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Interview: Local Safari Open Up About Their New Single, ‘Felicity’

Local Safari are turning heads on the Gold Coast music scene and they’ve recently returned with a wonderful new single, Felicity. The new tune touches on positivity, good luck and fortune! It’s like pure winter sunset.  We had a chat to lead singer Leah Horn about Local Safari and the new release.

Tell us about Local Safari, who, where, why!?

We were honestly just a bunch of mates hanging out with instruments and beers until COVID hit. We all had a bit of a pandemic induced epiphany that life is so unpredictable so why the hell would you not do the things that you’ve always wanted to do and it just so happened that for all of us, that thing was starting a band. It’s been just over a year since we started and it’s been such an insane journey so far, we’ve got four singles out, become so much closer as mates and have played so many fun shows. Thank god COVID kicked us into gear because we haven’t looked back since.

How would you describe the music of Local Safari, what acts are in your scene and what bands present or past influence you?

We really try to create music to make people feel something, it’s emotion fuelled indie rock that hopes to bring you up when you’re feeling down, and really pushes to serve you that rhythmic energy to dance around. There are so many amazing acts coming out of the GC at the moment. We love playing with our mates from WHARVES, Chutney, Girl and Girl, Sunday Sesh, The Ropes, Brixton Alley and a heap more local legends!

Influence wise we’re really lucky to have an extremely diverse set of musical inspirations. It ranges all the way back to British Rock in the 60’s (The Beatles & The Stones) through to the 90’s (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Oasis and Powderfinger are definitely high on the list) and into the more recent rock and indie acts (Arctic Monkeys, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Ball Park Music, Hockey Dad, San Cisco, Spacey Jane). The list goes on and on and the best part is that we’re constantly being influenced by all the bands we meet and play with!

The Gold Coast seems to be a place where a lot of female fronted acts are kicking arse. As a female vocalist leading an indie rock band what is your experience for yourself as a woman in the industry? 

Hell yeah, I love this question! I am such an advocate for powerful females making moves in the music industry and honestly nothing makes me more excited than seeing how many are hailing from the Goldy scene. My experience so far has been incredible, from venues to other bands to producers, the Gold Coast music community has been so welcoming, encouraging and inclusive not only for me as a front woman but for so many of the emerging bands or artists I have met that are led by women or completely made up of women. I think the last year has been so hard for everyone that it has created this huge sort of supportive industry network on the Gold Coast and female artists seem to be at the forefront of that, which feels so nice and very empowering.

Tell us about the new single ‘Felicity’, who is she?

Who is SHE you ask? I will never tell! Actually in all honesty, the name didn’t even stem from a person at all. I wrote this song so long ago based around those moments you have when life just feels so incredibly good. I always get that euphoric feeling when I am driving along the coastline with the windows down and a good song on or laying in the grass under the sun. Those moments of pure happiness that are so hard to describe but make you think to yourself; this is it – this is my life – this is how it’s supposed to be.

With the song having so much meaning to me, I really struggled with encapsulating that idea in the name. So I did some hard-core syllable searching and language re-con to find that the word felicity meant “intense happiness” but also could be interpreted as a person’s name. I loved that it had this kind of playful double meaning and I could really let people interpret it however they wanted.

Local Safari is carving out a stellar reputation as a seriously good live act, what sort of work goes into getting to that level?

Well, first of all, that means a lot and thank you! We have a little storage shed in Burleigh that we like to call Local Safari HQ. We always have one practice a week there and then try to squeeze extras in when we can. We have tried to play lots of different venues and styles of shows too to gain experience and sort of throw ourselves in the deep end whenever we can. Honestly though, I think that just hanging out as friends and jamming is so important. We never take ourselves too seriously and always bring food and beers and it’s just a really fun, creative space where we can collaborate, try new things and talk about our goals for the band.

You have put together a great single tour with a few well known venues like Waywards Sydney and Tomcat Brisbane but we also see a gig in Mt Tambourine at ‘The Bearded Dragon’.  What is going on up in the hills there? We see a bunch of indie bands playing there soon. 

I know right! Tamborine Mountain is really stepping it up in the music scene. The calibre of artists who have played there this year has already been mental, but it looks like it’s only going up from here. It is so exciting to see a venue open their doors to more gigs and live music from local artists, especially in such a nice location. We are super stoked to be playing there and from what I have heard the food and service is amazing, so it is sure to be a bloody good gig.

Written by John Zebra