INTERVIEW: Tia Gostelow discusses 80’s-esque single ‘Always’ with Holy Holy

A unique artist on the rise, Tia Gostelow is most recognized for her indie-folk flair, but currently offers up singles with more lush synth soundscapes and pop sensibilities.

The talented Australian just released her third single “Always” off of her upcoming album.  The summer anthem features the musical duo Holy Holy and is shimmering indie-pop at its best. Oozing with retro 80s vibes and upbeat, danceable melodies, listeners are captivated by the track’s lush, Miami Vice feel.

Jumpstarting her career at sixteen, Gostelow has garnered a fervent fanbase with her invigorating live performances and unique musical releases. She has found success performing alongside  Lewis Capaldi, Ball Park Music and Boy & Bear, among others. Culture Collide had the chance to speak with Gostelow about her sonic evolution, small-town upbringing and more!

Your debut album is indie-folk and has a more organic sound.  With your latest offerings “Psycho”, “Rush” and now “Always” you deliver a more synth-driven sound. What inspired that type of sonic transition? 

I think it was just a natural transition based on the music I’ve been listening too. Evolution in sound is a given for any musician in my opinion, I grew up listening to country and folk music for most of my life and I guess the more I delved into my music career the more I wanted to explore different sounds and genres. I would always ask what bands my friends were listening too and I would look at festival line-ups to try and find new bands that I haven’t heard of. I think this new sound was ignited after I listened to Broods’ album Don’t Feed The Pop Monster. I fell so in love with all of the sounds and even the whole visual aesthetic that they were portraying.

Another factor was during my live shows I felt like I was at a point where I needed to step it up, performance-wise and also within the production of the show. I wanted it to be super fun and energetic for my audience, I wanted this new music to make them feel like they’re in another world and I want the show to be one they will remember.

What message do you hope listeners can take away from your latest release?

I think music is such a personal experience and each listener will interpret what they want from it based on their experiences and how they’re feeling at that certain point in their life. For me this song is about being far away from someone you love but no matter how hard it gets, the good will always outweigh the bad.

You collaborated with Holy Holy on the track. How did you meet and what your experience was like collaborating with them?

Oscar flew up to Brisbane to come to a show I was playing at the opening of The Fortitude Music Hall, that was the first time I met him. We really wanted to meet before working together and we got along really well! The first time I met Tim was also in Brisbane when Holy Holy were playing at a brewery and I got up to sing a few songs with them. Oscar produced the whole record so I worked really closely with him overall. We didn’t start out knowing that Always was going to be a duet, it kind of just came about while we were in the studio and I felt like Tim’s vocals would sound beautiful on it. All three of us are based in different states so it was a bit hard to be together to record it so Tim ended up recording his vocals with Oscar while he was in Melbourne playing shows.

You supported renowned acts such as Lewis Capaldi and The Rubens as well as garnered twenty million streams to date. What advice would you give to other artists looking to reach that same level of growth?

My advice would truly be to listen to your gut instincts and surround yourself with people you trust. Find yourself a team that you can be open and honest with and that share the same end goal as you. Make sure you stay true to yourself and what you believe in.

I understand you grew up in the small Queensland town of Mackay, but are currently based in Brisbane. What has the transition been like for you and how has it influenced your music?

It’s been amazing, I’ve always lived in smaller towns where it has been harder to make it in a career like this. I have so much support in Mackay and will be forever grateful for it but the reality is there just isn’t as many opportunities there as there is in a city like Brisbane. Moving down there was so scary and daunting at first but I’ve made so many beautiful friends and been able to work with so many people that I could’ve only dreamed about. It’s been really nice to experience loads of live shows of different genres and to even just sit down and have a coffee with such a diverse range of creatives., I’m definitely taking little bits of those experiences and putting them into my music.

What does the future look like for Tia Gostelow?

I hope lots of touring and writing once the world gets back to normal-ish. I feel so eager to get on the road to play this new record, I hope I get to see you all soon!