Ever since we first heard Physical’s debut single ‘Islands’, we’ve been entranced by frontwoman Julia Parr’s stunning voice - and now the duo have just released their debut album ‘Ride It Out’, one of the most exciting releases of this year.
We spoke to the band about the album’s release, songwriting, and more…
COUP DE MAIN: ‘Gold’ was the first song that you and Julia wrote together for Ghostwriters Collective. What was it about that writing experience that made you guys continue, and continue to write a whole album?
NIK BRINKMAN: I remember going to a party, I think it was at Julia’s flat. We were all having a few drinks, and Julia sang what she had for that song to me--
JULIA PARR: That was when we first started writing it.
NIK: It was so good! I was like, ‘We have to finish this!’
JULIA: We were in a room full of our friends, and they were like, ‘Whoah, that’s so cool.’
NIK: And when I heard Julia sing on it in the studio, I knew.
JULIA: I think for me, it made me realise that I had a lot to say. So I wanted to write more. It worked really well, we wrote really well together, and we had really similar ideas of where we wanted it to go.
CDM: Did you change ‘Gold’ at all for the album?
NIK: We changed the bridge.
JULIA: We re-recorded it. Someone at my work was like, ‘Why did you change it? That was my favourite bit!’ <laughs> We took a bit out.
NIK: I always liked that bit too.
JULIA: I don’t like it…
NIK: We’ve got two versions of it, which is good.
JULIA: I was actually really sick when we recorded it the first time. I kept having these moments where I was like, ‘I can’t do it!’ So then we were like, ‘Maybe we should re-record bits of it when I’m not sick.’ And it ended up sounding heaps better. But we didn’t re-record the whole thing.
HOW I FEEL ABOUT THE RELEASE OF ‘RIDE IT OUT’…
CDM: A running theme through the album seems to be communication in relationships - you refer to your “words” a lot, things you’ve said / not said. Did you find writing the album a cathartic experience?
JULIA: Yeah, definitely. I get quite caught up in the moment if I’m in a heated argument, or discussion - I find using my words really difficult, I get really kind of tongue-tied, and then you just end up getting frustrated with yourself and frustrated with the whole situation. So I think it was really cathartic - I never really thought of it being like that. There’s certain people that the songs are about that I’ve actually told them, ‘This is very obviously about you,’ and they’ve been like, ‘Okay, this is starting to make a bit more sense now.’
CDM: “You need me so much more / And I need you so much,” you sing in ‘Breaking The Rules’. Do you think that the balance can work if it’s unequal?
JULIA: No, definitely not. That song is more about an obsession - an imbalance, I don’t know how to describe it really.
CDM: ‘You Can’t Have Me’ is the next single - what was running through your mind while writing that song?
JULIA: The song ‘You Can’t Have Me’ is about being really in control of yourself and being able to to communicate and being able to say no - being in control of yourself, and your body.
ONE THING ON MY BUCKET-LIST…
CDM: You sing on 'Spinning’, “One thing I couldn’t do / Sit there and lie to you.” Do you think that honesty is the most important part of any relationship?
JULIA: Yeah! That line is talking about 'you' as lying to yourself, and lying to the other person. I was sort of going through coming out at that stage, and I realised that I was not only lying to the person I was with at the time, but I was also lying to myself. I couldn’t keep going that way, so that’s sort of what that means.
Physical’s album ‘Ride It Out’ is out now - listen to it below…