Frida is a band inspired by Frida Kahlo, floral headdresses and all. It’s made up of frontwoman Eilish Gilligan and four members of The Cactus Channel (Lewis Coleman, Darvid Thor, Henry Jenkins, Hudson Whitlock); the 10-piece funk-soul outfit which last year collaborated with Nick Murphy (formerly Chet Faker. Frida cites musical influences including Mac DeMarco, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, early Tame Impala and Florence Welch – and its sound is eclectic, lush and off-kilter in a dreamlike way. We caught up with Gilligan as we premier Frida’s new single, Everything (Is You). Watch out for its EP, I Want In Your Head, out next month.
Broadsheet: Tell us about some of your influences as a band?
Eilish Gilligan: As individuals we’re pretty eclectic taste-wise – I love pop music and come from a classical background, and the boys play in several funk and soul and alternative bands. When we find music that we all love, it’s really special – particularly the latest Unknown Mortal Orchestra record, Multi-Love – I think a lot of the textures and melodies on that album have been particularly influential to us as a band. Despite our differences, I think what makes Frida special is that we all know and appreciate a good arrangement, a good, strong vocal melody, and interesting, unusual textures within music.
BS: And in what ways has your namesake, Frida Kahlo, inspired you/the band?
EG: Frida Kahlo has always been a part of my life and has always been a huge inspiration. I like to think that our music encapsulates a lot of the same ideals that are behind her work – our music is dreamy and bizarre, but our lyrics tell real stories. As a band we like to put a beautiful, surreal frame around the experiences that define who we are as young adults.
BS:What can you tell us about your new single, Everything (Is You)?
EG: Everything* is about the moment that you realise that the person you’ve been falling for has been holding themselves back, and all you want to do is beg them to tell you how they feel. But for some reason you can’t, and it fills you up and consumes you to the point where it’s the only thing you can think about. It’s a sad, pretty mess of sound and desperate-times-desperate-measures guitar and voice clashing.
BS:What do you enjoy about making music in Melbourne and is there a particular creative network you feel keyed into?
EG: Melbourne is a wonderful place to be an artist. We work within an extremely strong extended group of friends, who are all in bands and who all play in each others’ projects, and it’s just a really exciting, inspiring time to be making music. We’re very lucky.
BS: Fantasy support slot – any artist, any era, anywhere?
EG: I think if you asked everyone in Frida this question we’d all come up with different answers! However, I think we could all agree that supporting Tame Impala would be an absolute dream come true for Frida at this point. Kevin??!!
Everything (Is You) is released tomorrow. Listen below now: