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GEORGIA FIELDS creates indie pop of a rare, haunting beauty, most recently in her 2016 LP Astral Debris. PHIA spins bright webs ranging from electro pop to sparkling tunes based around the kalimba (thumb piano). Both from Melbourne, the ladies have joined talents to stage a combined show. BMA spoke to Fields (while her daughter Kandra chattered in the background) in advance of the Canberra leg of the tour, named ‘Sea & Sky’ in reference to Fields’ album and Phia’s long player The Ocean of Everything.
The collaboration between the duo happened by chance, when they met at an open mic night in Paris. As Fields explained, “It was quite an interesting accident, or serendipitous encounter. Phia had relocated to Berlin, was visiting a friend in Paris and decided to check out an open mic night. I was on a working holiday and thought I would go too, on my night off. The stars aligned and we met there.”
“It was quite an interesting accident, or serendipitous encounter.”
Some four years later they reunited in Melbourne to do a show together, followed by Phia collaborating with Fields on a song (all arranged by email as Phia had by then returned to Europe). “After our albums came out in 2016 we thought it would be a great idea to do a tour together, sharing the workload as well as the stage. It’s been so much fun working together, with our being equal partners in the presentation of the show.”
Fields and Phia are a natural fit to play together, with both artists on stage, accompanying each other for the show. “We thought, ‘let’s go to the next level and actually play on all of our songs’. We are both focused on pop and melody, although Phia has a different palette to me, very much based around her kalimba and loop pedals, which is an amazing signature sound. I love Phia’s album The Ocean of Everything and knew all the songs already, so it was pretty easy.” For this tour, Fields will be playing guitar, instead of her usual digital piano, although she will also employ a Casio keyboard. There is some reworking of material too, with a little reimagining of some songs, including Field’s track ‘Moon’ which will be quite different to the album version. “Phia will be bringing her loop pedal but, as I’m supporting her, we’re moving some of her songs away from the loop and playing them in a more traditional way; something different for both of us.” The results of this pair creating harmonies together should be delicious, and there may also be audience participation for some backing vocals.
Georgia Fields and Phia, supported by Melanie Horsnell, play at Smith’s Alternative on Thursday July 13, doors at 9:30pm. Tickets $10/$15 through smithsalternative.com.