Banoffee just doesn’t stop but it’s chaos that motivates her

Banoffee just doesn’t stop but it’s chaos that motivates her

Photo by Phoebe Schmidt
Words by Lexi Herbert

Banoffee has done a few miles in 2019.

Over the past few years, NGV Friday Nights has become somewhat of a landmark event throughout Melbourne summers, akin to Zoo Twilights and all the rooftop cinemas that miraculously appear in late October.

After a hugely successful winter instalment, the eagerly anticipated summer lineup is here, and will welcome home beloved future R&B songwriter Banoffee.

Like most young artists, Banoffee – known to her friends and fam as Martha Brown – has been on such a thorough grind that her 2018 and 2019 schedules must have required at least three different diaries to fit it all in.

“Yeah, it’s been pretty bonkers. I started the year touring America with King Princess, and then I went over to Europe to tour with Empress Of. Then back to Australia to tour with Cosmo’s Midnight, and then came back to America and did a second leg with King Princess, and then went straight into releasing my first single.

“2018 was pretty similar. It’s been pretty wild, yeah,” she laughs.

Touring with such huge names – King Princess and Empress Of are two of the biggest breakout alt-pop stars of the past two years, and Cosmo’s Midnight are a critically lauded banger-producing machine – speaks volumes for Brown’s own brand of indie pop (not to mention her 2018 legs with Taylor Swift and Charli XCX).

Brown launched Banoffee onto the local Melbourne scene in 2013 with the single ‘Ninja’ and started attracting serious attention in 2015 with her Do I Make You Nervous? EP, which housed ‘With Her’, a queer unrequited crush anthem.

When you immerse yourself in her slightly unsettling, coarsely textured and somewhat addictive melodies and hooks, you can’t stop the words ‘pop star’ from flashing in bright yellow and green neon letters. Weird and wonderful, Banoffee is all of Melbourne’s best musical features plus a sense of impending international stardom.

In summary; three tours (four legs), numerous singles, two EPs, an impending debut album and countless hours spent in the air. Brown’s whirlwind recent past has been so intense that you automatically assume 2020 will be set aside for a breather. This assumption would be wrong – she’s set to keep it in fifth gear and is absolutely stoked for her own upcoming headlining tour promoting her new album, Look At Us Now Dad.

After the past few years, I’ve really got the travel aspect down – all those time zones don’t really shake me as much anymore.

“The album drops in February, so I’m touring the new LP throughout January, February and March of next year. I’m so excited for it, it’s going to be so much fun. Keep your ear to the ground for more details, there’s heaps happening next year.”

With this in mind, Brown’s upcoming NGV Friday Nights DJ set is a welcome relief and an exciting event for this first-timer.

“I’ve heard heaps about the Friday Nights! But I’ve never been. I feel bad now… but it’s okay, I’ll right my wrongs on the decks,” she laughs. “It’s going to be so much fun.”

Organised as a celebration of the huge, world-premiere exhibition, Keith Haring / Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines, Brown is ready to tap into the ‘80s genre-bending, synth-pop tracks that will get the room up and jumping.

“I think I’m going to try to incorporate some really great ‘80s songs, but maybe not the ones everyone would expect. Not so much the mainstream ones, more the B-sides that aren’t that well-known. Maybe I’ll sneak in a few remixes off the new LP,” she says with a smirk. “Just to see if anyone picks up that it’s Banoffee.”

Banoffee comes to NGV International for its Friday Nights series on Friday December 27. Grab your tickets and find out more via the NGV website.