Music can be a way to discover yourself, connect with others, and feel part of a community. What is it about music that brings people together?
Vibrations reverberate through your eardrums and into your body, similar to the rippling water as you wade through the shallows. Rhythms of the beat transport you to another world. Suddenly you’re on a white-water raft absorbing the surrounding snow tipped mountains, smelling the crisp air permeated by pine trees. The next song plays, and now you’re in a log cabin with a crackling fire, roasting your frozen toes from the cold. You sink into the couch, wrapped in a burnt orange blanket full of love. These are some images that come to mind when I listen to Bon Iver.
Music can be like a magic remedy for when you are sick. It can fix just about everything, or at least make things a bit easier. Even if you’re alone, you don’t necessarily have to feel lonely when listening to music, because there’s an entire community behind that one song or artist that you’re also a part of. I thought I’d get some insight into what music is like on the other side, so I emailed my two favourite Australian bands. Mosquito Coast and Cub Sport. Both were kind enough to reply.
MOSQUITO COAST: consists of Naomi Robinson and Conor Barton, both 18-year-olds from Perth. They create music that rolls with the sounds of refreshing waves crashing on a sun soaked beach and are influenced by artists like Jimi Hendrix and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
CUB SPORT: lay out ethereal tracks perfect for jamming out with mates, consisting of singer and songwriter Tim Nelson, drummer Dan Puusaari, keyboardist Sam Netterfield and guitarist Zoe Davis. Tim is the main songwriter and is influenced by Oscar Wilde and Leonard Cohen in his writing.
Why do you do music and how is it important to you?
MOSQUITO COAST: We’ve always played music primarily as a release. There’s something cathartic about making loud noises, especially if they sound okay. Music is so important to both of us because it’s our main outlet, so getting to play shows is the best feeling because its combining this outlet with something that people can enjoy.
CUB SPORT: I do music because it’s my favourite thing. an obsession since I can remember, so it’s always been important to me to pursue my dream of doing it full-time.
When I listen to music I am transported to another world. Do you have images in mind when you’re writing music?
MOSQUITO COAST: The pictures and feelings we try and surround ourselves with changes each time we write. For the last EP, we tried to have a cohesive warm and fuzzy vibe, and the lyrics were based around escapism, whereas with ‘Call My Name’ we were more about our location and the atmosphere there.
CUB SPORT: It’s not an escape from reality but more so a way to enhance and understand it. I generally write to a mood and that often brings clarity and understanding to what I’m feeling.
What’s one of your favourite songs (of your own) and what does it mean to you?
CUB SPORT: ‘Come On Mess Me Up’. I wrote it just after I’d been listening to a lot of Leonard Cohen. I was really inspired by his honesty and how intimate and genuine his lyrics felt and sort of forced myself to let my guard down. It felt like a breakthrough with my song writing and I’ve really embraced that honest, intimate approach ever since.
Has music enabled you to connect to different people? Who are they and how have you connected?
MOSQUITO COAST: For sure! We’ve made so many friends since starting to play gigs and go on tour. Notable mention to our best pals Mezko from Sydney, and North East Party House who we are on tour with at the moment. These bands have always been so lovely and friendly from the start.
CUB SPORT: Our music has allowed us to connect with so many incredible and inspiring people. We feel super lucky that we get to connect with so many amazing fans through our socials, out and about and at shows!
How are teamwork and collaboration crucial in making music? Can you describe an experience where collaboration was key?
MOSQUITO COAST: Teamwork is probably the most important thing when playing together, we can’t really play properly if no one communicates well. Especially on tour, you’ve got to keep everyone happy and up to date. We’ve definitely improved working as a team, having to set up on stage under ten minutes or figure out cover songs last minute.
CUB SPORT: I don’t necessarily think it’s crucial but it can be helpful for gaining a broader perspective.
In our band, we always discuss everything between the four of us before making any important decisions.
Can you explain an experience where you realised how creating and listening to music helped you (or someone you know) through a difficult situation?
MOSQUITO COAST: I mean it’s not the most difficult situation, but we’ve found that our fresh house and techno mixes have gotten us through major hangovers and cleaning the house.
Angel Olsen’s ‘Those Were The Days’ is always good for des-tressing. The National is good if you want to feel sorry for yourself.
CUB SPORT: I get messages pretty often telling me that our music has helped people through hard times. Receiving those messages has helped me through difficult situations too so we’re all helping each other!
What is it like to perform in front of fans? Is it a rush of energy? If you could compare it to something, what would it be?
MOSQUITO COAST: There’s definitely a rush you get from being on stage, especially when you get a good crowd that interact with you. It’s fun to feed off the crowd’s energy and vice versa.
I don’t really know what to compare it to, but it’s always initially nerve racking but once you get in the rhythm of things, you can loosen up and have a dance.
Max Cumming is a student at St Scholastica's College, Glebe, NSW.
Pictured: (top) Mosquito Coast, (bottom) Cub Sport.