Enigmatic NZ electronic artist Lontalius, also known as Eddie Johnston, has today announced his glowing new single Swim, a comforting, honest track about accepting the ups and downs of life, out now. Swim is also accompanied by a stunning clip, made in collaboration with Phoebe Gittins and Arty Papageorgiou (Pacific Heights, Whim, Weird Together). The prolific young artist has also announced his new album, All I Have, set for release on October 4. Lontalius will be joining Japanese Wallpaper on the road for his first ever Australian shows in October and November this year, kicking off at Melbourne’s Corner Hotel on October 25, then moving through Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and wrapping up in Brisbane at The Brightside on November 9.
Check out Lontalius new single called ‘Swim’ here.
Lontalius tells Jen his Top 5 most influential artists
Phoenix – Rome
Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix is probably my favourite album of all time. It’s endlessly catchy and appears on the surface as a simple pop record, but the details are where it shines. There’s probably 100 different instruments and melodies on this song but it never feels cluttered. It’s a joy to listen to every time.
Phoebe Bridgers – Smoke Signals
I first heard Phoebe Bridgers when I was living in LA and she completely blew me away. Her writing has become a huge inspiration for me. I was a bit disillusioned by the LA songwriting scene when I was living there, and hearing something like this come out of that city completely changed that. So honest and intriguing.
The National – Don’t Swallow The Cap
The National were a band I already enjoyed but they really took over my brain during my time in America. Maybe it’s all the references to California. I always adored listening to and making ‘sad’ music, but I always had a desire for a little more energy. The National are a perfect example of doing both, I think. The way Matt Berninger writes is really appealing to me. I want to scream these words along with him.
U2 – All I Want Is You
Though the exact opposite of ‘cool’, U2 are probably the band I am most influenced by. I listened to their live recordings religiously as a kid so these songs are ingrained in my memory. Listening to them later in life I’m struck with how diverse and crucial their discography is. The arrangements are always interesting, and obviously Bono never phones it in. It’s super inspiring.
Jon Hopkins – Luminous Beings
Probably my biggest inspiration when it comes to sound and atmosphere is Jon Hopkins. I listened to the Coldplay album Viva La Vida a lot when it came out, which he contributed to. Then when I discovered his solo output in my teens I was over the moon. His ambient work, his more dance-oriented stuff, his production with other artists…it’s all incredibly beautiful.
Swim is an endearing track, seemingly buoyed by pessimism and optimism at the same time. Reminiscent of indie pop giants The 1975 and Troye Sivan, Swim is driven by a pounding beat and intricate guitar lines (not to mention a killer solo towards the end) while Lontalius’ idiosyncratic vocal floats above it all. Speaking on the inspiration behind the track, Lontalius says, “Swim is about the acceptance that with all the heartbreak, anxiety and stress of being young, the universe is still leading you on the right path. You can have everything seemingly perfectly lined up in front of you, but sometimes it just won’t work out… it’s a song that i’m really proud of. It hit a lot of marks I had been trying to hit for the past few years. It’s energetic and it has a pace to it that I haven’t done before, all the while still living in the ‘lontalius’ world, I think.”
The clip for Swim zooms in on the self-reflection in the song in a figurative and literal sense. Lontalius sings alone, in the gorgeous Wellington wilderness, looking deep into a mirror suspended in mid-air. The clip is beautiful, dreamy; an appropriate visual representation of Swim, as Lontalius explains, “The video follows me singing the song into a mirror, walking along various locations in my home Wellington, NZ. With the song mostly being a dialogue with my own brain – a moment of self reflection, it made sense for me to sing it back to myself. This clip was a culmination of a few ideas we’d had in our minds for a while. The picturesque NZ landscape never fails to contrast the emotion in my music…I made it with Phoebe Gittins and Arty Papageorgiou. They’ve done all of my videos as well as a number of other NZ artists. We tend to have similar ideas around what will work, I’m not sure if I could work with anyone else.”
If Lontalius’ debut LP I’ll Forget 17 was a snapshot of his life as a teenager, All I Have documents the period in life when he was exiting adolescence and entering adulthood. Outgrowing one era but not yet ready, perhaps, for another. With a characteristic melancholic, yet beautiful temperment, paired with wistful synthesisers and soft, gentle guitar, All I Have is a superb collection of songs from this impressive artist. Working in LA alongside Grammy award winning producer Om’Mas Keith (Frank Ocean, John Legend, Jay Z), Jim Fairchild (Grandaddy, Modest Mouse), Roy Blair (Kevin Abstract) and Mr Hudson (Kanye West), Lontalius dove deep into a varied array of infuences for this second album, drawing inspiration from the artists he grew up listening to, such as U2 (circa Joshua Tree), REM, and Coldplay, alongside modern pop auters Kacey Musgraves and Lorde. Reflecting on the album, Lontalius enthuses, “The main themes on All I Have are love, youth and anxiety. I started writing it at 18 so it basically follows my own experiences with love, being away from home, new pressures and pleasures, as well as that general feeling of ‘coming of age’. Just trying to make sense of it all… It was my intention to add a little more energy and life into my music than I had done before. I had built up energy and I wanted to let it out! It was also important to me that it didn’t end up being a bloated, 20 song thing. I wanted to be able to grab it all with one hand.”
Lontalius will be playing his first Australian shows ever in October and November this year supporting Japanese Wallpaper on his Glow national tour. Thrilled to be hitting the road for what is set to be a beautiful, immersive experience for audiences, Lontalius says, “I’m really happy I’m finally making it to Australia! I’m doing solo sets, playing new and older music from even my soundcloud days. Trying to create a sound that people can get lost in for 30 minutes or so.”
Swim is out now. All I Have is set for release on October 4.
LONTALIUS NATIONAL TOUR (SUPPORTING JAPANESE WALLPAPER)
FRI OCT 25 | CORNER HOTEL, MELBOURNE VIC| 18+
SAT OCT 26 | SEWING ROOM, PERTH WA | 18+
FRI NOV 1 | LION ARTS FACTORY, ADELAIDE SA | 18+
FRI NOV 8 | OXFORD ART FACTORY, SYDNEY NSW| 18+
SAT NOV 9 | THE BRIGHTSIDE, BRISBANE QLD | 18+