It has been two years since we last heard from Perth solo artist, St. South (Olivia Gavranich) and she has not disappointed in her return to the spotlight. The artist who writes extremely relatable music with personal touches and lo-fi jazz aesthetics, is now back in the scene and ready to tackle 2020 with a new outlook and fresh perspectives, which are shaping the sound of what is to come from her.
Today marks the first step in her re entry into the musical stratosphere with the release of – ‘Does Your Brain Ever Get This Loud?’, a beautifully crafted song that looks at insecurities that come hand in hand with growing up and moving into mid to late 20’s and all that comes with this change from naivety to existential contemplation.
St. South – ‘Does Your Brain Ever Get This Loud?’
Get To Know: St. South
Did anything inspire you musically to create the aesthetic for ‘Does Your Brain Ever Get This Loud?’
I feel like this song is the direction I’ve been wanting to go for a really long time, but I never had enough production knowledge in order to execute it myself. I’d been wanting to step away from the “electronica” title I’d adopted over the years (when I was working with electronic producers) and create something that suggests a wider range of influences.
I listen to a lot of pop, lo-fi, jazz, soul, hip hop etc, and I think the better I’ve become at producing, the more you can hear those influences coming through, which is triumphant for me in a way.
I was going through a bad period of writers’ block at the time, and I wanted to write something that expressed how stuck I was feeling in most aspects of my life. Ironically, the song kind of opened the floodgate that was keeping me in that state of writers’ block and led me to write all of the music I’m getting ready to release now.
How would you describe your music to your grandma?
My family is Croatian/Portuguese so I honestly have no idea. I’d probably just have to point to a piano and a computer. Genre-wise, I’d say it’s a mix of lo-fi-indie-pop meets bedroom beats?
Tell us about your name and where it came from.
I came up with it in early 2012 when I was considering entering into the Bon Iver Stems Project (remix comp). I needed an artist name, not even thinking that anyone would listen to my music! I grew up in a tiny surf town called Denmark (the very south-west of WA).
I live in Perth now, but my parents and brother still live down there – so going south has always meant going home. I was also really into St. Vincent at the time and so I thought St. South felt like a nice way to pay homage to my childhood.
When it comes to expressing yourself through your music can you give us some insight into what this does for your overall well being?
Writing definitely helps me to process things I’m experiencing in the most physically grounding way. Whenever I’m feeling restless or sad I can sit at my piano for hours. There’s something extremely calming about creating music with your hands.
I’ve thought about it a lot recently – what music does for my mental health – and I think it has the same effect as meditating. Because for however long I’m playing the piano, or guitar, of singing, or writing, my mind isn’t anywhere else. It’s really good at keeping me focused on the present moment, especially when I have the tendency to overthink.
Can you please tell us about ‘Does Your Brain Ever Get This Loud?’ and what it means to you?
This is the first track I’ve put out in a couple of years, and also the first fully self-produced track I’ve ever released – so I’m feeling pretty nervous/excited about it! I wrote it in 2018 and it honestly feels like my first-born.
I was 25 when I wrote it, and I was going through a transition period where I was leaving my early twenties behind. I don’t know why, but I was suddenly really overwhelmed by the process of growing up. One thing I noticed during my early twenties is how much pressure I put on myself to have my shit together, but the reality for me (and a lot of people my age) is that I don’t, and I’m often riddled with self doubt.
I think this song is the process of accepting that it’s completely normal to feel a little lost and purposeless sometimes, and ‘having it all figured out’ is really just a social construct.
If you could only wear one outfit for the rest of your life. I call this the Bart Simpson conundrum. What would it be?
Probably shorts and a t-shirt, and in winter, jeans and a t-shirt. And sneakers! So basically just Bart Simpson’s outfit.
What is your ideal notion of relaxing?
Going to Exmouth (Western Australia) with my best friends. I don’t get phone reception up there so it’s completely off-grid. We spend every day surfing, snorkelling, reading, doing yoga and napping in hammocks. I actually took the Inure EP artwork photos up there – it’s the most beautiful and relaxing place in the world.
Stream the Inure EP
One song for:
Relaxing: ‘Morning Sun’ by Melody Gardot
Dancing: ‘Keep The Fire Burning’ – Gwen McCrae
Pumping Up: ‘Teardrops’ by Womack & Womack
What do you love outside of the music?
I adore my friends, swimming, cycling, cooking, good movies, surfing, and dancing (this sounds like a bad Tinder bio). I’m really interested in psychology and anything to do with personal growth.
I love taking photos of people and places (@livvo.jpeg) and I’m super close with my family – I have a little niece and nephew who are my whole WORLD. And my dog Tora, the goodest girl.
I feel really lucky to be able to make music from home, and the freedom that comes with that lifestyle. So I try really hard not to take it for granted, and that usually means spending as much time as possible with the people I love, and being as healthy (mentally and physically) as I can be!