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Owl Eyes – Drawing The Line (Part 2)

Written by Marc Zanotti on 12th July, 2012

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Considering the parallels between the careers of solo songstress Brooke Addamo, better known as Owl Eyes, and Findlay sister rock band Stonefield, it seemed only inevitable that the two emerging Australian musical acts would join forces for the co-headlining Winter Road Trip: a regional tour kicking off in August.

Both Owl Eyes and Stonefield are signed to Wunderkind; both are riding the success of their respective current singles; both are working on their debut studio album; and both were approached by the government initiative The Line: a campaign that aims to promote healthy and respectful relationships amongst young people, and the driving force behind the Winter Road Trip.

For Addamo, Owl Eyes’ current single Crystallised is a synth-driven pop tune that expands on the sound of last year’s hit single Raiders, which was only separated by one place from Stonefield’s Black Water Rising in triple j’s Hottest 100. Having been out for only a few months, Crystallised’s enticing melodies have already become ingrained into the minds of Owl Eyes’ fans.

“I did a little tour on the back of it and it’s just great. I already had people singing along to it, so that was really nice,” Addamo acknowledges.

Another song that landed Owl Eyes in triple j’s Hottest 100 was Addamo’s wildly popular Like a Version cover of Foster The People’s Pumped Up Kicks. Coming in at number 28, Owl Eyes’ version actually ranked higher than the original, which placed at 32 the previous year. Despite the success of the cover, Addamo isn’t concerned about her own music being eclipsed.

“I’m not really worried about it; it’s kind of two separate things. It’s just nice that people had a good reception to it when it wasn’t even my song,” Addamo humbly appreciates.

With so much accomplished already one might forget that Addamo is still yet to release Owl Eyes’ debut album, which is expected out in October of this year. On the matter of transitioning from writing a handful of songs for an EP to creating a body of work that fills an entire album, Addamo has found the shift both intimidating and exhilarating and has gotten through the process by sticking to the time tested adage of ‘write what you know’.

“I’ve been really working hard on it and I’m just in the middle of producing everything at the moment, so it’s looking good. I’m really excited just to have it out. It’s been a while coming and I just can’t wait to have an album done,” Addamo eagerly admits.

“It’s a lot more daunting doing an album because it’s your first and it shows everyone who you are. I’ve been doing Owl Eyes since I was 18 till now, and I’m 21. It goes through a lot of those themes of growing up and becoming who you are and falling in love, definitely things like that.”

On the progression of her debut record, Addamo recently posted on Facebook: “Writing notes on demos for my album!! Wow it’s coming together. I hope you guys feel something from it because I’m putting so much love into it.”

The statement raises the question of the vulnerability faced by artists who offer up material of self-expression to the public for it to then be critiqued and it’s ‘worthiness’ judged by outsiders.

“It’s kind of daunting but I don’t think it’s like they decide if it’s worthy or not, it’s just kind of opinion based. It’s just nice having it out there and you have to have some hater to have lovers,” Addamo reasons.

“So it’ll be quite nice to (see what) the people that have supported me from the start…think about the album.”

Before the release of Owl Eyes upcoming debut, Addamo will be joining forces with Stonefield for the Winter Road Trip. However, the national tour isn’t just bringing music on its 17-stop journey but also a message. The Line Initiative is a government campaign that attempts to help youths ‘draw the line’ and treat themselves and eachother with respect. The project also promotes zero tolerance towards violence against women and children, with one in three Australian women reporting as being a victim of physical violence and almost one in five reporting as being a victim of sexual violence in their lifetime, according to The Line.

“I think it’s such a great campaign to be running especially because it deals with something that everyone can relate to.”

“But they also really program it to be directed at the youth, and I think that’s really great because they really target them (via technology) we actually use these days, like the Internet rather than just radio and TV. I think they really have that down pat with the app that they just released for a smart phone,” Addamo points out.

For Addamo the message of The Line is one that everyone should heed. Via new mediums of technology, people are able to behave negatively towards one another from detached locations and develop a callus attitude with little fear of reprisal. In turn this sense of disconnection can lead to a lack of accountability when it comes to treating peers and contemporaries with even a modicum of respect and taking on any sense of responsibility for the wellbeing of others.

“My role is more about talking about respect and talking about ways that we can prevent such things (as disrespectful behaviour). So if you have a strong respect for yourself you’re going to have respect for others”, Addamo asserts.

“So I feel like everyone can really relate to that, and it definitely makes you look at your own relationships in your life, not just romantic but every relationship, and decide if you’re being respected and if you’re respecting the other person, and it helps you decide where to draw the line in those relationships.”

Although the Winter Road Trip comes with a strong message, music listeners would be well served to not dismiss the tour as ‘preachy’. At the heart of the show are two very talented and entertaining musical acts that continue to win over legions of fans across the country.

On the chance to finally tour with longtime friend Amy Findlay, Addamo says she’s looking forward to travelling and performing with a fellow musician she can so closely relate to and confirms that fans should expect an onstage ‘duet’ between Owl Eyes and Stonefield, though just like Amy Findlay, Addamo won’t give up what exactly the two acts have in mind.

“We’re all girls and it’ll be a bit different to previous tours, because I don’t think there’s many tours with that many girls in the bands,” Addamo chuckles.

“It’ll be really nice because I’m really good friends with Amy because she’s about the same age as me. It’s nice having a girl that…is going through pretty much the same thing that you are.”

“(The cover will) be more an exclusive to our shows, so you have to come down to the shows to get a sneak peak at it.”

STONEFIELD & OWL EYES – Winter Road Trip 2012
Proudly presented by The Line Initiative, Music Feeds, and Channel V

Wednesday 1 August – KAROVA LOUNGE – BALLARAT, VIC
tickets: www.oztix.com.au

Thursday 2 August – KAY ST – TRARALGON, VIC
tickets: www.oztix.com.au

Friday 3 August – MACGILLIVRAY HALL – BENDIGO, VIC
**UNDER 18 ONLY**
tickets: City of Greater Bendigo Lyttleton TRC Office – 03 5434 6000
tickets: Bendigo Musicman Megastore – 03 5443 3299

Saturday 4 August – WESTERNPORT HOTEL – SAN REMO, VIC
tickets: www.moshtix.com – 1300 GET TIX

Wednesday 8 August – STATION RESORT – JINDABYNE, NSW
tickets: www.moshtix.com – 1300 GET TIX
tickets: The Station Resort, Jindabyne – 02 6451 4800 – www.thestation.net.au
tickets: Perisher Tickets, Jindabyne – 02 6459 4498
tickets: Perisher Tickets, Perisher – 02 6459 4418

Thursday 9 August – ZIERHOLZ @ UC – CANBERRA, ACT
tickets: www.moshtix.com – 1300 GET TIX

Friday 10 August – ORANGE EX SERVICES – ORANGE, NSW
tickets: www.moshtix.com – 1300 GET TIX

Saturday 11 August – SOUTHERN CROSS UNIVERSITY – LISMORE, NSW
tickets: www.moshtix.com – 1300 GET TIX

Sunday 12 August – HOTEL GREAT NORTHERN – BYRON BAY, NSW
tickets: www.oztix.com.au

Thursday 16 August – ART GALLERY OF WA – PERTH, WA **OWL EYES ONLY**
tickets: www.artgallery.wa.gov.au/artbar

Thursday 16 August – NEWPORT HOTEL – Fremantle, WA **STONEFIELD ONLY**
tickets: www.heatseeker.com.au

Friday 17 August – SETTLERS TAVERN – MARGARET RIVER, WA
tickets: www.oztix.com.au

Saturday 18 August – STUDIO 146 – ALBANY, WA
tickets: www.oztix.com.au

Thursday 23 August – MONASH UNIVERSITY – CLAYTON, VIC
tickets: www.monashstudentassociation.com

Saturday 25 August – TOWNSVILLE UNI BAR – TOWNSVILLE, QLD
tickets: 07 4781 4111

Friday 31 August – WHALERS HOTEL ¬– WARRNAMBOOL, VIC
tickets: www.oztix.com.au

Saturday 1 September – SOUTH EASTERN HOTEL – MT GAMBIER, SA
tickets: www.oztix.com.au

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