Adelaide alternative pop trio, Fleur Green and The Keepers are set to release their debut album When The Tide Rushes In on November 3, with their official launch show for the album on Nov 4 at the Grace Emily Hotel.
The Upside News caught up with Fleur Green to talk about the lady behind their first single ‘Nadia’, performing on a vibraphone while handling lead vocals and writing the song ‘Cherry Blossom’ at age 15.
Upside: Will this be the first time you are debuting certain songs from the album at the album launch on November 4? How does it feel to finally be releasing it into the world.
Fleur Green: We will be debuting some new songs and some covers on November 4. I am introducing my violin into the set as well and accompanying myself as I play the instrument that belonged to my Great Aunt. This album launch is like a phoenix rising album for me. I started writing it as my health became undone and through writing and performing its music I have gained confidence, artistry and found my own voice. I feel stronger now through its creation and to be releasing it into the world is like the feeling of flight.
Upside: The video for Nadia is beautiful and captivating, how did that video come together, the story behind the video is intriguing, what led you to write a song dedicated to Nadia?
Fleur Green: I wrote Nadia after meeting Nadia Talotta on the set of the Opera Australia production of “La Boheme”. I played a Hitler Youth and she played a prostitute. We shared a dressing room and became great friends. Some would say a strange and unlikely way to form a friendship… I always loved the lyricism of her name and the real-life Nadia has a very captivating energy. I based the song on the character she played in the opera, but kept her real name because it lends itself to melody very well. When it came time to make the video, we were proud to receive sponsorship from Arts SA enabling us to make three videos in fact. The stars aligned with “Nadia”. I set about contacting Ms. Talotta, who was interested in starring as the leading lady – having just completed studies at NIDA. Through a dear friend, I was recommended to work with Zach Crowther as videographer – he astonished me with such a high level of professionalism and understanding of my music. He stayed very true to my storyboard drawings and artistic vision, and set about enhancing the skeleton of sketches that I provided him.
We were blessed to have some wonderful guest artists work with us on the recording and video, like local musical royalty Peter Whish-Wilson (who has been tuba player for the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra for 40 years), songwriter and violinist Sarah King and the dashing Giovanni Clemente on the featured barri sax solo that was originally recorded by Jason McMahon. Jarrad Payne also featured in the recording with him and Flik helping with the arrangement.
Upside: The vibraphone looks complicated and I’ve never seen one being used as a lead instrument, let alone being used while singing as well. Is this a style you did yourself or are there other similar artists you were inspired by?
Fleur Green: I don’t know of it being used as a lead, songwriting instrument at this stage, but I do think it lends itself well to this style. I became very passionate about the vibraphone while studying percussion at Adelaide University and overseas in post-graduate environments. I distinctly remember practising a minimalist etude by Stephen Whittington on marimba in a practice room once and a friend walked in and I was trying to maintain a relaxed, natural conversation with them while I continued to practice the etude. It was so much fun, trying to achieve the independence and coordination that I then started to sing and play. The four-mallet technique allows you to create some lovely four-part harmonies too. I still find it a very fun activity.
Upside: You wrote ‘Cherry Blossom’ when you were 15, how do you think your writing style has changed since first writing that song. It’s impressive that the song still holds up today, did you have to modify it when writing it for the album or was it similar to the original when you were 15?
Fleur Green: There were no modifications to ‘Cherry Blossom’. For the most part, my songs come out of my hands organically and I don’t interfere with them. So maybe I have very little to do with them. The songs that come out now, do have more maturity, perhaps, though I don’t think ‘Cherry Blossom’ is juvenile.
Upside: You say that broken brains can make creative necessary beauty and insight and I love this. Does this come from personal experience?
Fleur Green: Yes, it does. Having a broken brain like mine has allowed me to access and channel things that with a normal, healthy brain, may be unable to. Music and lyric writing become a beautiful way to express how I see things, with a different lens that often provides a different, enigmatic, ambiguous perspective.
Upside: I imagine your inspirations must have kept changing over time seeing as you wrote the first song when you were 15. Are there any inspirations from the past that have been used that people might not expect?
Fleur Green: Inspirations are a strange thing to talk about, I find. I am classically trained in violin, piano and percussion and self-taught as a vocalist. I am open to listening and enjoying everything including jazz, country, folk, metal, rock, blues and “silence”. When I was 15 I was listening to Brahm’s violin sonata in D minor, Grieg’s piano concerto in A minor, Tori Amos, Yothu Yindi, Nirvana, Silverchair, Sonja Dada and the first album I bought with my own money was The White Album, by The Beatles.
Photo Credit: Ben Macmahon
Catch Fluer Green and The Keepers at The Grace Emily Hotel on Nov 4 – Event Info Here
When The Ride Rushes In is available from Nov 3.