Flying between continents and time zones, Melbourne one day, Stockholm the next and then waking up in London, anyone would be absolutely exhausted just from that idea alone. However, for a time, that was just an average week for Peta Jeffress and Gabriel Wagnberg, the Melbourne indie/electronic fusion masters who are better known as Peta & The Wolves.
After featuring on the Thundamentals track Think About It, they released their own fresh new single Equal Measure and, flying in directly from a run of shows in Stockholm and London, rocked out at Vivid. The duo have just announced a ten-date tour as part of Unisounds 2017 – the re-vamped National Campus Band Competition, and have also been working tirelessly on a new EP – one with a sound that Jeffress herself is finally happy with.
Searching the globe for years seeking the perfect musical partner to fuel and complete her creative endeavours, the two have formed a very special and strong artistic alliance. “I’ve been all over the world working with all different kinds of people and over the years I spent a really long time trying to find the sounds that was in my head. I’d always envisioned Peta & The Wolves being myself and a producer and us being the core team of that. It took me a long time to find it. When I was at The Kennel in Stockholm, I was in there working and my incredible publisher said: “Come into the office and hear this kid’s beats.” From the moment I heard Gabriel’s production I knew that was it. I changed all my plans and stayed in Sweden for two years to work with him.”
Taking inspiration from a vast array of different artists and bands over the years, Peta & The Wolves have a strong connection to their Swedish and Australian roots, speaking of their influences from some big pop and electro pioneers, it is apparent the strong connection they hold for their heroes.
“As a producer, there’s a few acts that I really connect with” says Wagnberg. “There’s a Swedish act called iamamiwhoami, who are still a very underground act. She’s a big influence on my productions. Also, Flume is a huge influence on me. I think you can hear on the new single Equal Measure how much of an impact on me. Robyn is also a big one for both of us.”
Equal Measure, a synthy, shiny delight complete with radiant vocals and Florence & The Machine vibes, is the latest single from Peta & The Wolves. Quite a personal track for Jeffress, it tells the story of a previous relationship.
“We wrote the new single in Sweden at a place called The Kennel. I think it was the second song that Gabriel and I wrote together. It had a completely different melody, a completely different chorus and then about a year later we went back to it and reworked it and changed the melody completely. We loved the first version, but as our sound started to develop within that first year, we didn’t think it sounded like Peta & The Wolves anymore. The lyrics were very personal, so we kept those and just mixed up the sound a little.
“It’s based on a relationship that I had that was quite destructive. It focuses on realising that the love wasn’t equal, which is always heartbreaking and having to face the concept of letting it go,” Jeffress explains.
As for future plans, Peta & The Wolves have quite a bit on their plate, juggling the new EP, more single releases and a lot of shows.
“The new EP is a nice blend of both our stories. It’s a lot of melancholy lyrics, despite the music sounding very punchy and upbeat. Playing the new songs so far has been really fun and the crowds have been amazing too. Lots more touring coming up though with Australia, Europe and the UK all on the cards. We have another single coming out in a few months which is exciting and then we’ll be back with some more shows!”
19 July, Melbourne Polytechnic Fairfield Campus, Melbourne
24 July, Swinburne University, Melbourne
25 July, Flinders University, Adelaide
26 July, University of South Australia, Adelaide
2 August, UCU, Canberra
2 August, CITSA, Canberra
2 August, University of Wollongong, Wollongong
4 August, UNSW, Sydney
9 August, University of Newcastle, Newcastle
11 August, SCU, Lismore