After releasing three EPs independently, Melbourne songstress Helen Croome, aka Gossling, has signed to record label Dew Process, and is set to release her highly-anticipated debut album, ‘Harvest Of Gold’.
“It comes out on the 1st of November and it’s my first album,” Helen says excitedly. “I’ve made three EPs so I felt ready to make an album.”
Working alongside producer John Castle, Helen says she has branched out musically to incorporate new instruments and sounds as well as different musical styles.
“There are definitely different sounds on this album,” Helen says. “My EPs are kind of more acoustic, folky kind of stuff, and with this album we’ve introduced synths and electronic sounds and highly different aesthetics, which I’ve always wanted to do but it took me until I made this album to be able to do it. Also the songs that I was writing for the album lent themselves to that aesthetic, so it all kind of came together.”
Helen explains how John’s approach to recording and production helped her explore new sonic territory, capturing the sound she wanted for ‘Harvest Of Gold’.
“Usually in the past when I’ve recorded we put drums and bass down, then they are the foundations for the track and everything gets laid on top of that. Whereas John likes to work in the opposite way and put down more of the synths and keyboards, that sort of thing. So the guys playing the drums and bass have something to play to and they get more of a vibe and a feel for the song, which makes complete sense to me and I have no idea why I worked in the opposite way for all the other recordings.”
‘Harvest Of Gold’ represents a major step forward for Gossling, who hopes it will demonstrate how she has progressed, both as an artist and a performer.
“I wanted to make sure I keep progressing as an artist, but at the same time not alienate anyone that’s been a fan in the past, and make sure [that] I can take them along with me.”
Helen says her progression as a musician can be seen most in her live performances. “I think the ways I have progressed is more to do with the live shows and the fact that I’ve become more comfortable onstage, and it’s a much more enjoyable thing for me now to perform live. I used to not really enjoy it very much, but I’ve now learnt to embrace it and I guess I’ve progressed in that way. I don’t know if my songwriting has progressed; it’s hard to say whether I’ve become a different songwriter, or I’m just writing different material.”
After spending the past few weeks performing their first overseas shows in London and New York City, Helen and her band are due back in Australia next month for a run of sideshows to promote ‘Harvest Of Gold’.
“These are the first shows that we’re going to be playing the new album live. We played Bigsound a few months ago in Brisbane and debuted a bunch of stuff there. We’ve been dealing with how to play the new material live. It’s meant that we’ve had to think about different instruments and figuring out who plays which part and breaking it all down. It’s been a bit of a challenge, but it just means that I’m playing different instruments.”
With a stack of new material at her disposal, Helen is looking forward to changing up the live shows and giving audiences a more varied performance.
“It’s awesome because I’ve been gagging to have new tracks in our setlist; now we’ve got more of a catalogue to choose from we can tailor different sets to different shows.”
Helen has also been honing her stagecraft, working on some new skills to impress her fans and further demonstrate her growth as a live performer. Some might even say she’s ‘taking a stand’.
“This doesn’t sound all that dramatic but I’ve been working on, instead of sitting down to play keys, I have a keyboard I stand up and play. I know that sounds pretty pathetic,” she laughs, “but to stand up and play an instrument is quite different.”
‘Harvest Of Gold’ is released November 1. Gossling plays Alhambra Lounge November 15 and The Falls Byron December 31 - January 3.