have bolstered their confidence.
She says: “As a band, you just have to make sure that you write music that you enjoy and like so if anyone else likes it as well, that’s just an added bonus really. I’d hate to write music just to try to fit in with what’s on trend at the moment. We all want to write music because we want to be on stage and enjoy what we’re performing.” – The Straits Times, Singapore/Asia News Network