Forming five years ago over a mutual affinity for “friendship and gags”, Melbourne 5-piece, Eggy have sizzled to the forefront of the Melbourne underground. With a sound that feels tied to the city but twists and turns through surrealist post-punk, art-pop and indie Avant-Garde, the band’s debut LP, Bravo! presents the most thoughtfully constructed collection of Eggy’s self-described brand of “gobblefunk pop”. We had a chinwag with guitarist and vocalist Dom Moore who helped reveal the soft, gooey details that went into the make-up of the standout LP.
As avid attendees of gigs around Melbourne, the members of Eggy soon arrived at the realisation that they themselves should have a crack at an active role within the scene; “I played music in high school but when I came down to Melbourne I pretty much stopped. Zoe (Monk) and Lucy (Packham) and I were going to heaps of shows together and one day we realised we all played instruments but weren’t in any bands, so we thought we’d have a little jam”. Driven by the deadline of a debut gig at a friend’s Halloween party, the then 4-piece, with Choz (Charlie Wolstenholme) holding down the drums, delivered the goods with a killer set, even without a designated vocalist; “I think we played ‘Rumble’, which is an instrumental surf song and then we had a few of our friends guest singing when we played ‘Hot Stuff’ by Donna Summer and ‘Louie Louie’, which is a classic. It was a real funny show”.
Building on the momentum from the gig, Eggy set about establishing their own sound. Accruing a diverse range of descriptors for their melting pot of shifting styles, this deliberate malleability reflects their open-minded attitude to song writing; “We didn’t wanna be a band that gets pigeon-holed and play one kind of genre. The whole ethos is to keep it as open as possible and when we do all get together and someone has an idea, we just try to jam it out or see it to its natural end. We try not to cut things without giving it a red hot go”. The everchanging landscapes of arrangements offered by Eggy were furthered through the addition of Sam Lyons and by the freewheeling approach to instrument swapping in the studio and on the stage; “We all tend to switch a little bit. It’s nice because we're not designated one instrument and it’s also fun because nobody’s stuck sitting there playing bass notes all the time. We do shift around live too but it’s something that probably a lot of people wouldn’t notice, but a lot of thought goes into making it work logistically”.
Just like the band’s instinctive song writing process, Eggy’s recording time utilised a similar methodology on Bravo!; “A lot of the ideas we fleshed out in the studio. We had the basic outlines of songs, but we went in there and said, let’s try this or put this on there or fiddle with the actual process of recording. It was a fun way to do it because it keeps you interested and on your toes”. With more time and effort devoted to layering compared to the more spontaneous, one-take nature of 2019’s debut EP, Billy, their latest release presents arrangements that feel more fleshed-out; “The first EP was, go in and play a song and try not to question it too much, and that was the take. I feel like we definitely put a little bit more effort into Bravo! in terms of thinking about overdubs and the layering of sounds and textures. Things like the laugh track in ‘HAL 9000’ or Zoe getting one of her family members to film her younger cousins playing Minecraft, which we sampled for ‘Round Table’. We tried to experiment with stuff and trust our gut”.
With each track decidedly different from it’s neighbour, Bravo! conveys that of a collage of old and new material with each track acting as its own vibrant organism; “I think each song exists in its own right. ‘HAL 9000’ we’ve had since we started playing but then 5 or 6 others were written quite late in the piece, or even after we’d started recording”. As one of the lead singles for the album, ‘HAL 9000’ sees Moore sing about popular “cultures killing me” over a bouncy indie bop. It serves to illustrate one such example of the themes the band jump between; “I guess it’s about the idea that you wanna engage with big social or political ideas but then sometimes other things get in the way. There’s so much information online, trying to filter through that and actually have some productive critical thinking about big ideas gets hard”.
Having recorded their material late last year, Eggy were able to utilise the lockdown to fine tune their sound with the assistance of Mikey Young mixing and mastering. Whilst thankful for having the time to craft their piece, the lockdown has left the band yearning for the sense of community that music in Melbourne offers; “You feel like a family when you play a show, or go out to shows, or form bands or listen to someone’s community radio show or read someone’s zine. In some way, so many people are contributing. It’s been harder to feel that connection in 2020. Nothing is as good as going to a show and sharing that bond within the community”.
Nevertheless, Eggy are ready and rearing for the release of Bravo!. Buoyed by the prospect of being able to offer something for everyone among the eclectic soundscapes they inhabit, Moore leaves us with one final metaphor for the record that feels fitting enough to be etched onto the sleeve of each record; “It’s like, when you go the supermarket and there’s an oddments section on special and there’s all these things there and you just take a slice of what you want”.