Alpine to play new album in Cooly

Aussie band Alpine will breeze into Coolangatta on August 18.
Aussie band Alpine will breeze into Coolangatta on August 18.

LOU James is snuggled under the covers at home in Melbourne.

He's excited about his band Alpine's debut album being released this week.

"One of my biggest fears is that no one likes it," James said.

"I hope someone can listen to it and feel like it's something they've never heard before.

"That was something David Gilmore from Pink Floyd said - not that I'm comparing us to Pink Floyd - but he said that about Dark Side Of The Moon, I wish I could listen to it from start to finish and not know everything that went into it.

A Is For Alpine is released on Friday through Ivy League, the indie-offshoot of Mushroom, who signed the six-piece soon after their debut on Triple J.

The band will perform at the Coolangatta Hotel on August 18 from 8pm.

"When we started playing together it was so casual," James said.

"I think it was a week or two later we decided to put a pretty shitty demo up on Triple J Unearthed and that's the one they started playing. It was only a few hours after it was put up so we were pretty excited."

Before joining the band, James was in the midst of an arts degree and admits she has the least musical experience in the band.

"To start with I had a lot of self doubt, but as the years have gone on I've managed to surprise myself," she said.

"Christian (O'Brien, guitarist) is kind of a mentor to me."

Now, James relishes her time on stage but says it was the most nerve racking experience when she first started.

"Now it's just like, bring it on," she said.

"The rush you get sharing your music, it's one of the best experiences."

Wistful layered harmonies with intricate instrumentation are a signature of the band's debut.

Singles Hands and Gasoline have led the charge, introducing radio audiences to the upcoming release.

With six members in the band, the layering of ideas comes easily.

"Christian starts off an Alpine song," she said.

Equating the guitarist to a musical genius, she says he starts each song before Tim Royall and Phil Tucker bring the keys and drums into it.

"Then Phoebe (Baker, co-vocalist) and I take it away separately and go nuts with it," James said.

"It's not until we all come back we start pulling all the ideas together."

The album had been described by co-vocalist Baker at the "innocent and not so innocent explorations through our early twenty something emotions".

For James, Softsides is the best example of that for her.

"I was really in the zone when writing that song," she said.

"Even now every time I perform that song, it's one of the more emotionally intense songs, I'm exhausted after playing it.

"I was going through one of those periods where everything's a bit shit. Everything was just in limbo and I was stressing about things. But it made me remember my mum's advice when I was younger that life's a rollercoaster. Life can get a bit heavy, but it's ok, just remember you'll be fine."

Topics:  coolangatta hotel entertainment music

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