We love seeing artists collaborate on a full project together rather than just a singular song, so to see Aussie electronic king The Kite String Tangle (Danny Harley) and indie-pop sorceress Woodes (Elle Graham) team up on a new concept called Tornado Club was more than just a bit exciting.
You can totally hear slivers of each of their styles in the music - Woodes' whimsical synths and vocals shine through, while The Kite String Tangle brings the darkness and atmospheric builds to the work. You can also hear influence from their shared favourite artists, Jónsi, Sufjan Stevens and more - no wonder the pair work together so effortlessly.
We wanted to catch up with them both about meeting and working together, as well as some quick-fire questions about themselves, as they drop their new song together Intuition. Get to know them before they drop their full Reset EP together late July.
What made you want to collaborate and work together on a whole new project?
ELLE: When we started writing Intuition we were really just making music as a therapeutic experience as mates, but realised we were onto something special that maybe didn’t neatly fit into The Kite String Tangle or Woodes universe.
We’ve been friends for a few years and in that time both of us have been releasing music as solo artists. We had similar musical inspirations and values/views around making and releasing music and enjoyed talking about how things could be better. Now that we’re a duo we each have someone to bounce ideas off and stay inspired and creative with. It also means we can make and release more music! It’s really exciting to be able to reset and work out how to do things from square one.
DANNY: I think both of us were craving the idea of being in a ‘band’ and sharing the workload creatively which can make the whole process more fun and often gives it more clarity. We’d written songs together before but when we started writing the batch of songs that eventually became this EP, we had pretty much decided that we wanted to keep exploring this duo dynamic in the long term.
How were you introduced to each other?
ELLE: I met Danny in Brisbane, I think at Bigsound? I’m a big fan of his music and all of the many other things he does with his label and collaborations. We did some writing together back and forth and then through APRA SongHubs we were in a writing session where things really clicked and we realised just how aligned our musical inspirations were. Also one time we were both at Splendour and spoke to Jónsi from Sigur Ros together, who’s one of our favourite artists. Jónsi wrote a song called Tornado. It’s all connected! We’re Tornado Club.
DANNY: I believe it was Bigsound, but I feel like Woodes is one of those names that kept popping up everywhere for a while, and we were probably at the same shows heaps too. I honestly don’t even remember when our first writing session was but it was obviously good because we haven’t stopped doing them since haha.
What should we know about the upcoming EP?
ELLE: This EP started from a really raw place. I arrived in Brisbane to do some writing and unbeknownst to me, Danny and his partner of over 10 years had broken up 24 hours before. He texted me about it the day before and I was going to fly back down to Melbourne but his choice was to keep busy and continue with the sessions, even though his world had gone through this huge shift. As a friend and as a songwriter it was a unique experience in that, Danny was open in his lowest point and throughout the healing and reconciliation process. We just kept writing. Since we’re both producers and can engineer ourselves and write remotely, it was a unique set of skills that meant we could start and finish all of these recordings as a duo from two different cities. The EP was finished remotely in a time where a lot of things around me were very raw and fractured due to everything happening outside. I think it’s some of the most honest and special songwriting I’ve been a part of.
DANNY: I think Elle has covered this well. I think the EP is a really raw and honest documentation of the healing process of a big break up. It was amazing to write about this with someone else and really get to talk it through with someone in real time, which is something I might not have done properly without the excuse of writing music if I’m honest.
First song you ever learnt to play?
ELLE: At my piano I had a couple great song books from Delta Goodrem & Missy Higgins. As a young singer/pianist they inspired me heaps!
DANNY: I learned to play power chords on a guitar and jumped into playing songs by Green Day and The Offspring. Classic pop punk kid.
Best concert you ever saw?
ELLE: James Blake in LA on my birthday. He did a three part harmony with Connan Mockasin & Moses Sumney.
DANNY: Sufjan Stevens at the Tivoli or Jónsi & Alex playing Riceboy Sleeps in Paris with the London Contemporary Orchestra.
All time favourite album?
ELLE: So hard to pick a favourite, but Sufjan Stevens - Illinois is definitely all time.
DANNY: Jónsi – Go Do. Such a unique and amazing album.
An artist you love that we wouldn't expect?
ELLE: I love Muse. We often listen to it in the tour van.
DANNY: I love Enya.
Your childhood musical crush?
ELLE: Hmm I’m not sure - If you looked at my first iPod it’s pretty much just Ben Gibbard and Chris Martin. And Alicia Keys!
DANNY: Building on my pop punk theme, let’s go with Avril Lavigne.
If you're having a terrible day, what song can we expect to hear playing?
ELLE: Probably try and keep it upbeat with some electronic stuff - I’m loving Fred Again..’s record at the moment. If I’m in a wallowing mood, chuck on Sigur Ros!
DANNY: Something relaxing to transport me away from the situation. Perhaps some Bon Iver.
If you're having an awesome gym sesh, what song can we expect to hear playing?
ELLE: Instrumental beats or a full album of something… Sometimes Ellie Goulding or Grimes? Or like Song Exploder or And The Writer Is podcasts. Or just something extremely pop.
DANNY: I’ve been slamming the Bronson album on runs. That always picks up the pace.
Festival slots or headline slots?
ELLE: I really miss festivals! First festival set back is going to be pretty euphoric.
DANNY: A headline slot is always nice because you can do your full show as intended and have nice lighting which you can’t always get at a festival during the day. Both are very good though.
#1 international artist you'd love to collab with?
ELLE: Really tough. I’d love to work with Imogen Heap at her studio or with Hans Zimmer… or James Blake, Phoebe Bridgers, Sampha, Jonsi, Nils Frahm or Drake? I’d probably melt into the floor.
DANNY: Very tough, but if anyone was an option, maybe Thom Yorke, Jonsi, Brian Eno, Jon Hopkins, Bonobo or Jamie XX.
One word to describe working with each other for Tornado Club?