Brisbane producer/songwriter Golden Vessel has leapt back into our world with a new record this week, the warm and nostalgic 11-track album colt. Calling on old mates and collaborators like Mallrat, The Nicholas, Emerson Leif and Akurei, it's a comforting mix between alt-pop and electronic that'll bring you a sense of comfort.
Written ahead of what was going to be an extensive North American tour last year, Golden Vessel honed in on those feelings of isolation, missed calls and feeling like it's hard to reach those you care about when you're constantly moving through a country on tour. And for the first time, the producer has relied on his own voice more than ever to share his feelings - there's a deep introspection to his vocals, making you feel like he's singing it to you down the phone line, thousands of miles away. colt feels like a little bit Japanese Wallpaper, a little bit Big Thief, and like a lot of heart.
While you check out the album, read Golden Vessel's own explanations of each track, how they came together on a technical level and it's journey from inception to release.
This was the first song I made for the album and hence why I chose it to open the record. I started it in Amsterdam in July 2018 with my friend Rut (The Nicholas), we were feeling so uncreative but decided to push through and make a lot of little recordings seeing as we were in the same city at the same time. We recorded these guitar layers through a sampler that had a beat repeater triggering randomly. I took those recordings home and one Saturday morning at my family’s house I recorded the whole song.
I wrote midwest really late one night in December 2018 and it was sort of an uh-huh moment. After I made midwest I knew exactly what the album was going to be, and the name 'colt’ came from a lyric that didn’t get used. It was really easy to write but the hardest song on the album to finish, I think had about 20 versions trying to get the drums and structure right. My friend Joey (Young Franco) forced me to add more fun drums at the end of the song and that really was the push that got it finished.
I was in LA writing and I rocked up for a session and I had read my calendar wrong and turned up on the wrong day. A producer I knew (called Lost Boy) also had rocked up and his session just got cancelled so we decided to try write a song. We’d done a few sessions writing pop pitch music and he mentioned that he wanted to try and help me write a Golden Vessel song instead. I said sure and sat him down and played him Big Thief and Arcade Fire and spent an hour talking through where my head was at. And then he really subtly pushed me to try some things I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise which was a really nice moment. And then I got Simon Lam from Kllo and Josiah from Govs to help me finish the production.
littlebitwild ft mallrat
This started with a songwriting day between Grace (Mallrat) and I two years ago and then me slowly blending that with two other ideas I had into the final song. I loved the sentiment behind what Grace wrote, I kept thinking about it and took me a long time to find words to compliment and support what she had written. I finished this song quite late by taking out these 808s which felt out of place and recording this indulgent bass guitar part for the end.
there ft emerson leif
There used to be quite an upbeat song that I started with George (from Seekae, who also mixed the album). I tried probably eight different choruses and after not getting it right, I recorded some piano, stripped it right back and invited Emerson Leif over to have a stab. The first thing he recorded was perfect and I finished the song that night.
I really wanted the centre song of the album to be more of an instrumental longer song. I made this in Amsterdam with Rut in June 2019. I’d been listening to a lot of house music (not that blinker is technically a house song) but loved the repetition of a four on the floor kick, and wanted a pretty stagnant bass line where we could just layer sounds on top of and let it slowly evolve. My favourite thing in the world is making sounds and loops with Rut and so we just recorded and recorded and I comped it into this song.
that’s us (ft. The Nicholas, Rei so La)
This is my favourite song on the record at the moment. I made it with Rutger and he was showing me this little tape recorder he’d bought off eBay for next to nothing. He recorded some acoustic guitar into it and showed me when you shake it in the air it creates these little ‘wiggles’ in the recording. I quickly recorded it and we wrote the song in a day. I gave the song to Rei So La (who I’m in a band with - Lucky Idiot) and he turned around a verse very quickly and it felt like a perfect fit to me.
a good night (ft. akurei)
This song to me sonically feels like the halfway point between my last album SLOWSHINE and colt and for that reason it almost didn’t make the cut but I then thought it’d be nice to have something to connect the two. My favourite part of the song is this big trance lead that comes in during the second post chorus, made by lonelyspeck. They also sent these big chugging metal guitar parts that didn’t quite make the cut but the lead fit perfectly.
I did a little writing week with George (from Seekae) and while he was structuring an idea we’d made I went onto the couch with my headphones and a bass guitar and made this in about 20 minutes (including all the vocal parts). It then took me over a year to get the words right. It also took me I think six tries to record it because I got really picky about the flow of the verse. A lot of people told me to make this song longer but to me it felt right being this short explosive moment.
I wrote stateside two days after midwest when I’d just decided on the concept and feeling for the album and it came really easily. I’d just binged a bunch of Americana movies and I think the lyrics reflect that. I wrote the chorus and it felt like it lacked a bit and was a bit too hopeful, and so I added myself doing a counter melody saying the opposite sentiment of the other part.
This was the last song I made for the album, I made it in November 2019. It felt a little indulgent and dramatic, but I had a very big year and it was all sort of collapsing and ending in different ways and so this came out. I don’t usually sample but I sampled this really pretty song I listened to a lot last year called Inside My House; Some Place I Keep Dreaming About by Ricky Eat Acid and we got it cleared which was one of the final pieces of the puzzle for finishing the album.