The Queensland sun shines through in her voice, even when discussing something as brutal as losing the original copies of her debut single ‘Faded’. “We’d been working on it for a while, and the process for it was very frustrating. We started around this time last year, we started writing for it, we were working on the production, and we recorded a final vocal for it. Then we had a hard drive failure. We had [‘Faded’] and then another track that we were working on at the time, and we lost everything.” This would be Brisbane’s newest electronic act, the softly spoken and ungooglabe AUSTEN. Fresh from releasing her debut single ‘Faded’ through the good folks at Pilerats, the success of the single certainly wasn’t expected. “Yeah, it’s pretty trippy for me to look at it and see 170,000 plays like, is this real life? Seriously? But it’s awesome. At first when I started noticing the Spotify plays were going up I was like compulsively checking it every day just to see how it was going.”

A combination of EDM like Flume and art pop along the lines Grimes or FKA Twigs, AUSTEN’s ‘Faded’ is an effort seemingly veteran, with its airy and somewhat sinister atmosphere swirling around a tremendous chorus vocal hook. But within a few moments of speaking to her it’s clear that AUSTEN, despite her youth, knows exactly what she is making, and that’s music straight from her heart. “Being a bit pretentious for a second but it’s difficult to sit back and look at your own music and think ‘well, what are people going to take away from this?’ It’s a personal thing for me, writing songs. It’s literally just me in my bedroom or at my piano. That’s where it’s born and that’s where it started from and I can still kinda see that element to it.” She speaks a lot about her process of writing songs, most of which start with this barebones composition stage. But, seeing as ‘Faded’ was a bit of a strange case seeing as it was essentially written twice. “So we essentially had to start from scratch and rethink and rework the track. We had to rework the vocals for it and go through the whole process again and by the end of it we were all just like ‘I can’t wait to just be done with this song and just release it’ because we’d pretty much written it twice. It’s funny cos before I released it I’d listened to it that many times that for two weeks before the release date I was just like ‘I don’t know, maybe it was a mistake, maybe I shouldn’t release it’. I’ve just heard it too many times to be objective about it anymore. I’m glad I didn’t pull out because it’s really rewarding to see that people actually like it now so all of that hard work and hard drive failure pain was worth it. It means a lot that people actually like it.”

There’s more to AUSTEN than just herself, however. She owes much to the musicians in and around her life who have inspired her, of which there are many. “There’s honestly so many people that I take influence from that when people ask me that I think I need to write a list or something beforehand. I’m really happy that electronic music is making its way into pop music. It’s blurring the line between what’s mainstream and the underground dance club vibes. When we started writing, we took influence from a lot of trap producers and even hip hop producers. I really love AlunaGeorge at the moment, she’s doing this track with Flume and a live recording of it got leaked and it’s so good. I really love Feki who’s a Brissy producer who does this lush electronic production, he’s really great. Then there’s Banks, like– There’s just too many [to list]. I listen to Tame Impala so much and I feel like they’re not so much electronic but I feel like when I listen to them, particularly their new album, I hear a lot of electronic style production which is really cool. There’s so many amazing people bringing out stuff.

So what’s next for the newest name in Brisbane EDM now that she’s broken out past obscurity? Well, already she’s got a spot backing a Hottest 100 Runner Up. “Yeah, we’re working on live gigs at the moment. The first that we have is one supporting Nicole Millar on the 30th of April just in Brissy. We’ve put a large set together, we’ve got heaps of new music, obviously since we’ve only got one song out right now. But we’ve got a bunch of fresh stuff written in the last couple of months that we’re gonna be playing so we’re really excited to play some shows. It’s clear when Nicole Millar is mentioned again that the show is a bit of a dream come true for the young artist. “I’m so excited. I love [Nicole Millar] and I’m excited to actually get to meet her soon cos I love her music so much.”

With Nicole Millar’s national tour rapidly approaching, AUSTEN has a lot of buzz about her, something which ‘Faded’ alone has earned. Recently Millar was announced on the truly massive Splendour In The Grass lineup which set both social media and wallets alight. And listening to AUSTEN speak, it’s easy to see her taking the same position in the near future. You can stream ‘Faded’ below.

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