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The Boat People - Sailing The Seas Of Success

Author: Ben James
Thursday, 7 August 2008
Brisbane's The Boat People have long been a shining light on the Australian indie music scene and now have an excellent second record to prove that. Vocalist and keys player Robin Waters tells 3D's Ben James all about it.

Chandeliers is the name of the indie pop four-piece's long awaited second record and, while you might instantly think of glittery, hanging lights, the same can be said for the music the band makes. Long hailed as writers of perfect pop, Waters might share vocal and writing duties with bassist James O'Brien, but says it was he that initially came up with the shining title.

'Where I live actually, just down the road, there's an old school '70s Italian chandelier shop,' Waters explains. 'It goes across three shop fronts and I take the tram past there each evening and you can see these layers of carbon emissions coming out the window. It just looks so surreal and amazing because they're all hanging down at floor level. It just made me think about the word 'chandeliers', it has so much visual connotations with it and it's just what we want to do with the album.'

The band have been around since 2000 and released three EPs before they eventually turned their head to albums. Their 2005 debut yesyesyesyesyes had critics and music fans screaming just that. It was Waters' very own Unsettle My Heart that garnered most of the attention but this time around, the songs he makes seem to be incredibly confessional.

'We wanted to make this record a lot more energetic than the last one,' he reveals. 'We had been playing live a lot more and were hungry to have songs that worked better in the live environment. We wrote a lot more than we needed for the record but, in the end, out of the ones I wrote, we seemed to prefer the more reserved and emotive ones and co-incidentally, the more personal ones. With this record, we were trying to create one consistent statement - put people in a real mood from start to finish.'

The album was recorded with J Walker of Machine Translations and from all reports the process went pretty much according to plan.

'I think in hindsight, we're not the kind of band who likes to do the no distractions, get away from it all, house in the country kind of thing,' Waters explains. 'You read so many articles about people and how nice it is to not have any distractions and that kind of thing. I think we need the distractions. J does a great job of creating atmosphere and emotion in his records. It's amazing how hard that element of it is. You can get something that sounds really good but doesn't quite get through the message of a song. We were very clear about we wanted to do and we ended up getting exactly what we set out to do.'

WHO: The Boat People
WHAT: Chandeliers through Shock
WHEN: Out now