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Interview: Ally Row Chat About Their Debut Single, ‘Why Do I Care’

Melbourne-based two-piece Ally Row recently unveiled their light-hearted debut single, why do i care – produced by Michael O’Connell and mastered by Nicholas De Lorenzo. We sat down with Ally and Rowan to find out more about the single, influences and more!

Congratulations on the release of your debut single! Can you tell us the story behind the lyrics, and how the song came around?

R: Thank you! Very exciting to finally get our music out into the world. The lyrics came to me while I was working with one of my disability clients – we were walking down the street as part of our usual shift, just chatting about stuff, the impact of lockdown and important things in our lives. That sparked my interest in exploring that narrative further. The idea of writing something relevant to the current COVID situation and what happens after. From there, the music flowed with the words to create a song we are really proud of; it’s not too pretentious or trying to be ‘cool’. It’s just a simple reminder to ask yourself “why do i care” what people think of me? 

Your influences stretch from Vera Blue and Missy Higgins to John Butler. Who would you say has had the greatest impact on your current sound and song writing approach?

R: During the writing process we didn’t directly draw inspiration from any artist – we kind of just sat down and played until we had something we liked. But on reflection, for this song, Ben Lee’s “Catch My Disease” has a really similar vibe.

A: Yeah, it has a catchy and simple riff and the glockenspiel gives it a really unique sound.

When not performing music, what do you spend most of your time doing?

R: We spend 99% of our time talking to or talking about our dog Peanut.

A: He is our little Jack Russell – 10 months old. We spend the other 1% cooking vego meals (with whatever is in our -almost empty- pantry), arguing about most things and watching movies by actor/actress i.e. We did a “Denzel Washington in Action Films” binge fest the other week…the week before, we watched a succession of “Mark Wahlberg in Boston police/action films.”

It’s been difficult as hell to keep motivated in the world’s current state. What are some valuable lessons you’ve learnt while launching a new project in the midst of a pandemic?

A: Just to give your passion/your project your all and not to compare yourself to others. This pandemic definitely taught me that life is too short to keep sitting around and saying to yourself “I don’t have the time to do blah,” “I am not good enough,” etc. I was out of work during lockdown and realised that there is no security or safety net in the jobs that I didn’t love. And for some reason over the years, I always prioritised that work above all else and belittled my own interests. It just got to a point where I thought – might as well give the things I love a go. 

R: I guess… no time is ever “ideal” – so just do what you need to do in order to move yourself forward.   

What are some things about Melbourne that the rest of Australia should envy?

A: Definitely the ridiculously amazing array of gluten free cafes/restaurants/bakeries. I have been a coeliac since forever and would never have dared to dream about anything that wasn’t rock hard bread, but now, you can get croissants, baguettes, cheesymite scrolls gluten free! It’s insane.

R: The coffee, the op shops and the weather – I know the weather is a shock to everyone, Alice is looking at me like “what?!?!” – but every day is a surprise. You can’t predict what will happen.

Can you tell us what’s on the cards for the near future?

R: We have more music in the works – we have a single that we are planning to release later this year which will definitely show you a different side to our music.

Why Do I Care is available now, everywhere.

Written by John Zebra