Tonight at the Grace Emily, one of Adelaide’s most exciting musicians is launching her debut EP.
Publicist, writer, musician, and general babe around town, Koral Chandler has put her heart and soul into the recording of Nocturnes and can’t wait to share it with you.
Speaking to The Upside News through the magic of the internet due to a talking ban (she’s recovering from voice damage, so she needs to remain silent to keep her vocal chords healthy), Koral says the EP is a story waiting to be told.
“It’s been such a journey to get this thing finished. I think the most exciting thing about this EP is the listening experience as a whole. I’ve always had a bit of a crush on people who create records as an entire package from song one to the end instead of just a bunch of songs thrown together,” she says.
“The songs tell a story each in their own right but sit within a more cohesive narrative. The instrumental songs shift the mood or the key, and the record peaks and drops in the places that made sense for us emotionally.”
Nocturnes is about leaving everything behind; about hitting the road and walking away, which Koral says has been a cathartic writing experience for her.
“A few of these songs have been with me in different forms for a long time. It is definitely nice to get them out and start moving on to the next project. Mostly, though, these songs are about walking away from bad situations, bad habits and most importantly, bad love,” she says.
Recording and playing regularly with her band, The Goodbye Horses, Koral says the music for Nocturnes starts with her, but ends with a collaboration.
“Most of the songs started with me and The Goodbye Horses have come along and breathed a new life into them. Having said that, ‘Pony’ was born in the rehearsal room with the full band,” she says.
As an incredibly prominent personality, musician, and advocate for live music and arts, Koral says Adelaide’s music scene has its ups and downs.
“The scene can be quite gentle on you. There aren’t too many people brave enough (or maybe even qualified enough) giving honest, helpful, critical feedback for bands to learn from. I find that quite frustrating. I’m at the point where I am hungry to hear constructive criticism if it will help me to hone my craft. Sure, it stings the old ego, but I would much rather spend my time building my skills than practising something that’s not working,” she says.
“The inverse of the point above; Adelaide’s music scene is so incredibly supportive and safe, especially for new artists starting out. We are really lucky to have a town full of big-hearted people who will go out of their way to help artists in any way they can.
“I also love how many bands share Kevin van der Zwaag. That’s probably the best thing about the music scene in Adelaide: Kev time-share.”
Tonight at The Grace Emily, Koral and The Goodbye Horses are supported by The Sloe Ruin, and Max Savage and The False Idols.
Starting at 9:30pm, Koral says the audience can look forward to a night of quality, home grown music.
“The Sloe Ruin are an incredibly talented and fun band to see live. I’m pretty much in love with Häna’s voice and Jess’ honky tonk lead guitar riffs,” she says.
“Max Savage is one of the most relevant Australian songwriters at the moment, and his band The False Idols are an entire band of over-talented gurus. Plus, they are just genuinely wonderful humans. Then there’s us, we’ll play you songs to help break your heart, get angry and then mend it again.”
With the possibility of an album on the horizon after the release of Nocturnes, Koral Chandler and the Goodbye Horses are looking forward to an exciting time ahead.
Koral is particularly looking forward to the prospect of touring the new EP and spending time with her band.
“We are going to tour. The thing I most look forward to is getting to sit in a tour van, getting up on stage and sharing hotel rooms with four of the most fun, genuine, silly, talented and bat-shit crazy humans I’ve ever met,” she says.
Nocturnes features Koral’s haunting vocals, which interchange between melancholic Nick Cave-esque crooning and the vocal rage of a rock goddess, accompanied by reverberating guitars and atmospheric melodies.
An ambitious project, Nocturnes proved challenging, but Koral says, it was all a learning experience.
“The biggest challenge was asking for help; asking very skilled musicians to give me their skills and talents. That was the most daunting part for me. There are people like Chris Weber playing the horn sections, Fleur Green playing strings and Carla Lippis doing backing vocals. These cats are at a world-class level with their skills. Asking them to play on my record was a real exercise in, um, learning how to rise to a challenge!” she says.
Having met the challenges, Koral is finally ready to share her work with you and, while she is keen for you to enjoy the whole EP, she is particularly connected to one number.
“They are all important. They are all honest, and at their core leave me naked and vulnerable. I think that’s important – to never fake emotion in art. If I had to choose a favourite right now, it would be Nocturne #5. That song I think is the most perfect song I have composed to this date,” she says.
Koral and the Goodbye Horses launch Nocturnes at The Grace Emily tonight so get there and support one of Adelaide’s favourite front ladies.
9:30pm The Sloe Ruin
10:15pm Max Savage & The False Idols
11:00pm Koral & The Goodbye Horses
Check out the EP teaser:
By Libby Parker
Photo by Ben McGee