“We’ve got a 1989 Volkswagen van that we picked up a couple of years ago, and we spend a lot of time in that, driving. People recognise it outside venues. It’s kind of our mark,” explains one half of Winterbourne, James Draper. “We’ve been building things up since releasing our debut EP ‘All But The Sun’ back in 2014 – playing to as many people as possible across Australia on our own headline tours, some festivals and a bunch of support national tours.” For two young guys from the NSW Central Coast, it was an auspicious introduction with their debut EP, an earthy, intimate shot of neo-folk, peaking at # 9 on the iTunes Album Charts.
But, not surprisingly, there’s been a lot of hard work to do since then.
That work ethic has paid dividends – the duo’s live show has had critics falling over themselves, describing Winterbourne as “delightful, talented and genuinely wondrous to watch…with a distinctive command of the stage and connection and intoxicating energy” (Rip It Up) and “almost unfathomable . . . incredibly rewarding” (Casual Band Blogger). And while playing their own shows and supporting acts like Patrick James, Little May, The Rubens, James Bay has kept the guys away from home a lot, for best friends Draper and Jordan Brady, the touring has only strengthened their already tight bond and gave them inspiration for the new material.
That ride took a new twist with the duo’s second EP, a six-track set called ‘Pendulum’ that was released May 27th 2016, debuting # 8 of iTunes Album Charts, and # 23 of the ARIA Album Charts.
Where All But the Sun tipped its hat to the modern folk of bands like Boy & Bear and Mumford & Sons, evoking the spirit of Simon & Garfunkel, Pendulum takes Draper and Brady in a different direction altogether, with their love of rock filtering through a kaleidoscope of modern influences to create something at once familiar and fresh. “From early on bonding over music, it was very much about rock. We loved bands like Green Day and The Living End, and then got into Stereophonics, who were influenced by bands like The Kinks, The Beatles and Oasis. So, when we started writing songs, they were our first influences. Funnily enough though, when we got to the stage of releasing our first music, we were really exploring more that old classic folk-rock sound focused on storytelling, guitars and harmonies, but now we’ve come out the other end – embracing a bigger sound” says Draper of the new feel.
This spirit permeates the whole of Pendulum: “To Get To Know You” takes the heart and soul of the duo’s earlier work and transforms it into something else altogether; “But I Do” is stomping, psychedelic rock & roll; “Shape” casts Winterbourne’s familiar harmonies against a driving, urgent backbeat; and closer “When I’m Under” evolves from a gentle acoustic lilt into majestic, multi-layered magic.
Nowadays, the pair is still keeping the same hard working attitude. They’ve been on the road no stop since last year, selling out their headline national tour last June/July, and they’ve just finished their successful regional headline tour that saw them driving up and down Australian East Coast for the entire month of February, joined live for this special occasion, by their good friend and skilled cellist, pianist and vocalist Josh Rea. Not tired of the touring life, they’ll be hitting the road soon again supporting The Strumbellas in April, and Lewis Watson in June.
Currently writing for their debut album, expect it to be a collection of music built on the sort of friendship Draper and Brady enjoy – bold, but honest to its roots.