Australian indie rock band Eliza & The Delusionals will release their debut album, Now and Then, on May 20 via Cooking Vinyl. The band’s upbeat tracks and heartfelt lyrics make them a must-have in your playlists, and their cool outfits will catch your attention in an instant. Eliza Klatt founded the band in 2015; she reconnected with childhood friend Kurt Skuse, and, later, Eliza’s university friend, Ashley Martin, joined the band. A few years later, the band met Ruby Lee as she was opening for them on tour.
Back in February, Eliza & The Delusionals released their most recent music video, “Give You Everything.” The video is full of references to the ’90s and early 2000s pop culture; from a Clueless-inspired plaid skirt to animated personas in the best Lizzie McGuire fashion. We can also see a room with Spice Girls and Pulp Fiction posters. “Give You Everything” also has a cool reference to Britney Spears’ “…Baby One More Time” music video.
Of course, Eliza & The Delusionals take inspiration from the past not only for the aesthetic. The ’90s and 2000s heavily inspired Now and Then, and the 12 tracks prove it. Songs like “YOU” and “Bed Song” bring out the best sounds from those eras while still keeping it fresh. The bass, guitars, and Eliza’s voice will transport you to your childhood or teenage years. “Give You Everything” will be stuck in your head forever, in a good way.
Overall, Now and Then is a very cohesive album, and its songs will make you wish the band had an even larger catalog. Soundigest had the opportunity to chat with Eliza Klatt about the album, songwriting, and the impact COVID-19 had on the band’s performing schedules. Check out the interview below and, also, watch the lyric video for “Halloween” here.
My favorite song on Now and Then is definitely “Halloween.” How did this track come to life?
It’s actually one of my favorites as well. I love this song. “Halloween” was written by Kurt well before we started collaborating on songs together. I remember he showed [it to] me acoustically a few times, and I really loved it and connected with it. I think Kurt was a bit too close to the song to realize how much potential it had because he had been sitting with it for a few years. We finally demoed it and fleshed it out sonically, and, after we recorded it in the studio, I think it became a favorite for our entire team. The song, to us, is about when you’re in your mid to late teens and nothing matters besides what’s happening at the time. When you’re really living in the moment, not caring about the consequences.
“YOU” is a truly heartbreaking song. Was the songwriting process difficult for you?
When we started writing this song, we were kind of trying to do a fun pop song moment, just to see what would come out. We were having a hard time connecting with the original chorus and some of the other parts, so it kind of was left on the computer desktop as a half-finished demo for a few months while we worked on other stuff. Kurt decided to pick it up again one day while I was on the phone, and he had written a new chorus, which we both very quickly fell in love with. I feel like it was one of those songs that we didn’t really think about the context until some words started to stick out in the mumbling of getting ideas down. To us, it’s about watching someone you love destroy themselves at their own expense, disguised sonically as a fun ’90s pop song.
Your overall aesthetic is really cool! Do you think it’s important to express yourselves through the clothes you wear?
Thank you! I 100% do. It’s always so important to us. We try to find a balance of everyone feeling good and comfortable about their ’fits whilst looking cohesive. I feel like our outfits really show our individual styles, but in a tied-together way. I personally love fashion and styling outfits for videos and photoshoots, so I always have a really fun time doing it.
Now and Then is a very cohesive album. What did you like the most about writing all these songs?
I think the best part of it for Kurt and I was using our time writing as a form of escapism from reality. I think that’s why we naturally lent so hard into the nostalgic themes as well; it felt comfortable and good. With everything that was going on in the world at the time, we were struggling with some mental health challenges, and writing together was almost like therapy. We put so much into it, and even though it was really difficult for us sometimes, we feel incredibly proud of the final tracklisting and that we were able to create our debut record in such a strange time of life.
How is it working with Nick Maguire for your music videos?
We really loved working with Nick! He shot our videos for “YOU” and “Give You Everything.” We wanted to work with someone who would really take on our ideas and bring them to life in a strong visual way, and he was the perfect person for the job. He managed to take some ideas that I didn’t think would be possible and completely bring them to life. It was so much fun, and we really adore how they turned out.
Honestly, all of your songs are bangers. Do you ever get writer’s block? How do you deal with it?
Thank you! Yes, it happens a lot actually. For me personally, after we had written “Now And Then” and finished up in the studio, I almost felt a bit like I had exhausted my songwriting ability. I just felt like I couldn’t come up with anything, and it was feeling forced. It was strange because I felt a bit like I wasn’t doing my job or that I was being a bit lazy when I wasn’t writing every day, but I really did need a little bit of a break to reset my mind and ideas a bit. I think because we had spent so much time in lockdowns and border closures, it was hard to dig within myself for more inspiration. Taking a short break to reset my mind helped a lot, though, and it’s been really refreshing getting back into songwriting again for the next project.
One of the best parts of the “Give You Everything” music video is the reference to Lizzie McGuire. What was your favorite part of shooting the video?
It’s definitely one of the coolest ideas we’ve had. Kurt had been talking about this high school daydream concept since the song was written, and when we were in lockdown and talking about potential animation concepts for music videos, he decided that it would be cool to incorporate both ideas for the GYE music video. The hallway and classrooms for the school scenes were actually in my old high school, so it was cool we got to shoot parts of it there.
You had to cancel some of your shows due to COVID-19. How do you feel about being back on the road?
Yes, we did. It was really difficult to deal with those cancellations and come to terms with what the situation was. Particularly our tours we had planned for the US in 2020. It’s finally starting to feel a bit more normal touring around Australia as some of the states here had different rules for capacities. It felt a little rocky having to adjust to different rules and circumstances at every show, but we’re definitely feeling happy and grateful to be back on the road. We can’t wait for more to come in 2022 in the US as well.
Who’d you like to collaborate with in the future?
This is always such a big question; there are so many amazing artists out there. A dream collaboration for Kurt and I would be Jack Antonoff for sure. He’s got an amazing musical brain, and we really admire his work. I think we’d be able to create some cool music together.
Have you played Now and Then to your relatives yet, or will it be a surprise for them?
We’ve definitely played a few tracks here and there, but overall it’s going to be a surprise, I think! So excited for them to hear what we’ve been working on for the last few years.