Signed to UK based label Damaged Goods Records, The Rellies recently released their debut EP, Monkey. Their age? All four are still in their teens (talk about precocity). 

Based in Sydney, The Rellies are made up of members Jarlath Kiernan, Lachlan Knight, and brothers Riley and Ryan Francis, who started writing together when they were children.

They soon became regulars at Sydney’s Lansdowne and Mary’s Underground and Oxford Art Factory in 2018 (performing, not underage drinking), and now their debut project is here.

“During COVID we got very bored. Originally we wanted to get our monkeys and run them over with our Dad’s car but we settled for filming them falling down the stairs and writing a song about it. When the other members of the band finally heard the song, they liked the monkey, and then we made a clip with our friends and some TV monkeys”, Ryan says about the making of their debut EP.

Influenced by The Beatles, The Rellies have incorporated humour into most of their music, evident throughout Monkey, and have also looked to Tyler, the Creator for inspiration, as the majority of his early music is humorous and light-hearted.

“We love the Beatles but lately we’ve got more of a punk energy in our songs. Also Riley likes a lot of different stuff like Tyler, the Creator… his lyrics are really funny and inspiring to us right now”, the band explain.

Performing this Saturday at the Addi Rock Festival in Marrickville tomorrow, The Rellies are one of the most intriguing emerging live acts in the country and are a no brainer to catch before they inevitably level up to bigger stages – remember, they’re still just teens.

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To celebrate their debut EP, Tone Deaf caught up with The Rellies as part of our Get to Know series to find out more about their lives and music.

How would you describe your music to your grandma? 

Ryan: I’d sell it to her by saying it sounds like The Beatles, which it does, but with a good serving of garage and punk sprinkled in there as well.

Riley: It’s fun music that makes you wanna dance and muck around.

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

Ryan: The feature track, “Monkey”, is as the title implies about a monkey. The main character embarks in an epic adventure with this monkey. This adventure meets a tragic end. “Helicopter” is about my crazy obsession for aviation.

Riley: We wrote the song “Monkey” during lockdown. Ryan and I thought it was a fun game to throw stuffed monkey toys at each other – obviously one of the best decisions ever made by human kind. Such a good idea we decided to write a song about it. We wrote “Isabella Is Annoying” about a girl in my year who I had some beef with. This song was a key revenge tactic.

What do you love about your hometown?

Ryan: All my friends live close by, I love to socialise with [them] often.

Riley: It’s where I grew up and there’s always stuff to do. It never gets old.

Career highlight so far?

Ryan: Obviously we feel really lucky and are very grateful to have Damaged Goods release two singles and an EP on vinyl. I also love doing live shows and my favourite live show was at Mary’s Underground.

Riley: Damaged Goods giving us a second go and releasing not just a single but an EP as well! Like Ryan I love doing live shows too but my favourite show was at El Roco – the room was jumping!

Fave non-music hobby?

Ryan: Definitely hiking, I have a group of mates (including Riley) that I do almost everything with including getting lost and losing my mum’s very expensive camera.

Riley: I love to hang out with my friends and my brother Ryan. We do activities that require great levels of stupidity but are fun and give us all good memories.

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What’s your dream rider?

Ryan: Probably peanuts and popcorn with a side of 10-12 cats in varying breeds and character traits.

Riley: A cheese platter, your finest duck pate and a dentist chair.

Dream music collaboration?

Ryan: Definitely Paul McCartney.

Riley: George Michael – obviously he would need to be resurrected.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 

Ryan: Probably touring and writing songs.  I also like DJing.

Riley: Performing in a stadium.

What’s your go-to karaoke song?

Ryan: “Everlong” by the Foo Fighters or any Beatles song.

Riley: “Careless Whispers”.

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

Ryan: Who cares what others think about what you’re doing – as long as you love it others will, too.

Riley: Haters gonna hate – Taylor Swift.

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

Ryan: Drum & bass. And popcorn – though it’s not an obsession, it’s an addiction.

Riley: Cars. The obsession is actually unhealthy.

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