Welcome to The Drop, Refinery29's new home for exclusive music video premieres. We want to shine the spotlight on women artists whose music inspires, excites, and (literally) moves us. This is where we'll champion their voices.
It's not clear what's more impressive about the Australian girl-band Erthlings: That the members are only sixteen years old, or that they've managed to create all this from what started as a music school project when they were just eight years old. The four members, Issy, Taylor, Lissa, and Jessame, were thrown together at random, and eight years later have produced their first music video with director Cybele Malinowski.
The video for "Bridges," premiering exclusively on Refinery29, is the band's way of putting their toes in the water of the industry. It serves as an introduction to the members, with vivid colors flashing as the camera, divided into four panels, alternates between close-ups of each of our heroines.
Despite the video — and despite their tours and critical acclaim — Issy and Taylor told Refinery29 that they still don't feel like they've "made it." We spoke to one-half of the girl group ahead of the music video debut to find out what it's been like to find success so young after such a long journey, and what they hope we feel when we listen to their first ever single.
Refinery29: I’m sure the first thing people remark on is your age, is that something you’re already tired of?
Taylor: "It’s a bit different seeing people react to it like this so much. It’s a bit exciting actually seeing other people comment how we’re so young because we’re not usually phased by it. It’s never been such a big deal. It’s exciting...because I suppose we never really recognized that it was."
Walk me through how you guys came together at the age of 8 and ended up here.
Issy: "Taylor and I are cousins. We started playing music when we were really, really little. And the rest of the girls went to school together, primary school. We met at this out-of-school music school and we were just put in a band because we were all a similar age. We started writing songs really early on just as a fun thing to do and then they started getting better and we got some attention for it, which is great!"
Did you have a moment when you realized you were really doing this?
T: "I feel like we still haven’t really reached that point."
I: "There’s not been a full realization that it’s happening. There’s a couple moments where I was like, ‘Oh, okay.’ Like, the first time someone sent us a remix of our song. The first time we heard from anyone in the industry at all. A lot of people telling us it was good. I think just small things like that."
This is your debut, why was this song important to you?
I: "It’s one of our more powerful songs. A lot of our songs are slightly sadder or more emotional, but this one’s more kind of like, stronger. We wanted to put out a strong song first so everyone can understand what we’re about."
What would you say your style is?
T: "We find it really hard to define what we are. It’s often kind of what we feel in the moment and what we piece together. Atmospheric vibe, a moody kind of tone, usually."
I: "We’ve been defined as indie-pop but none of us have ever really thought about the genre."
Did you have this specific vision for the video? How did it come together?
T: "Yeah that was...different."
I: "It was really interesting. We mainly just trusted our director Cybele Malinowski who is amazing. She just had some cool ideas. We just wanted to get something out there."
T: "I think it was kind of keeping it simple than aesthetics, mainly. It was more about the music. Something to support the song itself."
I: "And not to start off with anything crazy. Let there be room to do different things in the future."
Was there anything about making a music video that surprised you?
I: "So many things. It’s really cool. It’s really fun. It was the whole day…"
T: "That’s pretty much everything. You kind of have a basic idea, but you don’t know how you’re going to act when you’re in front of a camera. It’s pretty full-on."
What did you guys think when you saw the finished version?
T: "We loved the aesthetic, it was just shocking to see us in front of the camera. It’s lots of close-ups and 16-year-old girls are never going to love that. It was shocking but I think it’s grown on us all. I love the aesthetic of it."
I: "I think it’s really cool. It’s hard for us to judge because as Taylor said very well, we’re never going to enjoy videos of our face. I think it’s really cool and I think people will like it."
What’s next for you?
T: "We have new stuff we want to release, so that’s down the track I suppose. Goals? Just like expanding new experiences. Just getting into it all and taking more out from it, meeting more people. I suppose, becoming more what a real artist is."
This interview has been condensed for style and clarity.