Loon Lake are about to play a headline show with some great supports before knuckling down to track their first full length release, some songs from which have been tentatively written already. “The whole band’s going away next week for a week of writing, and then a couple weeks after that I think we’re going to try and hit the studio,” explains Sime Nolan. The guitarist has been recording his own demo ideas in a little recording area in his room and will then take them to the band, a process he says each of the guy’s practise. “[We’ll] record the basic demo of the track individually, and then if people like it we’ll push it. The week away is basically to get away from everything and… play music as much as we can in an isolated spot. Then after that, hopefully we’ve got a big chunk of songs that are ready to go.”
The boys have been touring pretty hard around the festival circuit, chalking up Falls and Southbound most recently. “They’ve both been really good festivals, like really well looked after. And we felt we were really well received. We were blown away with the audiences at all three shows,” Nolan says, and his words are pretty smartly backed up by the wide-lens photos online, depicting crowds that are just seas of excited eyes and smiles. He is also keen to talk about the other bands they got to see, rating SBTRKT as killer amongst other greats sets from Hot Chip, Beach House and Flume. “I met Coolio actually, [drummer] Nick [Nolan, Sime’s brother] and I got a photo,” he says with a guffaw.
Nick’s considerable producing clout was illuminated with a remix of Cherry Lips, part of a collection of four mixes of the track which the band made available on SoundCloud a few weeks ago. Nick’s is a syncopated little pugilist of a version, with dotty synths which complement the quirkiness of singer Sam’s vocals (Sam is also a Nolan, making up the sibling triumvirate). “[Nick is] right into that stuff actually,” says Sime. “He loves hip-hop a lot, but he does a lot of production stuff. He hasn’t really tried to put it out there but I reckon it’s really, really good. I rate it really highly.” The other mixes were proffered by Clubfeet, DCUP and Jad Lee, artists which the band sought out to work with. “We’d previously met Clubfeet at a show one day, and I was really impressed with their songs, so they did one for us,” says Sime. “My favourite was probably Nick’s. He basically produced [the original Cherry Lips], as well. Sam wrote the song really quickly and then Nick got home one night and did all the drums on Garage Band, and then we just did it in the studio, bit by bit.”
Part of Loon Lake’s beach daze appeal is their clips, which often utilise sweet hand-held footage of the boys knocking around together. “They’re iPhone clips really,” says Nolan. “We try and take heaps of little videos, Sam does [them] on tour, and lots of photos and stuff. Because obviously, you don’t know how long this time will last and [they’re] good memories to have.” One particularly home-made video was the original and unofficial Cherry Lips, which featured a bunch of photos of girls’ pouts and other random stuff accompanied by text reading ‘This is not the real video unless the one we are getting made is shit’, ‘Go out, dance, pick up, eat a souvlaki, dance, dance, dance’ and other sage advice. It’s quite amusing. “Sam did that because we didn’t want to have just a still shot,” Sime laughs. “We didn’t have the actual clip made before [the song] came out… and we wanted to have something on YouTube. Film clips, for me, [are] the hardest part of being in the band. It’s hard work; it’s hard to get them right, to get everyone to agree.”
One thing Loon Lake do all agree on is their plan for the year. After the Cool Summer Festival at Mount Hotham they have a headline show at The Corner, something Sime is super pumped about. “Really good bands are supporting us, both are bands that we all like: Eagle and the Worm and Split Seconds,” he says. “We’re putting a lot of time into it and making sure we’ve got a fair bit of new material to play to the people who turn up! It should be a real good night.” After that, “the main emphasis for the next four, five months is to work on this album”, and with the momentum these dudes have garnered over the last 12 months, it’s sure to be something special.
BY ZOË RADAS