One of the most promising young acts in Australia at the moment, Papa vs Pretty are touring songs from their much anticipated new album White Deer Park which was released earlier this year.
Since their 2011 critically acclaimed and ARIA award nominated debut album United in Isolation, the band have had a change in lineup which frontman Thomas Rawle says was a decision that just made sense.
“It meant I could relax instead of playing fifty thousand guitar parts, and also Luke (Liang) is awesome. When we met him we thought if we’re going to have someone else in the band, he’s the guy so it just kind of lined up and made sense,” he said.
White Deer Park was produced by Grammy nominated Dave Trumfio (Wilco, My Morning Jacket, Grandaddy) with a rigorous recording process that spanned two months, which Rawle said was an awesome experience.
“He (Trumfio) is a terrific guy who’s got a great ear and that’s why we picked him. It was fun. I couldn’t fault any of his approach,” he said.
Some of the album is an expression of how the band feel about the plight of The Great Barrier Reef and the Abbot Point Dredging Project and the song “To Do” is an attempt to raise awareness about the problems the band see in the political landscape.
“The whole political landscape in this country has become a radically polarised split between left and right which seems to be aggressively non-progressive. Nobody seems to have a sense of where society is going. I think that whole shroud of mystery in terms of what’s in the future really distresses anyone in my generation,” he said.
But the album also offers songs like “My Life is Yours”, one of Rawle’s favourites which he says has significance to him in his passage into adulthood.
“It’s the most important song to me because it represents a transitional stage where you go from being a kid to an adult and you realise most of the adults are just as confused as you are; and in that kind of chaos, nothing is particularly scary anymore because nobody has any particular authority except financial authority,” he said.
The story behind the band’s unusual name stems from Rawle’s high school days where he had a fight with a guy whose first word was ‘papa’ and Rawle’s first word was ‘pretty’.
“He left the band about a week before a studio session and I had to learn how to sing and that’s kind of how the band started,” Rawle said of the papa behind the pretty.
Papa vs Pretty will play a sold out gig this Friday night at The Gov as support to Ball Park Music but later this year, will be planning a tour where they will headline.
White Deer Park is available in stores and online.
Interviewed b y Libby Parker