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May 26, 2020
Culture

Introducing Pinkish Blu: Adelaide’s most precocious boy band

Having already signed to a subsidiary of international music behemoth Sony Music Entertainment, the indie-pop quartet's global domination started way before the release of their debut EP ‘There’s No Such Thing As Good People’ last week.

  • Words: Angela Skujins
  • Pictures: Marleen Alexa

Luke Franceschini doesn’t want fame from Pinkish Blu.

“The idea of having all the flashing lights is fading away,” Luke explains.

“I’d like to be able to make what we want – no limits.”

Remarks

Pinkish Blu just released their first EP, There’s No Such Thing As Good People, and will be touring in November to celebrate. Listen here.

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CityMag calls Pinkish Blu at the beginning of May, when COVID-19 has well and truly disrupted plans for many bands, including this one.

Drummer Luke and bassist Ricky Liddell speak from the Gawler sharehouse they occupy with the other Pinkish Blu bandmates, singer Brice Young and guitarist Sebastian James.

Luke says they’re doing “as much and as little as we can” during isolation, which, according to Ricky, means balancing PlayStation with songwriting.

Pinkish Blu’s uphill trajectory started last year when they played BIGSOUND, a music industry showcase event that bills promising up-and-coming Australian talent.

They signed with Sony Music Entertainment subsidiary label, 123 Music, soon after, and began recording their first body of work, There’s No Such Thing As Good People, mid-year. The EP dropped last Friday.

For the uninitiated, Pinkish Blu are masters of making plush-pop music filled with new-millennial lyrics: ‘You’re a Cancer and I’m a Capricorn / So I guess we’ve got something to prove’, sounds ripped from a text message between lovelorn teens.

But the music isn’t solely for those born post-2000 – there’s something nostalgic about the gentle synthesisers and guitar chords, as well as the sleek press shots and video clips. The total Pinkish Blu package mimics flicking through a yearbook and remembering all the trivial moments that make up a monumental lifetime.

Some dub the sound, “sad-pop.”

The whole ‘sad-pop’ thing came from literally people coming up to us at gigs and saying that the lyrics are very thoughtful and relatable, but at the same time they’re dancing around their bedroom while belting these really emotional lyrics,” Ricky says.

“But what we wanted to do as a band was be strong with visuals as well as sound,” Luke adds.

“When we were growing up listening to bands and watching other artists music videos and looking at their photos, you fall in love with that just as much as the music sometimes,” Ricky says, agreeing.

Boy-bandom has always relied on tactile but ephemeral objects, like posters or guitar picks, being treasured so much they become eternal. With the rise of technology, these objects have been replaced by virtual stand-ins, like live Stories or tweets, and social media platforms disseminate them broadly and easily.

Pinkish Blu are clued into this, but aren’t afraid of the physical. They’re about to drop a 48-page zine with “never before seen photos and stories about the band”, according to their Instagram page.

But they also know how to work the truly ephemeral digital world to their advantage – there is a YouTube clip where they each pick tattoos for one another, and their Instagram grid is filled with analogue film recordings of them playing live.

It’s all so – dreamy.

These objects, insights and fragmented pieces of the band lead you ever deeper into the Pinkish Blu narrative.

Colour-coordinated outfits as well as Luke and Sebastian doing the “look away” screams big boy band vibes

 

When CityMag asks Luke and Ricky if they consider Pinkish Blu to be a boy band, Ricky laughs. Luke says wearily, “I would love to be the Backstreet Boys of something, but I don’t know.”

Ricky offers a definite answer: “I mean we are four boys in the band, and we really pull from the boyband aesthetic a lot. We really like that.”

Despite Pinkish Blu’s polished appearance and firm sense of self, it once wasn’t.

The outfit was originally an alternative rock band and almost released a four-track punk EP that would have cemented Pinkish Blu in another scene. But then Brice came out with Lovely. It was “pop-scented”, Ricky says, and totally different to their usual music. They were in love.

“We thought we should put the band down this track instead,” Ricky says.

“We might release the EP one day, but we’ll see how the band progresses and if we get really famous, then we’ll release it.

“That’s a joke,” he says, laughing. But we’re not convinced.

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