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The Weekly Riff

The Fresh Squeeze: 90ivy

Welcome to The Fresh Squeeze, where every Monday and Friday, BLUNT gets down to the wire with an up-and-coming act we simply can’t get enough of. 

In today’s shiny new edition, we get the juice on Sydney indie-pop outfit 90ivy, formerly known as The Flowers, but always known as a band you can count on to get the good vibes pumping. The band made their rebooted debut last month with ‘Now Or Later’, a gloriously groovy slice of late-night singalong pop driven by shimmery synths and bold, mix-filling basslines. It’s the kind of song you’ll need to spin at least thrice to really make sense of – the first to lose yourself in Agnes O’Dwyer’s soaring lead vocals, the next just to jam out with that feverish, funked-up bass, and one more to stare slack-jawed into space as the two combine with everything else in the song to make for one of the year’s most riveting listens.

Who’s in your band, what do they play, and what would be your non-musical superpowers? 
Leighton: Drums. My mon-musical superpower would have to be hearing someone saying a joke at a low volume, then saying it louder and stealing all the laughs. 
Liam: Lead guitar. My non-musical superpower handing in Uni assignments on books I haven’t read. 
Tom: Bass. My non-musical superpower would be patience. 
Ags: Lead vocals and rhythm guitar. And my superpower? I’m not too bad at the old crosswords, if I do say so myself. 

When you’re not tearing shit up on your instruments, what do you legends like to get up to? 
Leighton loves studying stand-up comedy and learning Spanish. Tom is always cooking, racing cars and hanging out. Liam is either zoning out to trash TV or on a bushwalk. Ags is super into thrift shopping and upcycling clothes. 

What would your hometown’s landmark be? 
Of course the obvious answer would be the Opera House, but our favourite landmark is The Steyne in Manly, our favourite bar. It’s also where we decided that all four of us would start a band together! We have a lot of fun memories at that establishment. 

What’s the usual first topic of conversation when you take a break at rehearsal? 
I wouldn’t consider it a conversation, though Leighton usually grabs the microphone and works on his stand-up comedy routine while we all laugh at him, convincing him that we’re laughing with him. He is optimistic in believing that he will open for us one day, with a 15-minute comedy set. After that, the world is his oyster…

What’s your pre-show warm-up routine? 
Usually a couple of drinks backstage to take the edge off. We also do the “lets rock, let’s rock today” chant from School Of Rock. Cheesy, we know. It’s a strange time in the world right now, especially for live shows in Australia, so reminiscing on it feels like a lifetime ago. 

Tell us about your most memorable show, what made it so special? 
We thoroughly enjoyed our show with Jess Day at the Oxford Art Factory in Sydney. The crowd was incredible, and we got to try out new songs that we hadn’t played before. To see the crowd engage with them was fulfilling. One of those songs will be our next single, ‘Now Or Later’. 

What band would you most like to share the stage with and why? 
We would love to share the stage with fellow Aussie band Middle Kids. They are a massive inspiration to us, sonically, aesthetically and musically. We’ve been fans of that band for years, and they keep outdoing themselves with every record they bring out!

What’s the most exciting album you’ve listened to recently? 
Gold-Diggers Sound by Leon Bridges – this guy is an absolute genius! Everything he touches turns to gold; excuse the awful pun! But his versatility, from an upbeat groove to a heartfelt ballad, is the exact vibe we want to emulate in our own unique way.

If you could be endorsed by one company, who would it be? 
Fender would have to be the go-to; we all play Fenders and are a huge fan of them! 

Why are you going to make it to the top over all the other contenders in the musical Arena? 
We don’t want to look at music as a competition. We want to keep making music for ourselves, and if people like it, that’s a win-win for everyone!

‘Now Or Later’ is out now independently. Check it out below, or click here to stream it.

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