There’s something to be said for the bounty of quality Australian psych-music that the world has within hearing range. We’ve seemed to have clocked on to some type of frequency that breeds a distinct yet diverse melting-pot of sound that transcends borders and has made us a formidable force within the psych scene.
Rising from these fertile soils in more recent times are a six-piece powerhouse hailing from sunny Brisbane – Nice Biscuit.
These homegrown sonic maestros have thrown down the gauntlet in a spectacular fashion with the recent release of their debut album, Digital Mountain. The recipe they’ve concocted is evidently a ripper. Sprinkled with siren-like folky harmonies and wandering melodies carried by a psychedelic undercurrent – Nice Biscuit are the realest of deals.
Weaving through the city streets of Sydney in the back of an Uber, Billie Star and Grace Cuell gifted me some of their Friday afternoon to have a chat about their debut album, moral artistic dilemmas and the desire to give the world a little more colour.
“It’s nice to have a collection of songs that we actually feel like they go together. It feels like an accomplishment because we’ve gone through so many sounds so it’s awesome to have a finished product that we can show to people and then launch off for our next step,” Billie muses.
For any of those who’ve had the pleasure of seeing Nice Biscuit in action, they’ll tell you that the music is only half the battle. Adorned in DIY intergalactic get-ups, there’s an onus to invite more senses to the party than just the audio. So much so in fact, that Billie erupted into a coughing fit and had to tap in Grace to tell me about just how important it is to captivate the senses when showcasing Nice Biscuit.
“This is huge for us…we always try and think of ways to incorporate that just out of our own interest I guess. For me personally, integrating the visual with the sonic is just so much more of an experience for the audience.
“All of the most memorable shows that I’ve seen live have integrated both, otherwise there’s just a bunch of serious looking people playing tunes.”
Oozing with a bounty of creativity, the endeavours of Nice Biscuit don’t stop at music. In the spirit of sharing the love, Grace talks about the plan to kit out other artists with some DIY outfits.
“Billie and I have a sewing background and we love costumes and costume-making. We just wanna share that with other people.
“If we can enrich the world with a little bit more colour we may as well try to spread that around a bit.”
Notably, these Sunshine State dwellers have laid claim to some big name supports over the past year – The Growlers, Allah-Las and The Brian Jonestown Massacre to name a few. Th latter recently caused a stir with frontman Anton Newcombe’s unhinged behaviour at their Sydney shows.
I asked Billie what her thoughts were on separating the person from the art.
“That’s hard… Personally, I think you kind of want to separate the person from the art but it’s hard to do really. You think you can, but you really can’t. But you want to be able to.
“You can’t really not think about it otherwise those people will still be in positions of power and nothing will change.”
It seems fitting that Nice Biscuit wrap up their year with an appearance at Gizzfest, a unique independent festival run by Flightless Records – the in-house label of King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard (Australia’s endeared overlords of psych-rock).
“It’s a dream…I really like the way Gizz do everything so independently, that’s kind of the model we base ourselves off. Just choosing the bands they like and not just doing the classic triple J one’s and actually giving new bands a go.”
It’s safe to say that Nice Biscuit are proudly flying their own flag, adding more notches of success to their belt as the days pass on by. Don’t be surprised if you see your favourite band in some funky Nice Biscuit attire as this ambitious cohort of humans spread their creative juices to the masses.