Music / Features
Dylan -
A chat with Aunty Blue
Words and interview by Fred Carlyle
Wednesday 17th August, 2022
Following the release of their debut single ‘Dylan’, we caught up with the members of Melbourne/Naarm’s dreamy-folk act Aunty Blue to delve into their latest track and to discover what they’re up to next.
Formed at the start of 2020 and composed of lead singer Kimberly Atkinson, guitarist Harrison Doust, bassist Megan Cox and drummer Thomas Mcmullin, the indie-folk act of Aunty Blue have launched themselves heart-first into the Melbourne/Naarm independent music scene with artists such as Jeff Buckley, Tom Misch and Julia Jacklin serving as key inspirations for their groovy yet grounded tone. With Tommy and Harry from Ballarat, Megan from Albury and Kimberly from South Africa, Kim expresses that “what I love about our sound is that everyone listens to such a large variety of music. We each go down into different tunnels of different genres, leading to everyone bringing their own experiences and inspirations to Aunty Blue”.

Released last June, the group's debut single ‘Dylan’ holds us in a soul-stirring trance from start to finish, and we're continuously moved with Kim’s poignantly emotive yet heart-warming vocals that mesmerisingly meld with the soft yet temperamental instrumentals. For the past two years, Aunty Blue have been hosting the festival of Blue Evening in Victoria’s mountain town of Macedon and it was here, before the first day of the festival where 'Dylan' sporadically spawned overnight.

Delving into the story behind the track’s creation, Kim tells us that “it was a very cute night. We started playing together as Aunty Blue during COVID, meaning there weren’t any gigs. So we thought we'd put on a little festival between the lockdowns. The night before the first Blue Evening, we all came to my house, and we had this little jam praccy. I don't know how it happened, we just started jamming on these chords.” Tommy adds with “it was like it had a mind of its own and it just snowballed.”

‘Dylan’ lyric cheat sheet by @the_notorious_f.i.g

The lyricism of ‘Dylan’, whose namesake refers to Bob Dylan, reflects on a conversation between Kim and Harry, where they discussed their desire to pursue music in life and expressed the incertitude of their futures. As Harry says, “'Dylan' comes from a place of anxiety and uncertainty about the future. And being worried that you won't make the right decision, and how that will affect your future self. You want to have trust in yourself that you can do the right thing, and to not let yourself down.”

As this track paints the narrative of a young adult battling with the mystery of what lies ahead in their lives, the chorus line of the song "don’t let me down" acts as a plea directed towards their future selves, to not take the path of convenience in life and to instead follow the fulfilling path of creativity and music-making. Harry continues by saying “that’s such a big part of being a musician, you're obviously anxious about choosing the career path of music, it's going to bring up so much anxiety about job uncertainty. But those feelings can be processed through song, confronting your fears and growing from them.”

Following the release of 'Dylan', Aunty Blue are riding their wave in full momentum this year, revealing that their second single ‘Always Say the Wrong Thing’ is set to be released on the 2nd of September ahead of an upcoming EP whose details anticipatingly lay in wait. Without disclosing too much and spoiling the surprise, Aunty Blue tease us with ideas of what their next single will bring to the table. “You don’t lose interest in the song,” Megan shares, “‘Always Say the Wrong Thing’ was the first one I played with Aunty Blue, so it was like my audition. I loved all the songs. But this one, you know when you hear a song and it just hits you here? I just felt like, holy crap, this is incredible.“ Harry discusses that “it's very slow and drawn out, and that's for a reason. Every time we play it live, it starts off with Kim by herself, it’s one of those ones where everyone goes quiet.” Being described as a ‘crowd favourite’ at their live shows, it’s safe to say that ‘Always Say the Wrong Thing’ will be a captivating next chapter of Aunty Blue’s journey that will leave us, yet again, wanting more and more.

With themes of nostalgia, reflection and introspectiveness weaved throughout her lyricism and the overall mood of the band’s sound, we asked Kimberly what draws her to making music, in which she tells us “I think life is very fast-paced and is something that I'm constantly struggling with. Music gives us the opportunity to really sit in the moment and to experience feelings with lots of people. And we don't have to talk about our feelings, we don't have to verbally say it, but we feel it and are feeling it together. Creating an authentic space where people can just be and feel with no judgement. To just go inwards into themselves and for that to be okay.”

While discussing what music means to each one of them, Harry voices that “I just feel so lucky to have Aunty Blue. To have a space and a group of people to create art with.” A compelling quality of Aunty Blue is the distinct and unbreakable bond that the members share with each other, which flavours their music with the unique touch of a sentimentally sweet yet confronting effect.

Harry continues “it’s such a bizarre experience to play a gig as well, just putting yourself out there, being vulnerable and expressive. The exchange between the performer and the audience is just a two way street of them giving you this energy back once you’ve given them something. It’s just an awesome experience and I just feel so lucky.”
'Dylan' is out now in all the usual places. Catch Aunty Blue launching their next single 'Always Say the Wrong Thing' at The Old Bar on Friday September 8th - grab a ticket here.