ROAR introduced you to the beautiful voice of Donna Arendse when we featured her folk duo Riley & Donna. Through following this wonderful artist we are excited to share her next progression as a musician. 'The Septembers' is an amazing group including the creative powers of both James Chatburn and Donna. Donna is focusing on songwriting and James who is a well known singer songwriter from Newcastle is exploring his creativity as a producer. This has resulted in their self-produced debut single, Riverbed. With heavy influences from Little Dragon and Bonobo, think reverb electric guitar, sharp beats, eerie backing vocals, and mellow soul vibes. What more could you ask for?! Riverbed was released in December 2013 and has already captured the attention of local and national radio stations, having had a number of plays on both Triple J Unearthed, and Triple J, as well as community radio stations. Listen to this epic song by clicking on this link Riverbed - Triple J listen The name of the group was inspired by the legacy of Donna's great aunt, South African anti-apartheid political activist Dulcie September.
You can keep up to date with everything 'The Septembers' are doing with gigs, pics, clips and music by clicking on and saving their links to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Soundcloud. Please also take the time to listen and review their music on Triple J Unearthed.
We took the time to chat about what they are up to at the moment.
ROAR: How has it been focusing on songwriting and having full control of creativity with your music?
Septembers: Well, it's awesome/liberating/exciting, but also daunting at the same time. Being in 'Riley and Donna' for over two years, I always had someone to bounce ideas off. Embarking on a project that is all my own is scary as you sometimes wonder if people will like your music. Luckily I reeled in James Chatburn as the producer, so he has helped me an enormous amount with getting my confidence back, and pushed me creatively, trying to get me to write and practice instruments etc.
ROAR: Riverbed is an exceptional first song and obviously received awesome feedback. When can we expect to hear some more music from you guys?
Septembers: Haha well, that is the question on our lips too. I am currently about to start my third and final year of uni, as well as pretty much working full time as a Youth Worker and doing two days at an internship in Sydney every week. I try to write when I have some time, but it's getting crazy and the only time I have to write is whilst driving somewhere. I end up recording it on my phone and then forgetting about it! We will hopefully release some more music in the next few months.
ROAR: Recently your song 'Riverbed' was played on Triple J radio which is pretty much every Australian musicians dream. How does it feel to get some recognition from the most famous radio station in the country?
Septembers: It feels bloody amazing! I didn't even know we were going to be played. I was at work one day and a couple of my friends texted me saying "You're on Triple J right now!" I thought it was a joke at first! James and I were both ecstatic!
ROAR: When and where can we see some live music from 'The Septembers'?
Septembers: Again, we hope soon, but we can't make any promises. A big part of the strategy I am trying to employ is to try and do targeted gigs. The problem with Newcastle is that the venues for original music are quite limited. I think we may not start gigging for a while, we first have to get a band together as at the moment it is just James and myself. When we do our first gig, we want to be well prepared, we want it to be cool and we want to do it in a venue with awesome sound. We don't just want to gig for the sake of gigging - people become sick of you if you oversaturate the place with too many gigs. So I guess we will have to wait for a lull in our schedules before we do our first gig.
ROAR: Now that you have some recognition and momentum, what is the plan for the rest of this year?
Septembers: I plan on writing as much as time will allow. Then our first point of action would be to release another song. But this time there will be some marketing building up to the release, we will send out some media releases and try and do it properly. Riverbed was just myself, James and the computer. We may get more instruments and get a band together for other recordings. I think we will then try and work on a live show, practice and make it interesting and different. James and I are hoping to move overseas in the near future, so our first gig could be our farewell gig, who knows.