Interview: Abe Dunovits on ‘Taco Belle’ and music in a multicultural landscape

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Interview: Abe Dunovits on ‘Taco Belle’ and music in a multicultural landscape

Abe Dunovits
Words by Ben Lamb

Argentinian-Australian musical maestro Abe Dunovits has been a staple of the Aussie music scene for a number of years now.

Dunovits has a tendency to dazzle fans with his unique stylings and distinctly original works. His music brings influences beyond the audio form, experiences, relationships and the outside world all being important elements to his writing. Ahead of his new album Taco Belle, the artist gives us a rundown of it all.

“I like to take in a lot of stuff,” Abe says. “I like to think about what’s next, like what’s life after COVID going to be like? It’s a lot of reflection about those type of things.

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“Some of the songs, I’m singing them not as a character, but as myself, for example I have a daughter, she’s 26, I’m singing the songs to her in some ways too.”

Over the last few years of lockdowns, social unrest and conflicts, many have found solace in music, helping to deal with emotions and find connections. The same catharsis can be found through Abe’s music, with it not only being important for audiences to deal with emotions, but for the performer himself.

“I am hopeful, hope is the only thing to get us through life,” he continues. “Taco Belle is part of a trilogy of sentiment, 2020’s release was sadness when my dad passed away, 2021’s release was angsty and this one is all about love.”

The songs you’ll hear on Taco Belle have some meanings that go beyond lyrics and instrumentation, with Abe noting that the songs are circular, giving a semblance of symmetry to the release.

“I call them circular songs, because they are sort of a mantra, and hypnotic in some ways, as they are repeating, going in cycles.”

Abe has a dedication to music unlike many others out there, with the first recording not being the finished product, rather something to sit with and consider, and build on over time.

“This album was initially going to just mandolin and voice,” Abe adds. “Then I started adding to the tracks and they eventually became what they are today. The mandolin does keep a certain texture for all the songs that I really like.”

Abe Dunovits

Taco Belle also sees Dunovits’ journey away from the rockier, dancier tracks from years past, into something more self-reflective.

“It’s kind of new for me, I usually write music that’s very rhythmic and for dancing, but this album is reflective, and maybe not so much for that sort of thing.

“But there are few rocky songs on there,” Abe adds with a laugh.

Taco Belle is the third release from Dunovits in the last three years, and as previously noted, this has formed a trilogy. Not something that was at all intended, rather just happening as a result of the journey Abe is on.

“It all just happened,” he says. “It’s a process, it’s just always trying to find journeys that I go through. It’s just me, but it’s not about being selfish or egotistical, it’s just about going into yourself.”

An important element of Abe’s trilogy is his heritage. Coming from Argentina, he often includes his native Spanish language into his music. The international flavour continues onto his bandmates, with members coming from all corners of the Earth.

“We live in a multicultural country, I grew up with that too, Argentina’s kind of multi-ethnic as well. I think it’s just a reality, and it’s great to reflect it in what I’m doing.”

Taco Belle will be released on Bandcamp April 15 and on all other platforms April 30. Find out more information here.

In partnership with Abe Dunovits.