Amidst the pulsating rhythms and electric strings of the Eora/Sydney music scene, FVNERAL emerges, crafting songs that resonate deeply with a symphony of emotions. Their latest offering, “MERCY,” is no exception. This track, a successor to the much-lauded “HAPPY ANNIVERSARY,” tantalizingly hints at their impending EP, ‘HONEST,’ anticipated to drop on November 10.
With “MERCY,” FVNERAL dives headfirst into the labyrinth of love and self-awareness. The song paints the profound sensation of being truly perceived, of having one’s essence recognized by another, all while underscoring the significance of self-regard. As FVNERAL’s Tim elucidated, the song reflects on the transformative act of forging a connection with someone who mirrors parts of one’s identity, a sentiment that played a pivotal role in their own journey of embracing their non-binary identity.
The creation of “MERCY” was a serendipitous blend of late-night inspiration and creative synergy. Tim Blunt, in a seemingly ordinary studio session in the US, chanced upon the song’s verse and chorus. This fortuitous event, combined with Ally’s vocal contributions—recorded in the intimate confines of her childhood bedroom—culminated in the track’s genesis. Reflecting on the song, Tim mentions its deep-seated connection to the revelatory experience of self-recognition, especially when mirrored in another.
Far from the somber connotations their name might evoke, FVNERAL is a celebration of life’s nuanced beauty. This ensemble, which morphed from friends to a close-knit musical family, emphasizes the radiant joy stemming from life’s triumphs. Their debut EP, ‘WHEN I GET SOBER,’ is a testament to their adeptness in evoking poignant emotions, an expertise enriched by their collaborations with esteemed acts like Birds Of Tokyo, Middle Kids, Stand Atlantic, and international giants The Struts and Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes.
The band’s inaugural EP laid the foundation for a nurturing, benevolent community built around their music, and they now stand on the cusp of expanding this community with the release of ‘HONEST.’
Those keen on experiencing FVNERAL’s distinctive sound live can catch them at the Goodspace Gallery on November 11 in Sydney. This headline EP launch will feature Lakeland (VIC), Huck Hastings, and Bellamay, with Jameson as the sponsor. Additionally, FVNERAL will be supporting Late November on November 22, 23, and 24 in Central Coast, Newcastle, and Sydney.
FVNERAL is more than just a band; it’s a narrative of friendship, passion, and authentic storytelling through music. Their commitment to exploring life’s intricacies and deriving beauty from them ensures that their upcoming EP, ‘HONEST,’ will be a significant addition to the musical landscape. As their journey unfolds, it promises to be as intricate and authentic as the tales they weave into their music.
Today, we dive deep into their story with our in-depth interview below. Check it out and be sure to catch FVNERAL live at TRANSGENRE festival this December!
“MERCY” delves deeply into themes of self-love and mental well-being. What personal experiences or stories inspired the creation of this single?
This song is a love song, or maybe it’s more accurate to say that it wants to be a love song. It’s about the moment where you finally let your walls come down, and allow yourself to be seen by someone who longs to love you. It’s about having the realisation that until I started prioritizing taking good care of my own mental health, there’s no way I can ever show that same kindness and care to anyone else.
The song emphasizes the importance of being truly understood and seen by someone. Can you recall a specific moment in your life that evoked these sentiments?
While MERCY is not about this person, a moment that comes to mind when thinking about being truly understood and seen by someone is in June last, when Ally (the other half of FVNERAL) and I were in LA to work on some new music. I remember driving along the 5 when we took a few days to head up from LA to Santa Cruz and we were talking through answers to some interview questions for a song that was coming out in a few day’s time, GOODB(i)YE, and I kind of just blurted out that one of the reasons that song felt significant to me was that even though it was written about coming to terms with my sexuality, it had been pretty crucial in my journey to understanding my gender identity too.
There was never a big discussion or schock after it came out of my mouth, but in that moment I knew that it was because none of it was surprising in the least to Ally, who has always seen me and loved me not despite who I am but because of who I am.
Tim, you’ve mentioned the significance of connecting with a non-binary individual in understanding your own non-binary identity. How has this personal revelation influenced the band’s music and message?
I think it’s an experience that a lot of trans people – probably a lot of queer people in general too – have, which can be pretty transformative. When you’re brought up in a world that is so binary, so-cis, so straight, so misogynistic, and so on and so forth, you feel starved for people to relate to. When you finally have an experience where you connect with someone who gets ‘it’, there’s often such a feeling of relief, because you don’t feel the need to explain yourself in relation to some social norm. You can just be calm. I think these kinds of experience are pretty crucial to the music we make and the things we want to say.
All we want FVNERAL to be is a big community, where everyone – particularly those who’ve found themselves relegated to the margins in some way – can feel loved, safe and home.
Can you share more about the serendipitous late-night studio session in the US where the verse and chorus for “MERCY” were discovered?
I’d been in the studio for what must’ve been like 14 hours, working with an artist who I greatly admire. I was so burnt out but as I was driving home along the highway, I started mindlessly humming this little melody and couldn’t get it out of my head. By the time I got home I kind of had the whole verse written out, and I remember being so scared that I wouldn’t be able to write down the opening line – “To be honest with you now, I’ve never been honest at all” – before I’d forgotten it. Some point before I went to bed I started playing the chorus chords and that melody kind of just popped out of my mouth, probably not long before the sun came up!
Recording vocals in Ally’s old bedroom seems intimate and nostalgic. How did this setting influence the song’s final outcome?
Honestly, so many of our songs – definitely all the ones we’ve already released – were recorded, in part, in Ally’s childhood bedroom. I guess it started out as a practicality but there is something quite grounding and intimate about being invited into a space with such a long and evolving history – the history of Ally’s whole life up until that point, in a way. I hope the intimacy and love of our friendship comes through in this song, as well as all the others.
The band name ‘FVNERAL’ suggests themes of endings or loss, yet your music often celebrates life’s intricacies. What’s the story behind choosing this name?
It’s not as morbid as it sounds. When we started writing what would become the first FVNERAL songs, it was during a time where we both seemed to be experiencing a lot of endings – romantic relationships, friendships, the passing of friends and family. At some point around this time we got talking about how cathartic and poignant the occasion of a funeral can be, and came to recognise that the project we were creating was becoming a way for the two of us to figure out who we are and what our place is in the world. Ultimately, FVNERAL felt like the best way to symbolise the grief of endings right alongside the joy and optimism of new beginnings.
With the upcoming release of your sophomore EP ‘HONEST’, what overarching message or theme do you hope listeners will take away?
This EP is a collection of songs where Ally and I tried to confront some dark truths about ourselves, both in the way we treat other people and in the way we treat ourselves. It’s about our journey towards being able to be honest with ourselves and with those closest to us.
I hope listeners can see the power of honesty, particularly in how it can be such a catalyst for being better to yourself and those who love you most.
Your music often intertwines personal experiences with broader societal themes. How do you strike a balance between the two without compromising on the song’s authenticity?
We’re both such firm believers that the personal is political. We’re people who feverishly consume the news and current affairs, and who spend lots of time dwelling on the truly terrifying state of the world, so of course this bleeds into the music we make in some way.
But I think we also try to ensure that we’re only writing about experiences or feelings we’ve had and are trying to work through, so I’d say that any time we end up speaking to a broader social issue, it’s only because the micro-details of whatever personal experience we’re writing about happens to line up neatly, but never on purpose.
Eora/Sydney’s music scene is vibrant and diverse. How has the local community shaped your musical journey, and what unique elements do you believe you bring to it?
We spent the majority of our teen years saving up money to go to whatever all ages shows were on offer. We spent so many years imagining ourselves on the stages that we’re now playing on and on lineups with artists we’ve long admired. Unfortunately, there’s always been a big lack in the representation of queer – particularly trans – artists, in the Sydney scene, as well as all around Australia and globally.
In some ways, I think that’s what we bring to it. 2024 is the year that queer artists from Sydney take over!
You’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with both Australian favorites and international powerhouses. How have these experiences influenced your band’s dynamic and sound?
It’s been such a privilege to share space in the studio and on stage with some of our heroes. I think the main impact these experiences have had on us as a band are in demonstrating how deep the love in many of their friendships run, and how much respect these artists have for their collaborators.
Building a strong community around your music seems central to FVNERAL’s ethos. What initiatives or approaches have you taken to foster this sense of belonging among your fans?
Yeah totally. We want to create the sort of community that we wish we’d had when we were younger. When we released HAPPY ANNIVERSARY we played a single launch where we raised over $1000 for Wear It Purple who do such important work in supporting queer young people.
We want to take the opportunities when we have people’s attention to shine a light on the causes that are most special to us, and ideas that make people feel welcome and safe. Also, over the better part of this year, alongside our dear friend Ellie Robinson, we’ve been planning TRANSGENRE [link will be live 9am AEDT]: a festival to celebrate the best and brightest trans and non-binary voices in the Australian music scene. This is going to be such a beautiful moment. Tell everyone!!
The upcoming tour dates, including supporting acts like KiNG MALA and Late November, must be exhilarating. How do you prepare for such events, both mentally and musically?
Yeah, we’ve finally felt like we’re hitting our stride with the live show. We’ve managed to make the transition from stressful as fuck to fun as fuck, and it’s the best! Getting to play with the artists we are and in places we’ve never even been is such a privilege. We’re so grateful to have the chance to connect with new people and share in a beautiful 30 minute moment.
Prep-wise, Ally and I spend a lot of time alone on show days, usually grabbing coffee and making some food together, before soundchecking and then going our separate ways to meditate or a little walk.
Lastly, in the spirit of the themes in “MERCY”, how do each of you practice self-love and mental well-being, especially in the demanding world of music production and tours?
We both spend a lot of time talking about our feelings – to each other and to the other people close to us – which really helps us keep accountable. We’ve als both have spent so much time and money in therapy and feel like without it, we probably wouldn’t be here. So, I guess the takeaway is something like: hug your friends, go to therapy, play with a puppy!