Fortunes. on ‘Daddies’, Melbourne Music Week, and marriage equality

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Fortunes. on ‘Daddies’, Melbourne Music Week, and marriage equality


Melbourne-based, New Zealand exports Fortunes., consisting of singer Conor McCabe and producer Barnaby Matthews, have hit a major chord with audiences through their R&B sonic aesthetic. Their breakthrough 2016 EP Jacket stuck out from the crowd with the way Matthews twisted the traditional smoothness of R&B. Yet what a lot of people resonated with was McCabe’s raw and heartfelt lyrics that dealt, in part, with the break-up from a boyfriend. That record was followed up this year by four-track EP Undress featuring the track ‘Focus’ that’s since accrued over two million Spotify plays.

On top of that, Matthews and McCabe have had their debut album in mind. In between regular shows, the duo have been tirelessly working in the studio and look to unveil the full-length in 2018. Other recent efforts include a cut from the Thirty Days Of Yes compilation – the track ‘Daddies’ was released in late October as part of this collective support towards marriage equality also featuring Cub Sport, Beaches, Chapter’s Guy Blackman, Twerps and more.

“We were saving ‘Daddies’, but when everything started to come up, I was like ‘I can’t even vote here and everyone is freaking out about this thing.’ So I thought that we should just put it out in case it helped someone change their mind,” explains McCabe.

McCabe’s lyrics are not overly worked nor rely heavily on poetic devices, instead he frames his lyrics in the way he would speak to someone he felt strong emotions towards. Speaking of ‘Daddies’ McCabe says, “The lyrics ‘I am devoted to you/Let’s get married/We can be daddies/I am devoted to you,’ I started writing that when America first legalised marriage equality.”

The duo’s country of origin tackled marriage equality back in 2013 via a vote in New Zealand’s House of Representatives that saw the ‘yes’ vote triumph 77 to 44. “I wasn’t in New Zealand at the time but I saw everyone having parties for it and it was just good. It didn’t take ages, there was a little bit on the news ‘Is it happening, is it not happening?’ and then New Zealand pulled through.”

Speaking to Beat via Skype, Matthews and McCabe have been ecstatic with the response to their 2017 shows. “The first one was for Laneway, the second was kind of a singles tour – that one felt triumphant because I had big door-lists and everyone I knew was there. But this latest tour was different because there were a lot of people we didn’t know there, they had just heard our songs,” explains McCabe. “There was even a guy who had a t-shirt printed saying ‘Conor Crush Club’.”

Fortunes.’ next show is for Melbourne Music Week, which will see the pair perform in St Paul’s Cathedral. With the votes of the Australian Marriage Law postal survey being announced nine days prior, Matthews and McCabe might have something extra to celebrate if the ‘yes’ vote succeeds.

“It has always been my dream to sing in a church. Every time I’ve been inside a cathedral, I’ve always felt like screaming out my support for marriage equality but I never have because I think it would be disrespectful. And that’s not just because I’m gay, it’s because when I am in a church I feel like I have to be really quiet,” explains McCabe.

“Today I was thinking about singing ‘Daddies’ and because Melbourne Music Week’s our first show, after the vote it will either be a celebration or a little bit sad. Either way, I know it will be special because I’ve never felt this way about a show before.”