“My music is a space to show up as you are with whatever feelings you’ve got”
BY ELEANOR NOYCE
Based in Sydney, Australian artist Bec Sandridge is instantly captivating with a stark black and white cropped bob. With a commanding voice and unique sound, she uses her music as a blank canvas on which to paint complex emotions. Exploring everything from love to loss, gender and identity, her new EP, Lost Dog, is her first release in three years. We sat down to chat to Bec about her creative mindset, coming out to her Pentecostal Christian family and using songwriting to make sense of her feelings.
DIVA: Your EP Lost Dog came out in. October. Congratulations! How does it feel to have it out in the world?
Bec: It always feels like such a bizarre thing putting out new music, especially this time around. It’s taken me a good three years, and so with that, there’s the classic anxiety. But also, relief. Being asked over to the UK and Europe was a possibility again, just as I was releasing my EP. So yeah, a mixed bag of feelings.
What was the process towards creating this EP like?
This time around, I was a lot more open to being collaborative with other writers which was really freeing. Usually, I’m quite protective. I like writing in my room but this time I worked with some really good friends, and it was really nice to have a community around me. With the nature of lockdown in Australia, a lot of our borders were shut down. We recorded some of the vocals in my bedroom, some of the drums at two different studios. The humanness crept in.
Easy To Go Bad in particular serves a glimpse into your creative mindset – it’s intimate, dark and compelling. What meaning does this track hold for you?
This one I feel particularly proud of. I wrote this one in complete solitude, which is the polar opposite of what I was just saying, but I wrote this entirely in my bedroom. I really loved the production of it – I think it kind of just grabbed that feeling when you have one foot in the past and cling on to an old relationship and one foot with hope for the future. You’re still just human, and with that there’s a fear of change.
Thematically with this EP, you’ve spoken about feeling lost in yourself. How would you say it all connects together, and how it narrates those feelings for you?
The title Lost Dog is a little bit tongue in cheek. At the time, I was in an on-off relationship with an ex for five years and I also lost the old rescue dog in the relationship. The leading single Cost Of Love attempts to explore what is and what should be the cost of love. I never really answer it, but I guess thematically the EP attempts to.
You’ve previously spoken about your coming out journey, growing up in a Pentecostal Christian family. What was this like for you?
Mine was an interesting one. I grew up in a Pentecostal Christian home where my mum was Christian, but my dad was agnostic/atheist. I feel somewhat lucky, having both sides of the coin. When I came out to my family, it wasn’t received well. It was maybe two or three years later than my mum and I regrouped. We did family therapy together, and hilariously church council is amazing. It was very funny and traumatic but. We have such a good relationship now. She’s still a believer but we’re respectful and curious of each other. I’ve learned so much through that experience, where you can still want to understand and respect other people.
These experiences were present on Try + Save Me. How does your personal life and your personal experiences fuel your music? Does one fuel the other?
100%. Songwriting for me is definitely a site that I used to make sense of feelings, especially as a relatively anxious person who’s in my head. I’ll often feel a feeling but not really understand it until I write it down. Something that I try to do in a lot of my songs is write conversations that I’m scared to have in the format of the song.
Finally, what’s the biggest thing you’d want to achieve in your work?
To constantly create stuff that’s on the nose. I never want to create something that is the same. Hopefully, that is a message to anyone that’s listening or engaging – it’s a space to show up as you are with whatever feelings you’ve got.
Listen to Lost Dog on your preferred streaming platform.
DIVA magazine celebrates 28 years in print in 2022. If you like what we do, then get behind LGBTQIA media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable.