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February 9, 2023

Into the quotidian with Coldwave

Small anxieties loom large for Coldwave vocalist Harry Evans.

  • Words: Johnny von Einem
  • Pictures: Mayah Salter

It is a strange world that singer Harry Evans portrays in Coldwave’s debut EP, Same Window, Different House.

Backed by his five bandmates, whose mess of controlled chaos swirls around Harry’s half-spoken lyricism, the record is a 20-minute tour between the creases of his brain – words delivered like a stream of self-consciousness or babbling brook of self-talk.


‘Same Window, Different House’ EP Launch
Friday, 3 March
The Crown & Anchor
196 Grenfell Street, Adelaide 5000
Tickets and more info

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On ‘Buster’, the first single off the EP, it’s the minor details of quotidian mundanity that capture the artist, skewed through a dream-like remembrance: “Did you take my suit to the dry cleaners the other day? / ‘Cause when it came back it had no buttons left on it”.

Elsewhere in the song is a familiar self-critical inner dialogue (“I’m pathetic / How pathetic), which echoes with more specificity in ‘Spurs for Business Cards’, the EP’s next single, with a video slated for release next week: “Open my mouth but no words come out / I was never making any sense anyway”.

So much of this anxiety, and the anxiety evident in earlier releases like ‘Plagiarise’, comes to Harry through his position as band frontperson.

“A lot of it was just about me, but kept very vague,” Harry laughs. “Just because I didn’t feel like I actually had much to say.

“My songs earlier were just about wanting to do it for real… ‘Plagiarise’ is about wanting to be better and copy what everyone else is doing in a way.”

Harry dreamed of fronting a band from a young age. He first achieved this goal in the band Mercs, which he started with some high school friends. After that band dissolved, he reached out to another local act, Rotary Art Show, and asked if they were interested in meeting for a jam.

Rotary Art Show already had two singers, Kiran Memisoglou and Anthony Griffin, both of whom are now in Coldwave, but, in Harry’s telling, he “eventually hijacked their band”. Something clicked between the group, and in 2019 Coldwave was founded.

Rotary Art Show, which also featured Coldwave member Jordan Maywald, made much sparser soundscapes. In Coldwave, this new collection of musicians exploded.

“Our first jam, we wrote a song straight away, and I think the music that we’re playing now isn’t really that dissimilar to that,” Harry says. “I think immediately, we just started making music that sounded like this and wanted to keep doing more of that.”

The band expanded a couple of years in, with Timothea Moylan joining as bassist and Sean McGowan, who had recorded trumpet on Coldwave’s first single, ‘Watch It’, coming into the band full-time in 2022.

“We wanted Sean to keep playing with us live, and then we were, like, ‘Why don’t you just play every song, if you can?’ And we just rehearsed that, and we’re, like, ‘Well, why aren’t you in our band?’” Harry recalls.

“Tim hadn’t played bass before, but she came to one of our shows and she says she was a fan, and we just got talking… She’s been epic in propelling us forward, and just being such a great person to hang out with.”

Writing for Same Window, Different House began back in 2021, before Sean and Timothea’s official inclusion. Harry recalls the writing for the EP feeling much different to his earlier songs. He’d found a deep well to draw from: a shitty job.

“I was working full-time and I was pretty sick of that, and wanted to do something else but still hadn’t figured out what I wanted to do. And some personal changes happened in my life, and I just felt stuck,” Harry says.

“Band practice on a Thursday night was the thing I would look forward to most in the week, and finishing at 5:30 or whatever and driving to band practice, I’m obviously carrying a lot of what I was doing throughout the day with me, so I think it naturally became part of writing songs.

“I knew why I didn’t like what I was doing, and luckily I could look at it objectively and talk about that, and then bring characters into the song that I’d meet and sing about them in a way that’s very vague.”

The details remain vague. Harry describes the job as “sales”, but the specifics aren’t important in his writing. What’s important is the feeling – the echoing of a mind that – even at 2am, 4am, 6am – can’t rest until you’ve figured out your life’s direction, ludicrous as that idea might seem in the daylight hours.

Though the lyrics are sometimes frantic, and matched by the frenetic energy of the band, they are a release in the listener – many of whom will recognise the thought patterns they come from.

“A lot of the feelings I was feeling at the time a lot of people feel every day. I think we want our music to be relatable and accessible to a wider audience,” Harry says.

Coldwave is now reaching its largest audience yet. Same Window, Different House won the band the position of Triple J Unearthed’s Feature Artist this week, and the band was the only Adelaide act booked for the local leg of Laneway.

True to Harry’s writing style, the success was not been easy to accept.

“It’s pretty insane… There’s obviously a bit of imposter syndrome, but we want to make our community proud – want to make the Adelaide music scene proud of us being there,” Harry says.

Though the EP has only been out for a month, it was more than a year in the works. A second single was released on Wednesday, 15 February, and there’s a tour in the works for March and April. Harry’s aim for the next 12 months is to get as much music out as possible.

“I think the middle of the year we’re just going to be writing as much as we can, and we’d love to release something again by the end of the year,” he says. “What that is – whether it’s three singles, an EP, an LP – is still to be determined, but LP would be in our goals for as soon as we can.”

Coldwave will officially launch Same Window Different House at The Crown & Anchor on Friday, 3 March. For more information, see the event page.

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