Northeast Party House
Northeast Party House are: Zachary Hamilton-Reeves (vocals), Mitch Ansell (Guitar), Sean Kenihan (Keyboard), Jackson Shoe (Guitar), Malcolm Beasley (Drums) and Oliver Packard (Bass)
Definition of dare:
1 have the courage to do something.
2. defy or challenge (someone) to do something
3. a challenge, especially to prove courage.
Formed in 2010 after an epic, two-week-long house party – which saw fresh faced teenagers bond over beers, cheers, tunes and partying – Melbourne six-piece Northeast Party House are back with the release of their highly anticipated sophomore album Dare, out Friday 9 September.
“We wanted to make an album that was as fun as Any Given Weekend, that still held a great energy live on stage, but was more melodically driven,” explains vocalist Zachary Hamilton-Reeves. “That’s what we’ve done. Set in the height of summer, it’s a versatile dance record, with poppy hooks and dirty undertones”. Self-produced, drummer Malcolm Beasley also mixed and mastered the record in-house.
Recorded and written in between London and Melbourne, the album is preceded by the first single “For You” – instantly added to triple j, moving straight into their Top 10 airplay chart, and debuting on the Shazam and Future Hits Chart and already generating 300,000 plus streams.
First Unearthed by triple j back in 2010 with the debut single “Dusk” – which appeared on the band’s self-titled EP released in 2011 – Northeast Party House immediately earned a cult following, thanks further to live favs such as “Empires”, “Embezzler” and “Horror Hud”. 2012 saw “Stand Tall” and “Pascal Cavalier” also celebrated by triple j, the band’s word of mouth vibe growing bigger by the minute. By the time they delivered Any Given Weekend in 2014 – the 10 track, full-length debut album – Northeast were easily one of Australia’s biggest ‘underground’ acts. Songs like “The Haunted” and “Sick Boy” accumulated millions of streams, with unanimous praise ringing from critics and fans alike: according to Tone Deaf, “Any Given Weekend was “a beautiful, frenzied ode to being young and rebellious.”
They smashed Violent Soho’s “Covered In Chrome” for triple j’s Like A Version in 2014, and saw track “The Haunted” included in the soundtrack for the Sundance selected film The Overnight.
2015 saw Northeast debut their exhilarating live show to the northern hemisphere, wowing audiences across the US, UK and Europe: major festivals such as The Great Escape, Dot To Dot, CMJ, plus headlining shows at The Garage (UK) and Paradiso in Amsterdam, sold-out shows in Germany and their first full capacity London crowd at the iconic Koko’s for Club NME. Even more airplay success came with “Perfect Lines” – a signature NPH belter.
Which leads us to Dare. Recorded, produced and mixed themselves in various Melbourne studios as well as abroad at Hackney Road Studios in London (which has housed people like Hot Chip and Ghostpoet). When asked about the influences that made their way onto Dare the band says mostly they come from “each other – first and foremost. There’s six of us now,” says Zachary, “we all have our own tastes and quirks, so naturally bring different things to each song: think CSS, Primal Scream, DFA [record label] and early Gorillaz. We were writing the album whilst touring overseas. It meant that we could test little things out as we played different shows, gauge how people felt with what we’d concocted.”
According to guitarist Mitch Ansell, “We finished 70% percent of the record over the last bits of summer.” Malcolm Beasley describes it as more dance: “The album grooves more than the last one, which was almost an indie rave. The songs on Dare are more thought out and a little more clever.” In a word, keyboardist Sean Kenihan reckons it’s “versatile”. “I think you can listen to this album as an easy listening album or one for getting ready to go out … that you kick in the teeth!”
“‘For You’ was written quite quickly,” says Zach. “I was at home in my apartment scrolling through some of my old demos. I found an old demo, titled ‘craaap’, I had written during some down time in LA. It was a very simple chord progression, with an 808 kick and snare. As a band, we have always been a little afraid of making ‘pop’ music, and so I think I must have closed the demo after writing the progression. The pre chorus, chorus and base of the verse were all written in one take and captured on my shitty laptop microphone.”
Elsewhere on the album, the summery dance track “Calypso Beach” (“Calypso Beach you’re holding me and I’m swimming in circles”) was written in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne, then re-worked in London. “Calypso Beach” was one of the earlier songs written for Dare. “In it’s initial stages, we saw “Calypso Beach” as a more melodic extension of our older track “The Haunted”, that’s how we approached the writing process. It started to then have a life of its own as we stripped back the beginning giving the song a chance to breathe and take on an almost ballad like dynamic”.
The bass and cow-bell driven title track “Dare” is a grunge infused thumper: “This was one of those songs that was first made in a jam, it wasn’t directly influenced by anything, maybe just dance music you might find in a club, that we tried to make our own,” says Zach.
Earmarked as a future Northeast signature standout hit, the instantly addictive “Wallflower” (“It’s not love, just easy fun, You’re my wall, You’re my wallflower”) was predominately written in Brunswick in early 2016. “I wanted to create a song that I would have had on repeat as I walked to school each day in year 10,” Mitch Ansell explains. “For me the music of my teenage years is still the music that resonates most and gives me that overwhelming burst through my body when I hear by favourite riff/drop/chorus kick in. That was the aim. That main little synth line at the start was actually written around five years ago – before I joined the band. It captured the nostalgia that I was trying to reach from the start. The song plays with this idea that you’re at a party, admiring and trying to pull some subtle moves on someone but they’re far ‘too cool’, not really acknowledging your existence.”
If lead single “For You” is anything to go by, Dare is destined to be one of the live and recorded music highlights of the summer!