Words + Interview by Sam Townsend
â€˜Now and Thenâ€™, the long-awaited debut album from Eliza & The Delusionals, is finally here! Released into the world last week (May 20th), the 12-track collection is Eliza & The Delusionals in their purest form. Hailed as an album of resilience, â€˜Now and Thenâ€™ comes at the end of a tumultuous period for the four-piece; on the precipice of relocating to the United States and embarking on a huge touring schedule, Eliza & The Delusionals were instead redirected to the studio, where they took the opportunity to channel their creativity and strengthen their dynamic.
The results speak for themselves. Sophomore EP â€˜A State Of Living In An Objective Realityâ€™ was released in 2021 to much acclaim and further propelled the band onto the radars of Australian and American industry tastemakers alike. Building on this momentum, Eliza & The Delusionals have hit the ground running in 2022 with the release of â€˜Now And Thenâ€™, showing where Eliza & The Delusionals have come from, and where theyâ€™re looking to head next.
As someone whoâ€™s been listening to Eliza & The Delusionals since before Half Empty Girl days (and who fangirls out when I spot them at the local supermarket!) I was absolutely stoked to have an early listen to â€˜Now and Thenâ€™ and send off some questions for Eliza Klatt to answer about this monumental release and what we can expect from Eliza & The Delusionals in the near future.
First up, can you tell us a little bit about what Now and Then is about?
â€˜Now And Then’ is about a perspective on nostalgia and coming of age. I think because of the pandemic we were forced to stay at home for such a long period of time we had to search outside of what was happening around us for inspiration, and reflecting on growing up and nostalgia felt comfortable and a way for us to escape from the depressing world that was around us throughout 2020-21.
What was the creative process like for the album, given recording has taken place between Australia and Los Angeles?
It was kind of an interesting process, and definitely not what I would have imagined the writing process for our debut album would be. We started writing a few of the songs in LA whilst we were between tours in 2020 with Sarah Aarons, John Hill and Keith Harris. We didnâ€™t know if we were writing for a debut album, so we didnâ€™t really have a theme in mind or anything like that when we started writing. When the pandemic hit, we had to come back home to Australia pretty quickly and as the months went on we couldnâ€™t really see the light at the end of the COVID-tunnel so we decided to turn our two-bedroom flat into a home studio and just immerse ourselves into creating the album. So the majority of the record was written and demoed at our home studio, and after about a year or so of writing we took it into the studio with our producer Konstantin Kersting in Brisbane to bring the album to life.
Youâ€™ve worked with quite a list of acclaimed songwriters and producers for Now and Then, a favourite of ours being John Hill (Cage The Elephant, Charli XCX, Lykke Li); is there any one collaborator who stood out for you?
To be honest with you, all of the co-writing sessions we had were really amazing and inspiring experiences. Everyone was so warm and welcoming to us, and we definitely felt like we could be creatively free and all ideas could be put on the table. It was the first time we had done co-writing sessions outside of Kurt and I just working together, so it definitely set the bar of how writing sessions should be and I feel like we both learnt a lot as songwriters from these sessions.
Do you have a wish list of future collaborations?
The list would be massive, weâ€™d love to work with Jack Antonoff one day. Weâ€™re massive fans of his songwriting and production!
Iâ€™ve been listening to Eliza & The Delusionals for quite a few years now and the last few single releases (Save Me and Give You Everything in particular) really show how the bandâ€™s maturing and further cementing your place is on the big stages; how are the band feeling as a group at the moment?
For starters, thank you for listening! I definitely agree that the sound is maturing, and I think itâ€™s because over the last few years weâ€™ve experienced so many things together as a band and as friends. Weâ€™re in LA at the moment, so as the four of us weâ€™re kind of buzzing and just getting excited to play at Bottlerock Festival over here and then come back home for our biggest headline tour to date.
What do you feel is the best song youâ€™ve ever released, and why?
I think it would be a toss up between Just Exist and Save Me. I think because Just Exist created such a huge turning point in our career, I canâ€™t help but be so proud of it and continuously love it. Save Me is easily one of my favourite songs weâ€™ve ever written. I just feel so much when I listen to it. I think if it wasnâ€™t my song it would be my current favourite song!
â€œWhy donâ€™t you come and save me
â€˜Cuz Iâ€™m just waiting to find
Someone whoâ€™s just as
Lonely all of the timeâ€
– Save Me (Eliza & The Delusionals)
As weâ€™re all keenly aware, the last two years (how has it been two years!?!) has hit the music and arts industry particularly hard. During this time weâ€™ve seen Eliza & The Delusions release the sophomore EP â€˜A State Of Living In An Objective Realityâ€™ and now the debut album â€˜Now and Thenâ€™; though weâ€™re also keen to know how else the band spent this time? Are there any side projects youâ€™ve also been working on?
I know right?! The time honestly has gone so quickly. Itâ€™s also weird that that EP came out during the pandemic. Even though we were playing that EP live for so long in our sets, we never really had the chance to take it out on tour after it was released until the lockdowns were lifted. It was definitely a weird concept to think about. Honestly the album has been the centre of our lives for the entire time. I personally spent a bit of time doing some art things, and I know the other guys had small projects outside of music, but as a band weâ€™ve been so album-focused for the last few years.
One of the positives for me personally during this time was slowing down and in particular exploring music from loads of new artists – were you afforded the same opportunity? And whose music are you really enjoying at the moment?
I think it was hard at first because we had to let go of so many touring and festival opportunities overseas that were â€˜dream-come-trueâ€™ moments for us. So that was definitely hard to cope with. I honestly agree with you there though, because I think we kind of needed to slow down a little to create the record and come to terms with what was actually going on. During the pandemic and even now, I loved listening to Dayglow, The War On Drugs, Hayley Williams solo records and Beabadoobee to name a few.
As you mentioned earlier, youâ€™re currently in the United States, so what does a day in the life of Eliza & The Delusionals look like at the moment?
Right now itâ€™s eating a lot of yummy food and writing music in between rehearsing for Bottlerock Festival! Living the dream I guess haha.
Finally, whatâ€™s next on the horizon for Eliza & The Delusionals?
After the album comes out, weâ€™ll be taking it across Australia for our biggest headline tour to date. Tickets went on sale today actually, and weâ€™re so excited to share with you something weâ€™ve been holding on to for so long!
Catch Eliza & The Delusionals on tour!
Tickets are available at elizaandthedelusionals.com
Saturday 6th August | The Lansdowne, Sydney
Thursday 11th August | Crown & Anchor, Adelaide
Friday 12th August | Mojoâ€™s, Fremantle
Friday 26th August | The Zoo, Brisbane
Saturday 3rd September | Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
Follow ELIZA & THE DELUSIONALS
With thanks to Beehive PR