Better than celebrities singing carols on a Christmas compilation album, Aiden Bradley’s sophomore EP Low-Key/High Strung is collaborative gold, bringing together an array of local talent on one record, out this Friday, 22 November.
Spearheaded by Aiden’s vision to unite Brisbane’s unsung talents, Low-Key/High Strung is a musical toast to friendships and the local music community; the type of record you’d make with your own friends if y’all were musically inclined.
“Above all I just wanted to make music with my friends,” said Aiden. “I started writing the songs last year on tour and was gearing up to record them as an EP for myself, when I thought it’d be cool to bring on people I love working with to add their own spin to the tracks.”
Answering the collaborative call to arms were folk-pop songstress Lili Rose Porter, rambunctious rocker Your Man Alex Smith, acoustic troubadour Lochie Matthews, rappers Parlour and Audio Compass, as well as Port Sunday, who all lent their input and voices to a track each. Drawing inspiration from acts like The National, Frightened Rabbit and Paul Dempsey, Aiden’s sophomore effort lyrically traverses the experience of early adulthood and the mistakes, heartache and self-reflection it brings – a mirror in some respects, to the journey he’s been on between recordings.
“On this record, I’ve taken a bit of the pressure off myself and allowed other people to help me with things. I made my debut EP, Boat Ramps, alone at my dad’s house, writing, recording, producing and mixing everything, whereas I brought in a co-producer to help me with Low-Key/High Strung, which I feel has made it a more polished piece of work.”
Comforting and inspiring in it’s diverse relatability, Low-Key/High Strung is as close as Brisbane gets to a musical version of US sitcom Friends.
“Honestly, a lot of my heart went into this record. It’s an absolute labour of love. I listen back to it and I just hear a bunch of people having fun making music. That’s all I want people to take away from it: doing things with your friends is fun.”
Gather your friends and make some new ones listening to the illustrious Low-Key/High Strung!
Read Aiden’s track-by-track of Low-Key/High Strung for a deeper understanding of the record, and play these tunes exclusively below, before this baby drops this Friday, 22 November. Aiden launches Low-Key/High Strung at Brisbane’s Crowbar 22 November.
'LOW-KEY/HIGH STRUNG' TRACK-BY-TRACK BY AIDEN BRADLEY
- Mess Things Up feat. Lili Rose Porter
Lili’s an old friend of mine and is one of the most amazing singers I’ve ever seen. This was the first song that was recorded and my first time pitching a track to another artist, it was really nerve-wracking. Mess Things Up is about falling in love but not really being able to get it right due to timing or circumstance.
- Ignore Me feat. Your Man Alex Smith
Alex and I have been playing together since the launch of Boat Ramps, we’ve supported each other at gigs a load of times and we get on like a house on fire. Ignore Me is a cry of frustration directed towards the music industry. It can be really hard to sink as much time and effort into something like we all do and feel like you’re not getting anywhere.
- Stupid Things feat. Lochie Matthews
Lochie and I met when I produced his first single. He’s another amazing singer and I was so stoked to have him on board. Stupid Things is about all the really dumb little things we’ve done that we regret and think about really late at night when we’re trying to sleep.
- Under Siege feat. Parlour & Audio Compass
Siege is an old track of mine that’s always been a favourite to play live. A few people suggested to me that the instrumentation would make a really good backing track for a rap, so I hit up Parlour and Audio Compass and we made Under Siege. The song is about accepting that you value your own time and not letting anyone make you feel bad about that.
- Slow Motion feat. Port Sunday
Slow Motion is about growing up and growing apart from the friends you made in your younger years and the feeling of isolation that can bring. When people grow up and start doing their own thing, they can drift apart and I really felt that leaving high-school and again at uni. I only met Port Sunday fairly recently and as soon as I heard her voice I wanted her on the track.
‘LOW-KEY/HIGH STRUNG’ – AIDEN BRADLEY + FEATURED ACTS