Breakout sibling duo, Lastlings, have just released their long awaited debut album First Contact. Focusing on the themes of firsts and the restorative importance of rest and relaxation, the album was created in a studio in Japan and draws on elements of the pair’s favourite childhood film My Neighbour Totoro. We caught up with them to discuss this new venture, recording their own samples and how they pursue the feeling of rejuvenation outside of making music.
Hey guys! How are you? How’s your day been going so far?
Hello! We are really well. Today has been very busy. We have been doing a lot of prep for our upcoming album ‘First Contact’ and our album launch shows 🙂
For those who don’t know you both – how would you describe your sound?
Amy: We make electronic music! We are really inspired by films and animations! Hopefully you can hear it lyrically and sonically when you listen to our music.
So you’ve just released the single ‘Out of Touch’ – tell me more about the track, what makes it special? How did it come into fruition?
Amy: I wrote part of ‘Out of Touch’ at our grandparents home in Japan in 2018. This was when I had just finished school – the time that I spent there was a really good time for me to focus on myself. ‘Out of Touch’ is about disconnecting from real life and spending time on yourself, especially when life becomes too much and you need to recharge.
Josh: The guitar melody from the song was actually inspired by Joe Hisaishis the wind forest from one of our childhood favourite Ghibli animes My Neighbour Totoro. I used my really old classical guitar to record through a really cheap drum condenser mic that our good friend Matt Bartlem lent us. The whole song evokes a sense of nostalgia for me because of the way it was made using my first guitar and how our forest surroundings at home kind of remind me of the scenery in the film.
The song is about self-care and the need to recharge. Where do you go and what do you do when you feel this need arise?
Amy: I usually go for a run in the park, a swim in the ocean or I will do a quick pilates workout – exercise allows me to zone out and focus on my mind and body. I have started meditating too which has been really helpful. Other times I spend time with my closest friends and have a nice chat with them.
Josh: I really enjoy going for a surf and cooking. These two things really help me clear my mind and recharge. I do love stepping away from my laptop that I use almost every single day to make music on and just strum away on my acoustic guitar as well. I find it therapeutic.
The song is from your upcoming album First Contact which comes out on November 20th. What is the overriding message of the album – what joins all the tracks together?
Amy: First Contact is about all the moments that you experience for the first time, how special they are and how important they are in shaping us as people. Moments and experiences like first love, first heartbreak, first flight or even your first time at a new destination. We want this album to spark all the beautiful and important memories, feelings and emotions that you feel when you experience something for the first time. All the tracks on the album are stories, lessons, moments and experiences that have happened from the end of high school, up until now. We cannot wait for you guys to hear it from start to finish.
I love that a lot of the ideas for your songs and production come from Sci-fi. What do you find so inspiring about the genre and what’s your favourite sci-fi flick?
Amy: A lot of our favourite Sci-fi films have really beautiful cinematography – Josh and I both find a lot of inspiration from watching these movies, especially while we write. It is almost like we are scoring the movie. Our favourite sci-fi films would have to be Arrival, Cloud Atlas, Your Name, Akira, and our all time favourite, Blade Runner 2049.
Amy – how was finishing highschool after releasing two successful EPs?
Amy: It was so long ago so I can’t really remember. All I know is I was extremely excited to finish school and be able to focus on Lastlings.
So Josh I’ve read that you record your own samples. What’s been your favourite sound you’ve discovered?
Josh: Yeah I need to buy a zoom microphone to be honest. I’ve recorded a lot of ambience from near our house in the forest and by lakes. Random stuff like dropping rocks or throwing rocks in the water, splashes etc. I recorded some stuff when I was in Japan as well that I used as ambient noise in the background of some of the tracks. For me, it’s been so long that I’ve made some of the tracks that when I listen back and listen carefully and hear some of my field recordings it takes me back to some of the places I recorded them which I think is a nice thing about collecting your own samples.
Amy – I’ve read that you want to be a DJ! What tracks would feature on your perfect set? And where would you play it?
Haha yes! I am learning. Probably Without warning (Thomas Schumacher Remix) – Spektre, Cathedral Voices – AEMPTY, Break the Silence (KAS:ST) and this will all take place on a spaceship 🙂
You came together organically which I guess follows from growing up in the same house. How does being siblings influence your process – either with writing or making music?
Amy: We usually both do our own thing separately and then come together and share our ideas. Sometimes Josh will show me a song he made and I will write over it – or I will write a song at the piano and Josh will turn it into a track.
What future collaborations would you love to pursue?
Amy: My dream artists to collaborate with would definitely have to be James Blake or Apparat. I would also love to do a writing session with Emma Louise – her song writing is beautiful.
Josh: I’d really like to do a song with Jacques Greene. I’ve mentioned it in a few other interviews but I really liked his latest album Dawn Chorus. I think it would be awesome to write a song with Rufus Du Sol one day, we’ve both remixed each other’s tracks so hopefully one day we can do something together. Also hoping we can do one with Cassian as well I love working with him and always learn a lot from him.
What did you do for halloween?
Amy: I dressed up and went to karaoke with my friends! Lots of laughs, bangers and Soju. I am not really sure what I dressed up as – I did wear cat ears and a sparkly gunmetal dress. My costumes are always really last minute. I really need to plan a cool costume for next year.
Josh: I just went to a friend’s birthday party. I’m pretty boring though I never really dress up for halloween… I think I should change that for next year.
Outside of music – what are some milestones you’d like to pursue this year?
We were thinking of moving interstate soon for a change of scenery and spark some new inspiration but with covid happening we’re just waiting to see if it would actually be viable for us. I think it would be really great for us to be somewhere that inspires us to make more music.