ALL I EVER KNEW might be his debut single, but this isn’t the first time you’ve heard of Lou Scarrs’ music.
He previously toured with his former band, having a hectic schedule which included Glastonbury in the UK, SXSW in the US, and Australia’s Splendour In The Grass, Big Day Out, and Golden Plains.
But something didn’t seem right, something was amiss. So he left it all behind and started fresh.
He enlisted the help of fellow Aussie, producer Oscar Dawson (Holy Holy) to polish his sound. The result of this collaboration being Scarrs’ forthcoming EP.
According to Scarrs, the powerful track is about “discovering that everything you thought you knew was bullshit -kinda like finding out the truth about Santa and working out where to go from there.”
You can listen to his debut single below. And while you’re doing that, here’s a quick interview we did with Scarrs about his music.
How would you describe your music?
“You know that feeling you get when you wake up and immediately know you’ve slept through your alarm for something important? I grab that feeling and smush it into three and a half minute sinister and melodic big, beat-driven tunes. Sort of.
“Other times, it’s a little more fun and upbeat. Take the first single from my EP for instance: All I Ever Knew – it’s not a barrel of laughs but it strikes a happy medium.”
How’s your music now compared to your music in the past? Could you tell us how you evolved from one style to the other?
“My epiphany came while sitting in economy class waiting to disembark a plane at Brisbane Airport. I wrote a bassline, drumbeat, and spat out a few nonsensical words into my phone that had an energy and vibe like nothing I’d ever written before.
“I grabbed this tiny snippet of an idea that I couldn’t get out of my head and gradually built on what eventually became a song called Let You Down. That song became the benchmark or reference point for everything I created from that point on. Kind of like a foundation to build upon. A theme, an idea, a vibe – something to be explored.
“Feedback was good. People liked it. Up until that point I was in a bit of a rut and felt unchallenged, so it was an exciting thing to rediscover a passion and hunger to create. In general terms, you could say I’ve moved from an in-your-face rock model to draw from a wider range of genres, where the lyrics are deeper and more reflective.”
What was it like working with producer Oscar Dawson? What was the creative process like?
“Oscar Dawson! Guitar playing extraordinaire. Coffee connoisseur. We caffeinated regularly during the making of this EP. Oscar’s got better guitar chops than me playing the guitar upside down with his opposite hand. I don’t know whether that’s a reflection on my playing but anyhow… I had seen his song-craft and playing on display in his band Holy Holy and was keen for him to bring some of that balance of rawness and polish to my sound.”
“The creative process began with me bringing in my home demos in a fully finished form. We listened together and tweaked my song structures and instrumentation for maximum impact. Most songs got a little shorter, one a shade longer. It was great to have fresh ears on the project as I had lived and breathed the songs largely on my own up until that point which can inhibit perspective.
“Oscar was able to help work out what the best parts of the song were, sometimes a tiny riff I had tucked away somewhere in my demo ended up being a central component of a track. We argued, we hugged, we had a couple of beers. His mega-talented wife Ali Barter chipped in with some beautiful backing vocals. There were dubious jokes. Nobody cried. I’d do it again.”
Please tell us more about your first single, ALL I EVER KNEW.
“I wrote the beginnings of this track while walking through the streets of Richmond in Melbourne. I had the bass line, the vocal delivery, and one lyric which I thought was a bit of a joke and would need replacing later.
“The opening line: ‘Do you ever catch a glimpse in the mirror and think “damn I look good”?’ was meant to convey that feeling of being on a roll or at your best – that moment where everything seems to be going your way and you’re top of the heap.
“I actually thought the line might come across as vain so I nearly ditched it but then I thought everyone has done this – walked past a reflective surface or even a car’s rear vision mirror and thought to themselves: ‘Hmm, yeah not bad, not bad at all’.
“Anyway, I ended up using the line as a springboard for the rest of the song, which is basically about the bittersweet joy of discovering that everything you thought you knew and understood was bullshit. It’s a largely positive and ‘I’ve got this’ kinda vibe in the lyrics.
“The music mirrors this sentiment with an upbeat stomp-along chorus. It gets a little bit reflective in the bridge. It’s a fun tune. Huge bass, brit-poppy vibe. I kinda tried to capture that unstoppable bravado of youth in a four minute song and this is the result.”
What should fans expect from your forthcoming EP?
“Deciding on a single was a pain in the ass. Every song on this EP put its hand up for captain and every opinion I canvassed was different to the next. So there are four quality tracks that have taken my blood, sweat, and tears to create. Maybe some of Oscar’s too.
“In fact, at the two and half minute mark of the third track if you listen really closely, you can hear a sob of sheer despair soaked in reverb panned hard right. Can’t remember if it was Oscar’s or mine. Or a backwards oboe. Doesn’t matter, it sounds great.”