We pick the hottest new acts so you can tell your friends you heard them first. Meet Brisbane-based, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer Scenes.
Get ready to be transported away on a serene sonic escape as you dive into ID, the debut EP from Brisbane-based, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer Scenes.
While Scenes might be a fresh name on the music scene, the artist behind the moniker Graham Ritchie is a definite staple.
As both a collaborator and a live band member, Ritchie has made a huge mark on the local music scene, working with a stack of Aussie faves including Holy Holy, Thelma Plum, Big Scary, Japanese Wallpaper, and Gretta Ray, and becoming a master of his craft along the way.
Now as Scenes, and with ID in hand, he is ready to carve out his own path.
Across its five tracks, Scenes paints lush sonic soundscapes aided by collaborations with musicians Jesse Davidson, Ainslie Wills, Japanese Wallpaper, Montgomery, and Street Rat. Together they deep dive through explorations of identity, loss, growth, and human psychology.
On ID, the songwriting is just as powerful as the dreamy, hypnotising fusion of art rock and electronica. Its vibrant warmth, twinkling synths, and laid-back beats are sure to wrap themselves around you and ensure you’ll want to spend much longer than its 23-minute run time in reflection.
His previous singles have already received nods from critics and tastemakers including Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, triple j, Purple Sneakers, Futuremag Music, and more, and now that he is stepping out on his own, we’re certain Scenes is going to take the electronic scene by storm.
ID is my first release as Scenes. It’s a collection of songs that I wrote and produced between touring and recording projects working as a session musician. Throughout my career in music, I have always been writing in the background and collaborated with other artists.
Once I had chosen the songs for the EP, Imraan Paleker (Street Rat), who was then living in Brisbane, recorded the guide vocal tracks. I then went about finishing the arrangements and recorded the instrumentation in my home studio. Ryan Strathie, my bandmate in Holy Holy, tracked the drum parts. I sent the songs out to singers to see if they’d be interested in featuring on the tracks, which, looking back, could have been a daunting task but thankfully the process was more like just getting in touch with friends who already know my musical taste. It was an exciting process bringing the songs to life with those artists.SCENES ON HIS NEW DEBUT EP ID
For the love of music
There are so many elements to the music making process that spark excitement for me. I think that’s why I have kept working and creating as a songwriter and producer, as well as a touring musician. Foremost is my desire for a song to connect with listeners, whether that’s listening to a recording, as a part of a larger work, or when performed live. When I get a sense that a song is really coming together in the studio, it’s a euphoric feeling.SCENES ON HIS LOVE OF MUSIC MAKING
To celebrate the release of his debut EP ID, Scenes shares a playlist of the tracks from his favourite gigs that have influenced how he thinks about playing live.
Check out ID by Scenes
Scenes shares the tracks that inspire how he performs live:
Battles – Futura
“Primavera Sound. Battles have interesting ways of producing their live sounds. They also have a lot of nerdy gear, but their show sounds raw and cathartic. ‘Futura’ contrasts control with chaos.”
Little Dragon – Paris
“170 Russell, Melbourne. Little Dragon are famous for playing a lot of their synth parts live and Yukimi Nagano is such a great singer and performer.”
PVT – Light Up Bright Fires
“I have seen PVT several times in Brisbane. They were a strong influence on my music-making when I was starting to explore electronic sounds and was thinking about incorporating those elements into a live show.
“‘Light Up Bright Fires’ uses some of my favourite synths and I love the brooding energy of the Church With No Magic LP. Listening back now, I can hear how the electronic and acoustic hybrid drum parts have influenced me as well.”
Radiohead – Myxomatosis
“King of Limbs Tour. Radiohead’s first tour with extra live drummer, Portishead’s Clive Deamer. ‘Myxomatosis’ is one of my favourite songs. Huge drive from drums and bass and soaring synth chords. It was unreal to see them live… finally.”
Solange – Losing You
“Falls Festival, North Byron. Six-piece band including two backing vocalists. It was an early-afternoon set but there weren’t any signs of jet lag. A really entertaining set. Solange just owned the stage.”
Robert Glasper Experiment & Erykah Badu – Afro Blue
“SXSW, Austin TX. It was a privilege to witness some of the best musicians in the world do their thing. The RGE show scheduled for earlier that day had been cancelled so they played a backyard gig to a packed crowd who couldn’t believe their luck, myself included.”
Hiatus Kaiyote – Mobius Streak
“Red Bull Tent at Splendour in the Grass. Their LP Tawk Tomahawk was receiving rave reviews and endorsements and there was an appreciative audience of a couple of hundred fans in the tent. It was a thoroughly engaging set. The band have wild chops, but at the core of their sound are the interesting melodies and feels, which are clearly constructed with a lot of care.”
Phoenix – 1901
“I saw Phoenix on the Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Tour. ‘1901’ had become iconic and they played it as the encore closer. I heard an interview with their producer Philippe Zdar (RIP) explaining that they intended this song (and album) to sound like ACDC crossed with Billie Jean.”
Beach House – Walk in the Park
“St Jerome’s Laneway Festival. This was favourite set of the festival and an incredible afternoon slot vibe. I love the loping feel, and ebb and flow of this song. Victoria Legrand owned the crowd and is a rockstar playing dream pop.”
Andy Shauf – I’m Not Falling Asleep
“London Calling, Amsterdam NL. I just stumbled across this gig. It was the first time I’d heard Andy Shauf. Playing as a quartet, his band were exceptional accompanists. The set was comprised of songs off The Bearer of Bad News LP. Playing to a captivated audience, the touch and dynamics of each player was something to behold.”
Sufjan Stevens – The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades is Out to Get Us
“I saw Sufjan on the Carrie and Lowell album tour. He played that album in full adding a couple of other tracks. The encore was performed with the band playing around a single mic and featured back catalogue favourites, including ‘The Predatory Wasp’. It was special hearing this tune in this setting. One of my favourite melodies.”
The War on Drugs – Under the Pressure
“Falls Festival, Marion Bay. I’d hadn’t heard The War on Drugs before this gig. I think Lost in the Dream had just come out, but it hadn’t quite filtered into indiedom in Australia quite yet. The vibe and nostalgia were as absorbing in the live show as they are on the recording.”
Check out the full playlist:
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