With their latest chilled groove ‘somebody like you’ kicking 2021 off smoothly, we caught up with daste. and get to know them better. 

Gold Coast outfit daste. make lo-fi R&B that discuss love and relationships earnestly and emotionally. Sounding like Australia’s answer to Toro y Moi, the trio – Tyler Harden, Braxton Tahi, Callum MacDonald – have been on a consistent upward trajectory since forming in 2018.

Chosen as one of 16 artists selected by triple j’s Dave Ruby Howe to perform at Sydney’s Electronic Music Conference in December 2019, that year also saw them drop their well-received EP Palette, which was followed by 2020’s Same As It Ever Was.

Now they’ve released new single ‘somebody like you’, the second taste of their upcoming debut album, dusk//dawn, that is scheduled to be released this June.

It’s a typically silvery and dreamy love anthem, about finding the right person for you in life. It’s also a product of the downtime brought on by COVID-19 lockdown: “This song came about shortly after everyone was coming to terms with the severe necessity of isolation,” Callum explained.

Not being able to leave the house forced us to start writing songs and ideas on our own which we could eventually work on together. I immediately felt as if I had writer’s block and decided to try making a beat every day in an attempt to break my creative struggle. ‘somebody like you’ was day 26 I believe…I had the beat, chords, verse and a pre-chorus and stopped there.

A few weeks later, the three of us were able to get together and work on the ideas we all brought with us. Within a few listens of this particular idea, Tyler says “What if the chorus went like …Youuuuuuuuuu” and at that point I knew we had something very cool going on.”

If you want to catch them in action live, they’re supporting Felivand at The Zoo in Brisbane on February 26th. In the meantime, read our chat with the group as part of our popular Get To Know series to get to know more about their inspirations and career.

Check out ‘somebody like you’:

Click to play videoPlay

How did your artist name come about?

The name comes from a friend of the band. Before we even formed he used it to describe something of excellence. Eating a custard danish and realising how good it tastes? One would say this is the perfect time to exhale the words “this is a f####n a’daste” like an Italian connoisseur. 

How would you describe your music to your grandma?

It’s PG.

Tell us about a few of your tracks; their titles and what they’re about?

‘SOBER’ – The ‘SOBER’ lyrics can be interpreted in so many ways and that’s really what we wanted to achieve. Most people would automatically associate the title to drugs and/or alcohol but it’s really just a song telling that special someone that you want to be and always will be your true self for them. 

‘Thinkin’ Of’ – The very first song that we wrote and released as a band. ‘Thinkin’ Of’ is about how overthinking can push you into making decisions that aren’t rational and make you miss out on things that would be better if you lived in the moment. It’s about getting so lost in a thought that you’re almost dreaming while you’re awake.

‘Either Way’ – ‘Either Way’ is a track that talks about the things that hold you back in everyday living – the pressures of life, what people think of you… but most of all it’s about getting through these struggles and coming out on the other side, knowing that it’s not always going to be okay and that’s alright.

Check out ‘Thinkin’ Of’:

Click to play videoPlay

What do you love about your hometown?

We love so much about the Gold Coast and it means a lot to us that people know where we’re from. There is an enormous pool of talent here and the scene has grown so much even in the two and a half short years we’ve been together.

When you start to list acts like Lastlings, Amy Shark, DVNA, San Mei, Akurei and Citrus Daze, it’s far too hard to ignore the potential of this beautiful, underrated city. I think a lot of people have this image in their head of the Gold Coast being nothing but Surfers Paradise and don’t realise when you travel inland or down the coast you really get to experience how laid back, and truly picturesque the place can be. 

Career highlight so far?

Our very first hometown show. When we started out, we decided that we would hold off on playing gigs until we felt the time was right. After close to a year, we headlined our favourite hometown venue, Elsewhere, and it sold out! There were so many moments on stage where time just stood still and it’s a night we talk about very often. 

Fave non-music hobby?

Cal: Bodyboarding
Tyler: Video games
Brax: Surfing

What’s on your dream rider?

A plate of pre-cut orange slices.

Dream music collaboration?

Collectively, we’re fans of Tora, Leisure, Parcels and Two Another. Any of those and we’d be chuffed! That’s a hard one to pin down to be fair. 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Playing shows all over the world and loving it.

What’s your go-to karaoke song?

We’ve never done karaoke together but we’ve planned to start warming up our vocals before sets with ‘Afternoon Delight’ by Starland Vocal Band if that counts for something! 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Less is more. 

What’s one obsession you have that no one would guess after listening to your music?

We’re all huge nerds. Pop-culture, video games, superheroes … let’s talk. 

Check out ‘What if?’:

Click to play videoPlay