On a photo shoot along the Merri Creek to promote her band’s new singles, Cosima Jaala couldn’t have picked a better day, weather wise. So nice was the day, in fact, she even got the fishing rod out.
“We’ve just been fishing down along the Merri Creek and it is raging right now! I caught lots of buoys… and cyclists! They weren’t too happy,” the enigmatic frontwoman jokes.
Melbourne four-piece Jaala have been on the rise since releasing their debut record Hard Hold in 2015. Touring it in major cities, as well as playing at BIGSOUND (amongst various other summer festivals), the band supported Hiatus Kaiyote last year, giving their music a whole new level of reach. Cosima reflects on the journey that’s followed.
“Well yeah, they were our first gigs pretty much as a band, and that was really scary. But we’ve supported the Internet and Methyl Ethel this year, which has been really good. We’re sort of in this strange position with our music where it can kind of just slot in to a whole bunch of different vibes, which is handy.”
One of these vibes includes headlining Sad Grrrls festival at the Reverence Hotel in Footscray at the start of this month, alongside a whole host of talented female fronted bands and artists. Cosima describes the experience.
“That went great! There should be more things like Sad Grrrls, ’cause we’re all sad. We’re all weeping for the injustices of the world. Things are changing though, which is good.”
With a sound affectionately dubbed ‘shed,’ a combination of alt/indie-rock and art-pop, Jaala’s music is stop-start, complex and never settled, ostensibly reflecting the messy but beautiful nature of life. Cosima illuminates by keeping it simple.
“I wouldn’t consider myself a session muso. I’m not an academic and I’m not a philosopher. I just make tunes. I’m not thinking about music when I’m writing music. I’m thinking about life, pretty much.”
Delving a little deeper, she explains the inner workings of her chosen craft.
“I think the point of any art…” she pauses, “if you feel comfortable you haven’t really gotten there yet. If anything, I’m gonna be the one who’s questioning it the most cos I’m making it. I’m not comfortable with the music that I’m making, at all.”
Jaala’s latest single, ‘Junior Spirit,’ signals more of the same erratic but versatile style that has driven the band’s trademark indie-rock-cum-art-pop sound. Seemingly detailing a painful break-up, Cosima explains the actual origin of the song.
“In a way it’s not even a break-up song, I wrote it when I was still together with somebody. It was more talking about that feeling of everything falling apart mostly due to your own issues. Being in a relationship is hard. It’s a total headfuck. But it’s what you want as well, you know?”
With two single launch dates happening at the Gasometer in Melbourne and the Newtown Social Club in Sydney this month, the band is heading backing back into the studio to record album number two. At least they’ll have more time than the five days it took to record Hard Hold – slightly.
“This record will have the luxury of taking a longer time, ’cause the first one we did in five days. This time we’ve got a week and a bit, so it’ll definitely be more fleshy and voluptuous and sexy. Oh, and Dan Luscombe from The Drones is producing it, and he’s a beautiful man. He’s the best.”
Excitedly talking about the new record, the delightfully quirky Cosima always remembers to take a moment to step back and reflect.
“I think the record will be done in December and then we’ll just start trickling some juice early next year and then we’re just gonna release it all and then it’ll be done. And then we get to go down the Merri Creek and fish some more!”
To catch one of the country’s most unique and exciting acts in person, you can find Jaala launching their latest single ‘Junior Spirit’ at the Newtown Social Club, Sydney on the 26th of October, and the Gasometer Hotel, Melbourne on the 28th of October. Tickets available through Oztix and ticketscout.
Photos by Maddie Stephenson, styling by Lonely Enid with check dress from Somebuddy Loves You.