Our lasting friendships that remain solid from childhood to adulthood are rare and precious. They help us to to stay rooted in what’s important, and to see how the threads in our lives are so vitally connected to the lives of others.
Adelaide, Australia quintet Lost Woods have recently released their single “Cinnamon” which touches upon these very themes wrapped in an aural package that’s texturally varied, atmospheric, and lyrically poignant. Listen to it right here.
The band consists of not one but two sets of brothers; twins Tom and Sam Baird, both guitarists, and Miles and Lucas Sly on drums and bass respectively. Rounding out the lineup is frontman Peter White, who connected with Tom at a party, bonding over music, but also Seinfeld and a mutual sense of social awkwardness. From there, Lost Woods was born, and they began to build their base of fans and media support.
Lost Woods’ previous single, ‘Vodka Ocean’, received Australian national airplay on Triple J and gained huge support from community radio, street press and music media across the country. ‘Secrets In Our Sleeves’, taken from their self titled debut EP, was a finalist in the 2016 Vanda and Young songwriting competition. Latest single ‘Cinnamon’ hopes to build on this success
I connected with Sam Baird and Peter White of Lost Woods via email and asked them about the band, and their newest song “Cinnamon”. Here’s our conversation.
Radio Free Lightning Bug: Lost Woods is a pretty stable unit now. But it took you a while to settle into the current line-up. What happened?
Sam Baird: At the end of last year both our previous bassist and drummer left the band which set us back a bit. One moved to the small island state of Tasmania, off of the south coast of Australia in search of love. The other left to focus on his own musical endeavours.
It was a challenge to not only lose two great musicians but also two great human beings that were awesome fun to hang out with every week. We are very lucky to have found Miles and Lucas Sly to fill their shoes. They’ve been able to step in and take the rhythm section roles in their stride. They have brought a new dynamic to the band that has re-energized us and taken us to new musical territories as a band.
It’s also cool to have two sets of brothers in the band, anything to make us more like The National is fine by me.
RFLB: “Cinnamon” contains a lot of the images of childhood matched with hints of how perceptions change as people get older. What inspired it?
Peter White: It’s heavily centred around reflecting on my friendships formed in high school. Back in the day, friendships can stem from pretty simple grounds like being in the same home group or both liking marbles or Mario Kart.
As time goes on, we individually develop and eventually find who we want to be. This song is me taking a step back and celebrating how different some of my closest long term friends are. If we had met later in life, there may not have been a friendship at all.
RFLB: The line “this town needs you!” is resonant like a political statement inside of what seems to be a very personal song. What’s behind that line that makes it so powerful?
PW: It was definitely a personal statement. The ‘town’ I was describing was my friendship circle. I was kind of highlighting the importance and my need for differences and diversity in my ‘town’. I’m glad I know and circulate with a variety of peeps. Keeps it interesting.
RFLB: The line “As you mould your ways and build your walls, it’s OK.” feels optimistic to me. How would you say a line like that might connect during this era of ours that seems pretty bleak?
PW: I’m a pretty self-deprecating guy but I try to keep optimistic. It gets me up in the morning. I get the current era looking pretty bleak. It can be painfully overwhelming at times. I guess that may have encouraged writing a song honouring lasting human connections that have stemmed from different walks of life. I suppose that ideal can be broadened to a social context and maybe presents some hope.
RFLB: Let’s talk about how the song was recorded. Did you go in with a specific idea of how it would sound in mind, or did it change as you went through the process?
SB: “Cinnamon” was recorded by the immensely talented and hardworking Joseph Cheek at Island Studios in Adelaide, Australia. Originally we weren’t even planning to record the song at all. We had some time left over at the end of a recording session and pretty much recorded it just to make use of that time.
Because of this we were a bit less precious about the recording and were more open to new ideas. We experimented a bit with sounds, making use of keyboards, samplers and a lot of effects pedals to create the ambient soundscape that swells underneath the verses. It features some electric 12-string and acoustic guitars which is also a first for our recordings.
RFLB: This is the newest of your singles after an EP and two other singles. Where does this song fit into to how you’re evolving your sound, or in the artistic statements you’re looking to build upon?
SB: We really tried to create a musical landscape where Pete’s vocals can come through the strongest. We’re trying to be more mindful of what suits our songwriting style the best in terms of sound, instrumentation and texture.
Our sound has definitely evolved to incorporate a lot more ambience and textural playing in addition to the upbeat jangly guitar riffs of our past recordings. Artistically i think we would prefer to think of it as a broadening of our sound rather than a complete shift of focus.
Thanks, Sam and Peter!
For more about Lost Woods, explore the following links: