Graeme Pogson and Ella Thompson are GL: a Melbourne dance act that sounds straight outta the ‘80s – in the best possible way. Debut album Touch is all about making you move; with funk, soul and a lot of synth. Listen live for the best experience of shiny pop tracks like Grip and Hallucinate. If you missed Pogson and Thompson supporting Client Liaison earlier this year, they’re back out on the road again this month.
Broadsheet: What musical influences did you come together on/what different influences do you bring to the table?
Graeme Pogson: We've both been heavily influenced by soul music, which definitely helps us understand each other. I would say that Ella's influences have broadened more than mine, which brings a lot of fresh ideas to the table, whereas I've just delved deeper and deeper into funk and soul from various decades. Back in 2009, Ella showed me the track Back Together Again by Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack, which is a 1979 duet by two of the best. This is definitely a song we see eye-to-eye on.
BS: What can you tell me about your new album, Touch?
GP: We wanted to present a consistent and focused sound, but also one that stretched the norms of dance music. We're not afraid to shy away from 120bpm. It was recorded over quite a long stretch, incorporating songs we've had since we started and a good chunk of new material written specifically for the album. We recorded with our great friend Jacky Winter, then went on to mix with the incomparable Haima Marriott who helped tie all our ideas into a cohesive album.
BS: You’ve spoken about a recurring theme of body contact – how do you translate that into the music?
GP: We put a lot of emphasis on the various tempos and rhythms that make a person dance; whether up-tempo or down, our goal is to make people move to any song we write.
BS: Fantasy support slot – any era, any artist, anywhere?
GP: René and Angela circa 1985. They are one of the greatest male/female duos of all time in my opinion.
Ella Thompson: Blondie at CBGB circa mid-70s.
GL Touch Tour Dates
Saturday September 3 – Rocket Bar, Adelaide
Saturday September 10 – Howler, Melbourne
Friday September 16 – The Foundry, Brisbane
Saturday September 17 – Newtown Social Club, Sydney