“He said I am the devil, boy, come with me and we’ll make many storms, he offered me the universe but inside my heart there’s a picture of a girl”
These are the first words I heard, sung from the mouths of Melbourne Folk duo, Wildhood. Their cover of Angus and Julia Stone’s song “Devils Tears” echoes down the busy passage of Bourke St, in Melbourne’s CBD.
Playing together over the last 8 months, Rod and Lauren, who make up the magical duo, met while they were both playing bar gigs as solo artists. Quickly becoming close, they messed around with Harmonies and realized that they meshed well together, musically. They originally had planned for the duo to be a fun, side project to make a bit of money busking. However, when they clicked musically and started gaining a bit of a following, they decided to dive head first into the duo, and that’s when Wildhood was born. When asked where the name Wildhood derived from, they said it was a bit of a play on the word “Childhood”.
Rod grew up in rural New Zealand where his mother taught him to sing and play the piano at a young age and at the age of 18, he taught himself to play the guitar. After receiving an Honor’s degree in Music, he packed up his life and made his way to Melbourne to pursue it, playing at mic evenings and gigs, making most of his friends this way and falling in love with playing music full-time.
Growing up, Lauren was surrounded by instruments, as well as having a father who was also a musician. She sung in primary school choirs and took singing lessons throughout her teenage years. It wasn’t until when she started busking alone and being asked to play gigs that she truly immersed herself into the life as a working musician
When they finally tackled the challenge of writing together, it enabled them to get a different perspective on each others’ ideas, which has become quite inspiring for the two of them. Since they’re both used to writing alone, inspired by feelings and exploring ways of expressing these feelings , having another person to bounce ideas off, is proving to be a positive step for the two of them.
Taking a mutual appreciation for Ben Howard and inspiration from singer/songwriters Daughter, as well as bands like Bon Iver and Message to Bears, you can get a sense of what Wildhood are about. A mix of soft melodies, timeless acoustic sounds, clear-cut vocals with a magical and calming vibe. They want to make Beautiful, relatable music to share with people. Sometimes their sound is bright and clean and other times they’re dark and brooding, with intricate guitar, simple vocals and interesting harmonies. They said their sound is a bit of a Contradiction? Personally, I don’t think that at all. When you are writing from a place where feelings are held, you’re not always going to have one specific emotion. This is why Wildhood could be a success. They’ve opened themselves up to a mixed audience, who could potentially relate to the varying sounds that they have created. No one has one set emotion.
You can check Wildhood out at an upcoming event with fellow busking group The Elliot’s, on the 9th October at Club Volitaire in North Melbourne. Be sure to go check them out if you’re around.